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Katherine Beattie

Katherine Beattie

DVM Student and Research Assistant in the Department of Population Medicine

Research Focus: Various research projects in the Department of Population Medicine

From an early age, Katherine Beattie aspired to become a veterinarian. Growing up in Niagara, Ontario, she spent most Halloweens “trick or treating” by asking neighbours if she could see their dogs and cats instead of asking for candy.

Throughout high school she also considered pursuing forensic science or pediatric medicine, so she started her post-secondary studies with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Guelph. While completing her undergraduate degree, Katherine shadowed a family friend and bovine veterinarian in the Ottawa Valley who sparked her interest in large animal medicine. Up until that point, she hadn’t considered this area of veterinary medicine but came out of those few weeks envisioning herself in a similar role.

“As a consumer of dairy and meat products, food animal medicine seemed like a unique opportunity and position to be a source of information for myself as a consumer but also friends and family,” Beattie said.

For the remainder of her BSc, she sought opportunities to gain large animal and research experience. Another family friend connected her with Dr. Ken Leslie, who recommended she reach out to Dr. David Kelton to explore research opportunities. This led her to work as a research assistant on numerous projects at the Ontario Veterinary College’s Department of Population Medicine, including evaluating new technology for on-farm analysis of blood parameters in calves, assessing navel health in calves, conducting Johne’s Disease questionnaires and several other projects. These experiences also led to her riding along with the Ruminant Field Services team and helped prepare her for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at OVC.

Now completing phase four of the DVM program, Beattie says her favourite part of her research involvement has been working with the animals and developing a long-lasting network of colleagues: “I’ve developed not only a lot of clinical skills, but I’ve also met people who have been such great connections that I can reconnect with or rely on in the future.”

Outside of class, Beattie plays intramural volleyball and is involved in class council, the professional veterinary fraternity executive and a Crossfit gym community. She hopes to inspire future veterinarians and researchers to remember to be someone outside of a student and outside of your profession.

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