Advice > Question


What are you supposed to do when you feel excluded from your classmates? I am an LGBTQ person and am not very outgoing and tend to avoid conflict. I know this is an important time for us to be making connections.

My advice would be to reach out to your local broad spectrum chapter or even our national PrideVMC group to help identify safe mentors at school. I would not recommend trying to reach out to random classmates if it does not feel safe. By going through established channels such as broad spectrum or PVMC, we can help identify LGBTQ friendly mentors and contacts at their particular school. I think that once the student has support from individuals with a known track record on Diversity and Inclusion and has a support network in place, then they could try reaching out to random classmates and professors. It is better to get support first before attempting anything that might be confrontational. They can certainly shoot us an email asking for help if needed!

I did have a recent personal experience with this very situation. While I was in the MPVM graduate program at UC Davis, I was approached by some students and asked to advocate for them in a particular situation. There had been some uncomfortable comments made during one of their reproduction classes (isn’t that always where this stuff happens!) by the professor. Here is a perfect example of the students being able to seek support—they knew about a PrideVMC board member right in their midst. They were encouraged to reach out and ask for help and support. I was able to facilitate a meeting with the professor, the students and the schools diversity officer to get the students the support that they needed and to hopefully ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

#CollegesandUniversities #Diversity #identity #inclusion #LGBTQ #MentalHealth #seeking help

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.





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