Veterinary Professionals' NextGen is fortunate to work with a group of inspiring and experienced veterinarians who are graciously giving their time to answer our readers' anonymous questions in order to help young professionals excel.

Valarie Adams, CVT

Valarie Adams is a CVT with over 45 years working in veterinary medicine. Her 1973 graduation from the Medical Institute of Minnesota puts her in the "aged-but-still-useful" category of alums. Valarie's career has included large and small animal general practice and 17 years in emergency/critical care. In May 2008, she created the Healing Heart Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit that supported programs honoring the spirit of the Human Animal Bond. Healing Heart Pet Hospice program delivered hospice and palliative care to pet families, as well as programs for grief support and financial support for hardship cases. Valarie has lectured nationally and internationally and written and co-written for textbooks and online publications. She fills her heart by volunteering veterinary care to the dogs on a Native American reservation and feeds her soul and tends her spirituality with her horses, nature and singing blues/blues rock. Her blog Confides In Animals has launched at confidesinanimals.com.

What quote inspires you?
“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.” - Paul Coelho

Courtney A. Campbell, DVM, DACVS-SA

Dr. Courtney A. Campbell is a board certified veterinary surgeon who specializes in orthopedic, soft tissue, and minimally invasive surgery. He currently practices at VetSurg in Ventura, California. He is also a host, author, and producer. Dr. Campbell is the Chief Creative Officer and host for VetCandy Watch and a popular podcast, The Dr. Courtney Podcast on PetLife Radio. He is also a former co-host of Pet Talk on Nat Geo Wild, a recurring guest expert on The Rachael Ray Show, CBS The Doctors, Home and Family, KTLA and other daytime talk shows.

What quote inspires you?
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.” - Harry S Truman

Jenifer Chatfield, DVM, DACZM, DACVPM

Dr. Jenifer Chatfield is the board-certified Staff Veterinarian at 4J Conservation Center and the Chief Strategy Officer for Vet Candy, LLC. Dr. Chatfield is a diplomate of both the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) and the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM). Along with her twin brother, Dr. Jason Chatfield, she co-hosts the #1 veterinary podcast, Vet Candy’s “In other news…” and was recently profiled in Pet Vet magazine. She is an instructor for FEMA/DHS courses and was a Regional Leader for the National Disaster Medicine System Team for several years. She graduated from Texas A&M University's CVM and has pursued emergency medicine and zoo medicine throughout her career. She owned 2 emergency clinics and has been the Senior Veterinarian in a zoo. She completed fieldwork in Madagascar and South America and continues to explore new areas of medicine as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine for more than 10 years. Dr. Chatfield is a Medical Reserve Corps member and developed the "Veterinary Support to Zoological Animals in a Disaster" for the National Veterinary Response Team’s (NVRT) training curriculum. Dr. Chatfield has chaired the Florida Veterinary Medical Association's (FVMA) One Health Committee and co-chaired FVMA's Disaster Response Committee. Dr. Chatfield has a particular interest in infectious diseases and biosecurity and her work for the Dept. of Homeland Security’s courses has been focused on topics such as foreign animal diseases, quarantine and isolation, and malicious introduction of pathogens. Dr. Chatfield served on the curriculum redevelopment team for the nationallyrenowned DHS course, “Emergency Response to a Domestic Biological Incident.” Dr. Chatfield served as the Florida Dept of Health’s Influenza Veterinary and Agriculture Liaison and later served as the coordinator for the Cities Readiness Incidence (CRI), a plan for response to bioterrorism in large metropolitan areas. She was an original founder of the Pasco Hernando Veterinary Medical Association (PHVMA) and has served as its President since 2008. Recently, she was selected as a Future Leader by the AVMA and received a 2 Gold Star awards from the FVMA. Dr. Chatfield most recently completed a Congressional Fellowship working in the US House of Representatives. She routinely speaks at the nation’s largest veterinary continuing education conferences on zoo medicine, infectious diseases, disaster response, and public health. Dr. Chatfield’s peer-reviewed publications include pharmacokinetics, wild animal behavior, infectious disease, and assisted reproduction in endangered species. Dr. Chatfield loves French bulldogs, Himalayan cats, the dirtiest of vodka martinis, and basking on Caribbean beaches.

