My husband and I welcomed our son in 2014, but my family has called me "Mother Hen" since I was a kid.
I just feel better knowing that my family is happy, safe, and comfortable; and if that takes a little (or a lot) of help from me, then so be it.
Families may be more people than any one member can name offhand, or someone and their pet taking on the world together. Either way, taking care of that family is important, and if I get to help with that, then I'm happy.
I've always been a teacher, but that takes many forms.
Sure, I've lectured to 300+ undergraduate students at a time, and taught vet students one-on-one. While I've enjoyed both of these, my favorite teaching opportunities are spontaneous. It's everyday instances like getting to help pet owners to know what is and is not important for their pet's nutrition so they can better understand their pet's care, or being able to assist a colleague and their staff with nutritional care of a critically ill patient that feel like they have the most benefit.
Most of what I do is teaching in one way or another, and I love that about my job.
It would make sense that a veterinarian with a love of all things food would become a specialist in nutrition, but that's not why it happened.
The truth is actually much nerdier than that.
I grew up loitering around the kitchen of whatever family member would tolerate me "helping." Eventually "helping" became actually helping, and one day, I had "helpers" of my own.
Separate from that, I was a new veterinarian just discovering which areas of medicine were important, but less interesting to me, and which were both important and fascinating. It's not the case for everyone, but for me, biochemistry is fascinating, and how food affects the body is really amazing! It was that fascination that led me to the nutrition specialty.
I won't lie though. As your veterinary nutritionist, knowing my way around the kitchen comes in handy too.
Basically, I get to use teaching about food, nutrition, and medicine to help families care for their pets.
To learn about the technical details of my education, training, and experience, take a look at my CV.