Alexandra Fielding, V22

School: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine 

Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine  

Home: Southbury, Connecticut 

What was the focus of your study, and what’s the origin of that passion? 

My focus is on equine medicine and surgery. Growing up in southwest Connecticut, there were a lot of barns around, and my sister started riding before I did. When I was four, my parents plopped me on the saddle, and I couldn’t stop after that. I have been fortunate enough to ride through high school, college, and even during veterinary school, and it has always been there for me when I needed it.  

What is the most important thing you learned at Cummings School that you’ll take with you as you embark on your career? 

Since starting clinical rotations, I’ve learned to never be afraid to ask a question or offer a suggestion, especially when learning new material or working up a difficult case. As students, we spend so much time and energy focusing on being right and getting good grades. We worry too much about being wrong, which can keep us from speaking up—especially in the era of Zoom, where pressing the unmute button can feel like a lot of pressure. I’ve discovered that I learn by being wrong, and more importantly, I’ve learned that no one is right all the time. I’m going to take that mentality with me to my internship at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in New Jersey, and I’m going to keep learning what’s right and wrong for many years to come. 

Any valuable lessons learned outside the classroom? 

From spring of 2020 to 2021, I was the student co-chair for the Tufts Veterinary Council on Diversity, and I really enjoyed the community I built through that group. TVCD has been a good way to facilitate different and difficult conversations and help build underrepresented groups on campus. It was needed, particularly during COVID when people were far apart physically, as a way to come together and talk about what was going on. More recently, I was a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advisory group for the American Association for Equine Practitioners. Creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment in the veterinary community is something I’ve become invested in, and I hope I can continue that in the future, too. 

“In 10 years, I will be...” 

A boarded large animal surgeon involved in teaching, volunteering, and leadership within the equine veterinary community. 

What’s the best advice you have for incoming veterinary students? 

I would tell them to try everything, even if it’s an area of medicine in which they don’t think they’d be interested. For myself, apart from the equine side of things, I’ve done volunteer spay/neuter trips for small animals, a summer internship at a zoo, and more recently, research with one of the large animal surgeons. At Tufts, there are so many different opportunities to find new ways to explore veterinary medicine and bring different passions together. Medicine is medicine no matter what species you’re working with, and there’s so much to learn outside of what you think is the most important.   

This profile originally appeared as part of the series “Profiles in Inspiration: Commencement 2022 Spotlights."

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