Veterinary alumna Rebecca Persons joins college as clinical instructor
February 10, 2023
The Small Animal Community Practice is part of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, one of the college’s three animal hospitals. The Community Practice provides preventative care to small animals within a 35-mile radius of Blacksburg.
Persons is no stranger to the college — after earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the college in 2020, she completed an internship at the Community Practice. In her position as clinical instructor, Persons focuses on clinical practice and also divides her time between teaching and assisting with labs.
Persons says that to her, teaching is one of the most important elements of her job.
"I don't think I would get as much out of being a veterinarian if I wasn't teaching. I really like working with the students and being something positive for them in the clinic because vet school isn't always super positive — it's really challenging."
Persons graduated with her DVM three years ago, so the challenges of veterinary school are still fresh on her mind. In fact, as an intern, she taught some of her former classmates! She can empathize with her students; she remembers feeling overwhelmed and dealing with confidence issues while in veterinary school. As an instructor, she emphasizes the importance of a healthy work-life balance, and she makes sure her students understand that everyone makes mistakes.
"Students ask me, 'When do you finally think you know everything and you're confident?' And I'm like, 'I'll let you know when that happens!' I try to be really honest and authentic with them, and I try to just be encouraging,” Persons said.
Another highlight of her position is the ability to collaborate with so many other veterinarians and specialists across the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, allowing her to constantly learn and grow as a practitioner.
Persons completed associate of arts and associate of science degrees from Tidewater Community College and a bachelor’s of arts from Old Dominion University. She earned her DVM in 2020.