committed, caring, and creative: Debora Pettit, DVM
Debora Pettit, DVM, is an area chief of staff for Banfield Pet Hospital in Roseville, California. She loves taking care of pets, mentoring her team, and… making Halloween costumes.
How did you become a veterinarian, and why do you still love the work?
When I was growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. And once I decide something, I stick with it. I always liked all the medical TV shows and really enjoyed science classes in school. I was just that kid.
Being a veterinarian requires a lot of focus, and most of us are very driven. I think it takes that kind of personality to not only make it through schooling, but also to be able to figure things out in practice.
Animals can't talk, of course, so it's almost like trying to solve a puzzle. And I like puzzle games and that sort of challenge – at home, if I want to play a video game or a board game, I go for the ones that have problem solving. I think that's just the way my brain works, I like to figure things out.
Also, I just love pets! My family has two horses, three goats, two dogs, and two cats.
What career advice do you have for young people who want to be veterinarians?
The most important thing you can do is spend some time in a veterinary hospital or a mobile veterinary unit (if you’re interested in working with large animals). It’s really important and eye-opening to spend time with a veterinarian and really see what they do day-to-day. That way, you can make sure it’s something you really want to do – because just watching those veterinary shows on TV doesn’t tell the whole story.
Veterinary medicine can be a very rewarding career, but it takes a lot of hard work, time, and schooling. So make sure it’s what you really want to do, and also look into the finances and be sure it’s feasible for you.
If you weren’t a veterinarian, what kind of work would you want to do?
I really like to sew, crochet, and knit and create things with my hands. My favorite thing to do is to make costumes for my kids for Halloween. And there are some years we've made some pretty elaborate costumes! So I think if I weren’t a veterinarian and I could choose my dream job, it would be costume design.