What quote inspires you?
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better. You should not be judged for the person that you were, rather for the person that you are now and the person that you are working to become.” - Maya Angelou


Dr. Tannetje' Crocker is a 2009 graduate from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. Growing up Dr. Crocker was always passionate about horses and was inspired to become a veterinarian. Since graduation she has worked as an equine ambulatory vet, small animal general practitioner, and emergency veterinarian. She currently practices in Grapevine, Texas at Northwest Animal Hospital and the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas. She is passionate about mentorship and empowering both veterinary students and young veterinarians to embrace the profession and find joy and success. In her free time, Dr. Crocker can be found spending time with her family and friends riding horses and enjoying the outdoors. Follow her veterinary journey on social media.

What quote inspires you?
“If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you are happy, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the whole world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end it is between you and God… it was never between you and them anyway!”

Maranda Elswick, DVM

INSTAGRAM @themeowingvet
FACEBOOK @themeowingvet

Maranda Elswick, DVM, graduated in 2015 from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine with an emphasis in small animal general practice and special interests in preventative medicine, hospice care, client communication, and client education. She is currently a licensed veterinarian in Florida and Virginia. Dr. Elswick is also founder of The Meowing Vet, LLC, a quirky veterinary web presence with free health articles for pet owners, vet students, and veterinary professionals. She resides in Florida with her fiancé (also a veterinarian) and their two dogs.

What quote inspires you?
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anaïs Nin

Ashley Gray, DVM

INSTAGRAM @southernpetvet

Dr. Ashley Gray was born and raised in Virginia and graduated from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She completed a one-year rotating small animal internship in Charlotte, then stayed on the team as a general practitioner and emergency doctor after completing her internship. She has been the internship director since 2016 and has a strong passion for mentorship within the profession. She recently published a book "Becoming a Millennial Veterinarian" (available on amazon) to bridge the gap for young doctors transitioning from student to professional. She is excited to continue her passion for writing with NextGen!

What quote inspires you?
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” — Dr. Seuss


Dr. Amber Ihrke was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She received dual degrees in Biology and Veterinary Science in 1992 from the University of Nevada-Reno and her DVM in 1996 from the University of Missouri, as well as her certification in rehabilitation in 2011 from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute. She is also certified in pain management (IAVPM), acupuncture (Chi), and veterinary spinal manipulation (The Healing Oasis). Dr. Ihrke teaches rehabilitation at The Healing Oasis Wellness Center and is the past-president of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians (AARV). In January 2017, she started her residency with the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (ACVSMR) via the practice experience pathway. Dr. Ihrke and her husband (also a veterinarian) own a small animal practice in Homer Glen, Illinois. In 2013, they opened a second veterinary clinic, Integrative Pet Care of Homer Glen, a rehabilitation and sports medicine specialty practice. Dr. Ihrke works with another veterinarian and three technicians all certified in rehabilitation and enjoys the collaborative, team approach to patient care. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four (yes, four!) daughters, traveling with her family and participating in endurance sports. She has three dogs, Heather is her 12.5-year-old Labrador retriever, Butterscotch is her 13.5-year old Dachshund, and Merlin her one-year-old golden retriever.

What quote inspires you?
“Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it.” This quote always reminds me to keep all things in a proper perspective.

Tabitha Kucera, CCBC, RVT, KPA-CTP

Tabitha Kucera is the owner of Chirrups and Chatter Cat and Dog Behavior Consulting and Training in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a certified cat behavior consultant through the International Association of Behavior Consultants and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. She is also a registered veterinary technician with over 10 years of experience and is low stress handling and level 3 fear free certified. She also offers lectures and consulting services to the general public, shelters, and veterinarians about making veterinary visits less stressful for both clients and patients, understanding animal body language, fear free, low stress handling and feline and canine behavior.

What quote inspires you?
“Do your best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” - Maya Angelou

Vicki Lim, BVSc

INSTAGRAM @theriptideproject
FACEBOOK @theriptideproj

Dr. Vicki Lim is a companion animal veterinarian based in New Zealand. She is founder of The Riptide Project, an international veterinary wellbeing initiative; and co-founder of Living 'Ruff, a veterinary initiative to provide free veterinary care to pets of the homeless in New Zealand. She is a committee member for the Auckland Veterinary Society, and a founding member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Professional Wellness Group. Vicki has also been invited to speak at international veterinary conferences and schools in Europe and Asia. Apart from her work in a small animal practice which helps to pay for her (unfortunately expensive) travel habit, Vicki is an experienced fosterer and committee member for Retired Working Dogs NZ, a charitable trust which finds loving homes for farm dogs after their years of hard work.

