Sara Goldstein is a passionate veterinarian and scientist. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Purdue University and her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut. Here she shares a little about her career and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
Molecular and Cell Biology, and Veterinary Medicine.
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human animals.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
A child must first possess compassion towards animals and a desire to take care of them! Many children may have hobbies related to animals such as horseback riding or being a part of a 4-H club. They also need to show an interest in science and anatomy early on. This field requires many hours of dedicated training and studying; without the true passion from childhood few would make it through.
Other critical traits of a successful veterinarian that will develop overtime are: communication skills, technical skills, and surgical skills. The desire that children have to constantly be learning need to stay with you throughout your career.
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
I knew very little about veterinary medicine as a child. I knew we took our cats to the "vet" to get their vaccinations and to keep them healthy. I always loved animals and grew up with cats and horses. I started horseback riding and working at the stables when I was 8 years old. No one in my family had a career in the science field.
All throughout middle school, high school, and college I always loved all the chemistry and biology classes. I started thinking more about a career in the medical field; human or animal. After working in a small animal veterinary clinic I knew this career was the right one for me. With the support of my family, I made up my mind to apply to veterinary school no matter how competitive it appeared to be.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
Veterinary medicine is a large and ever changing field. No matter what your specific interests are there is a career within veterinary medicine for you. These positions can range from being a veterinarian in a private practice to a state veterinarian, all the way to a veterinarian working for a research or pharmaceutical company. The sky is really the limit for veterinarians!
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
Our best visits are the healthy puppy and kitten visits!! They are always so playful and want to lick you. I also love to watch them grow as we see them every few weeks! Sometimes we have kitties or puppies come in so small we get to bottle feed them!
Another cool thing we get to do is take xrays (radiographs) and see bones and organs if a pet isn't feeling well or has a hurt leg. Hopefully it is not anything too serious!
Lastly, we get to diagnose and treat diseases based on these xrays, bloodwork, and other testing. It is like a big puzzle where we have to make all the pieces fit. Early diagnosis and treatment of any disease helps pets live longer and happier lives!
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
Follow your passion.
Thank you for contributing, Dr. Sara!
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