What do you do?
As a veterinary anatomic pathology resident, I perform necropsies (like autopsies) on animals to diagnose how an animal died and look at tissue biopsies from patients in the hospital. I assist other veterinarians with diagnosing diseases. As a graduate research associate, I also am working on my PhD in a lab that researches urinary tract infections in children.
Why did you choose this field?
I became interested in pathology in 2012 after assisting with a dolphin necropsy from the Gulf of Mexico. This was performed as part of a coordinated effort in investigating the effects of the 2010 oil spill on the sea life. I ultimately joined this field because I am able to help both people and animals. I aim to provide answers for how an animal has died or help diagnose ongoing disease.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I wish I would have known earlier that you could specialize in veterinary medicine in addition to being a general practitioner. If you like hearts, you can become a veterinary cardiologist! If you like surgery, you can be a surgeon for dogs, cats, horses, cows, and more! The specialty of veterinary pathology is an amazing field with a wide range of possibilities.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love science and I love my jobs. In the lab, I can ask questions and design experiments to potentially help people with urinary tract infections in the future. As a pathology resident, I can help veterinarians diagnose disease and provide closure or answers to pet parents. When I wake up, I look forward to being able to help both humans and animals.
Best advice for next generation?
Always ask questions! The only way for us to move the STEM field forward is to continue being curious and continue asking questions. There is no stupid question!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. “