Spotlight on Students: Presidents of PVM’s Two Leading Student Organizations Gain Valuable Experience
One of the ways in which students in the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine prepare themselves for their future careers in the veterinary medical profession is by serving as officers in the College’s primary student organizations for DVM and Veterinary Nursing students. Kristi Crow and Caitlin Obren served as student organization presidents during the 2018-2019 academic year. Kristi just completed her third-year as a veterinary student, and was president of SAVMA Purdue. Caitlin Obren served as president of the Veterinary Nursing Student Organization (VNSO) as a junior in the Veterinary Nursing Program.
From a young age, Kristi loved animals and knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. She decided to pursue veterinary medicine because it combined her passion for helping people and animals into one. Originally from Brownsburg, Ind., Kristi attended Purdue University to get an undergraduate degree in animal sciences and decided to continue on to obtain her DVM degree at Purdue as well.
Kristi said she has found that the Purdue Veterinary Medicine curriculum provides for a vast amount of hands-on training and animal handling from the first year. She is very appreciative of the opportunity to work with various animals throughout all four years because it has allowed her to strengthen her skill-set and confidence. One of her favorite aspects of her time at the College involves the way that students are encouraged to participate in study abroad opportunities. As part of her Purdue veterinary education, Kristi has traveled to Japan and South Africa, and plans to return to South Africa and visit Malawi for two blocks during her clinical year.
Kristi has always had a strong interest in leadership roles and said she is most comfortable when she can work to make an impact. SAVMA Purdue has offered her the opportunity to help the student body, college, and community. She said she has enjoyed these experiences, which enabled her to give back to others and build skills through leadership roles.
Kristi’s current veterinary related interests are focused around public health and international medicine. She is passionate about sharing her journey through veterinary school and educating the public about the veterinary profession. Her desire to share her experiences with others led Kristi to start a blog. To read more about Kristi and different topics related to being a veterinary student, check out her blog posts on Merck Manuals Student Stories.
Caitlin said she has always loved Purdue University, and even as a child, she dreamed of being a Boilermaker and working in the veterinary field. Most of Caitlin’s family attended Purdue, which led her to be passionate about being a Purdue student and dedicating herself to her studies.
As a Purdue freshman, Caitlin began volunteering in Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s oncology service and she said that’s when she realized she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. One thing that makes a PVM education distinctive, according to Caitlin, is that students are able to spend so much time in the hospital perfecting skills. She loves how she and her classmates receive so much valuable experience before entering the workforce. Caitlin noted that by the end of her fourth year, she will have spent more than 1,300 hours in clinical rotations.
Caitlin also said she appreciates how she has been able to learn about a variety of practice areas, because of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s role as a specialty referral hospital. Her experiences with hospital cases have sparked her interest in such areas as physical therapy, emergency and critical care, and oncology. She also said she loves being a veterinary nursing student because the excellent veterinary nursing instructors are so willing to help the students achieve success.
Caitlin explained that in her role as president of VNSO, she has been able to develop her leadership skills. “I definitely have noticed myself becoming more responsible and a better leader,” Caitlin said, looking back on her term as president. Caitlin’s formative experiences with PVM make her excited about her future career in the veterinary nursing field. She has yet to decide whether to pursue a specific specialty area, and looks forward to starting out in general practice. As she gains work experience, she wants to further develop her skills and interests and possibly pursue a specialty designation.
Writer(s): Amanda McCormick, PVM Communications Intern | firstname.lastname@example.org