Just a few weeks post-graduation, you may have encountered Matthew Van Winkle working at his first choice career at Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic in Burlington, Washington. “It’s a mixed animal practice, so I’ll be working with small animals, small ruminants, a large animal on-call service, and exotics, which is one of my main interests,” says Matt. Matt first fell in love with Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic when he did his preceptorship there during his fourth year. “It was a fantastic experience,” he says. Matt’s other fourth year rotations helped him gain the skills he needed to feel confident during his time at Chuckanut. The exotics rotation at WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital provided Matt the opportunity to work with geese, chickens, snakes, turtles, and a cockatiel who took quite a shine to him. Other influential rotations Matt mentions include the agricultural animal rotation and the rotation at the Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman. “I was able to become really competent at various surgeries, especially spays and neuters,” he says. When asked what he was looking forward to most at his new job, Matt commented that he was really excited to work with the great team and staff who contribute to the welcoming atmosphere for which Chuckanut is famous. Beginning in the summer of 2016, that team included not only Matt, but fellow 2016 WSU graduate, Jacob Brandvold. If Matt had one piece of advice for prospective veterinary students on looking for jobs, it would be, “Worry less – as I started looking for jobs, more and more would start to appear.” Matt was eager to move to the Burlington area with his two cats, Arnie and Princess, and to dive into his dream job, less than a month after graduation.
DVM Graduate Profiles
Fourth year WSU veterinary student Chelsey Slosar just landed her dream job. “The Animal Health Clinic in Blackfoot, Idaho has a great work environment. The owner has been a really great mentor to me and to other WSU College of Veterinary Medicine students,” Chelsey says. “Plus,” she adds, “there’s buy-in potential, and I would love to buy into a practice in the next five years.” The interview process for the Animal Health Clinic was a fully hands-on experience in which Chelsey took appointments with clients and performed various procedures. She appreciated that the practice treated her like a doctor rather than a student, and allowed her to make a real contribution to the practice – something she points out would not have been possible without the skills she learned at WSU. “The communication and surgery training I received at WSU helped a lot – and the hands-on experience I gained prior to the fourth year was critical.” Chelsey is looking forward to all aspects of this mixed animal practice, but is especially excited about working with beef cattle. “I’ll be working at the sale yard across the street from the practice and will also be taking on their [the Animal Health Clinic’s] first feedlot client.” Chelsey credits her confidence with beef cattle to her time with the Northwest Bovine Veterinary Experience Program, in which students spend six weeks of one summer working on a dairy or feedlot and a second summer of mentoring by practicing food animal veterinarians. Never one to shy away from an opportunity, Chelsey also earned a master’s degree in addition to her DVM during her four years of veterinary school. This has kept her motivated to learn new things and given her a firm grasp of the research and statistics so important in practicing herd medicine. Chelsey eagerly anticipates starting her new job soon after graduation and looks forward to taking advantage of the many opportunities for hunting, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors with her two horses, Josey and Marla, and her dog Jax.