What quote inspires you?
“If you don't ask, the answer is always no”!



Dr. McKenzie has worked in small animal general practice since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. He also teaches senior veterinary students in his practice, writes a monthly column for Veterinary Practice News, manages the SkeptVet Blog and social media outlets, has served as president of the Evidencebased Veterinary Medicine Association, and has recently released a book: Placebos for Pets? The Truth about Alternative Medicine for Animals. In his sparse free time, he enjoys playing mandolin, reading, hiking, and watching the hummingbirds and woodpeckers outside his living-room window.

What quote inspires you?
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” - George Bernard Shaw


Dr. Ericka Mendez is a veterinarian, veterinary mentor, and an advocate for mental health in the veterinary profession. Her mission is to empower veterinary professionals to take control of their own emotional wellbeing, which then creates an environment where wellness is the norm and not the exception for the entire veterinary team. She enjoys teaching veterinarians and their teams' tools to help them navigate their stressful work environments and she shares her insights and journey to becoming more purposeful on her blog The Purposeful Vet.

What quote inspires you?
“Everything happens for a reason and a purpose and it serves us.”

Coretta Patterson

Dr. Coretta Patterson is a board certified small animal internal medicine specialist. She fell in love with teaching and has completed two teaching fellowships, one of which was at the Royal Veterinary College in England. Dr. Patterson has been on faculty at three veterinary colleges and has been an Associate Dean at two. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Nevada, Reno, which does not have veterinary college but has a bachelor's degree program in veterinary science. There, she teaches and advises students.

What quote inspires you?
“Carpe diem”

VISIT unr.edu


INSTAGRAM @mirandasadar

Dr. Miranda Sadar is a graduate of the Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. After graduation, she completed a one-year clinical internship in zoological, exotics, and wildlife (ZEW) medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After finishing a two-year fellowship in wildlife medicine at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, she completed a zoological companion animal residency at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Sadar was an assistant professor in the ZEW service at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for two years prior to moving back to Colorado State University as an assistant professor in the Avian, Exotics, and Zoological Medicine service. In 2016, Dr. Sadar became a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM), with a focus on zoological companion animals.

What quote inspires you?
“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance–it is the illusion of knowledge.” - Daniel J. Boorstin

Kristin Welch, DVM, DACVECC

Dr. Kristin Welch is the founder of DVM STAT Consulting Telemedicine Specialists. Her love of teaching, passion about all things veterinary medicine, and dedication to the field of Emergency and Critical Care led to DVM STAT Consulting, a nationwide specialty consult service and educational platform. Dr. Welch loves solving complicated cases, decoding clinical data, and most of all, helping her veterinary colleagues succeed in their drive to provide the highest caliber medicine possible to their patients. A 2005 graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine with Honors, she received the Small Animal Clinical Proficiency Award and the Wade O. Brinker Orthopedic Surgery Award. Following an Internship in Medicine and Surgery at University of Pennsylvania in 2006, she completed a residency in Emergency and Critical Care at Tufts University in 2010. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Dr. Welch relocated after residency to Charleston, South Carolina, where she helped grow the Southeast’s first VECCS Level I Emergency and Critical Care certified hospital as the Chief of Emergency and Critical Care. In addition to providing STAT consults to veterinarians nationwide, Dr. Welch is an active clinical veterinarian, international lecturer and last, but definitely not least, a proud mother of three. When not working she loves traveling, wildlife photography, painting, and working out.

What quote inspires you?
“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step in your life.” - Steve Maraboli


Dr. Dane Whitaker has been practicing veterinary medicine in the San Francisco area for over 25 years. He completed his Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis in 2017, and is currently providing veterinary relief services for the marine Mammal Center in Sausalito CA. Although a Bay Area native, he grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. After graduation, he completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Santa Cruz Veterinary Hospital. His veterinary interests include small animal medicine, clinical pathology, marine mammal medicine and One Health. Dr. Whitaker is the president of the Pride Veterinary Medical Community and takes an active role in promoting the ideas of inclusion and acceptance for all members of the community in the veterinary profession.

What quote inspires you?
“Above all, compare yourself to no one.” I am not sure who said it, but it helps to remind me that the journey that I am on is mine alone and that I have the power to make things happen for myself, and that whatever happens, I am enough!




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