Celebrating our VetCat Journeys: Where They Are Going
With commencement just around the corner, third-year students at The University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine are ready to don their graduation regalia and take on the title of "Doctor." After three years of hard work and intense exploration, these students are career-ready and prepared to serve their communities.
Deianira Smith is equipped to take on the challenges of equine medicine in her internship after graduation. She has accepted a position as a Hospital Intern at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY. Having worked at this practice before veterinary school, Deianira accepted this position with the knowledge that it is an excellent fit for her. Her final year in veterinary school instilled greater confidence as she developed the skills she will use daily as a practitioner.
Educational experiences from the fifth grade to her clinical year of veterinary school have shaped Deianira's path and helped her become the veterinarian she dreamed of becoming. Now, she is prepared to take on the world of equine medicine as Dr. Smith.
How did your educational experiences influence your career path?
DS: In 5th grade, we were asked to make a montage. I found a National Geographic magazine about horse racing. In that magazine, there was a photo of a horse being hoisted up post-operative. I saw that and said I wanted to do that for the rest of my life. From there, I majored in Biology and minored in Equine Studies in undergrad. I then went on to work at Rood and Riddle in Lexington, KY as a nursing technician. I am so excited to be returning there as the first step in my career. During school, I was the first AAEP Chapter President. I also participated in SAVMA, and that ignited my love for organized medicine. I currently serve on the AAEP DEI Committee!
How did your clinical year experiences prepare you for your veterinary career?
DS: My clinical year was great. I met some amazing doctors and practices that made me realize my worth as a growing young doctor and what I can contribute to this industry. Some of my On-Site Veterinarians instilled confidence in me that is much needed. [I developed] surgical skills, client management skills, and overall relatability.
Advice for Others
Building up a network of like-minded classmates and mentors cannot be underestimated. Deianira has chosen to embrace opportunities, giving her valuable chances to connect with some of the best parts of veterinary medicine.
What advice would you give to a first-year student?
DS: Don't say no to an opportunity and GET INVOLVED!!! You never know what saying yes will bring you. Getting involved in clubs opens doors that you may not have envisioned for yourself. Networking is so valuable, who you know can carry you very far!