By J.O. Parker
Katelyn Gregory of Montezuma has an exciting 2022 ahead of her.
After eight years of hitting the books, taking tests, learning about all types of animals, big and small, and doing numerous clinical rotations, Gregory will graduate from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine on May 6.
Following graduation, Gregory will join the staff of Farm & Family Veterinary Clinics (Montezuma, Brooklyn, Victor) as a mixed animal veterinarian.
Gregory is already familiar with the local veterinary clinics as she has been spending her summers and winter breaks learning the ropes there.
Becoming a veterinarian has been a life-long dream for the almost 26-year-old Montezuma girl and daughter of Brett and Traci Gregory.
Gregory said when she was a young girl that she was watching a veterinarian work on a horse.
“I told him right then and there that’s what I wanted to do,” Gregory said, who was around age 3 at the time. “I told my parents that I was going to be a veterinarian and I never strayed from that.”
Gregory said a love of animals and the desire to help people are two of the most important aspects of her job.
“We get to be there for some of the happiest and hardest moments for our clients, and I want to be able to help them through all of them,” she said. “I want to form strong, meaningful relationships with my clients and patients.”
After graduating from Montezuma High School in 2014, Gregory went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University, graduating in 2018. She was accepted into veterinarian school and began course work in the fall of 2018.
In May, 2021, Gregory began her fourth year clinical rotations.
“Every two weeks I am working with different services at the ISU Veterinary Teaching Hospital working up patient cases and learning from clinicians,” she said.
On Nov. 15, 2021, Gregory took the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) and got the results back that she had passed on Jan. 21.
“This is a 360 question exam (6.5 hour duration) with questions related to all species of animals (dogs, cats, horses, cattle, pigs, small ruminants, exotics, aquatics) and all areas of veterinary medicine,” Gregory said. “Passing this exam allows me to apply for a license to practice veterinary medicine.”
She is currently in the process of applying for her veterinary license to practice in the State of Iowa.
When asked what her future goals are, Gregory said if the opportunity was right, she would like to become the owner of a veterinary practice one day.
Another passion she has been active in is the advancement of mental health and wellness efforts at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine during her time there.
“I want to continue to be an active advocate for mental health in the veterinary profession,” noted Gregory. “This is such an important topic in our profession that is starting to gain a lot of attention from others on just how much of a struggle it can be in our profession. I hope to always strive to do my part in raising awareness and starting conversations to help normalize mental health related struggles so that myself and others can remember we are never going through things alone; we all matter.
At Farm & Family Veterinary Clinic, Gregory will be working with both small and large animals.
“I really enjoy the variety of patients that we are able to see in a single day,” she said. “Veterinary medicine is always exciting to me. I’m constantly learning new things and developing my skills, which is something that will never stop in this profession.”
Gregory said she is so excited to have the opportunity to come back to serve the local communities she is familiar with and grow in this new role as a doctor.
“I cannot wait to start this next stage of life.” Gregory said. “I would like to thank my family for their continued support ever since I was a little girl to reach this huge milestone. They have been there for me through a lot of really big moments and emotions that come along with this, and I could never have made it through all of this without them. They are my rock.”
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