Dr. Hayley Schuddemat is doing what she always wanted to do.
“I don’t think there was ever anything else that I wanted to be,” says the newest member of the team at Virden Animal Hospital. “I’ve always been an animal lover since I was little. I knew I wanted to work with animals. With this side of the profession, versus human medicine, you get the best of both worlds. You still get to work with people … people that enjoy pets as much as we do, while we get to work with animals as well.”
Dr. Schuddemat grew up on a mixed farm near Melita, and took part in 4-H, showing horses and cattle. She has been around animals all her life.
After two years of pre-vet studies at University of Manitoba, she spent “four years, packed full of learning” at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.
Since her arrival in Virden at the end of calving season she has been submerged in the daily work of large animal practice, with some opportunities to work with small animals when she has time. “My preference is definitely large (animals) so I fit in well around here. I do like small animal as well so it’s nice that I get to do that as well. Especially after hours, I see some of that.”
If you ask her why she chose to work in Virden she won’t hesitate to tell you, “The people are what drew me here. There’s great mentorship. It’s a good learning environment to be in, with a practice this size.”
Every career has challenges. Schuddemat says of her patients: “The biggest challenge is that they are animals. We go based on what we find physically by examining them or by diagnostic testing. They can’t exactly tell us what’s wrong with them. But you learn to work with them, by experience.” That’s the kind of experience Dr. Hayley Schuddemat is having.