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Mery W.







Q: How did you find your own voice to speak up for yourself?

A: Building confidence is like building muscle. The more you do work on it, the easier and bigger it'll be. When I first started school, I definitely lacked that a lot but now feel much more confident in asking for more.

Q: Can you tell us about yourself?

A: I'm Mery. I'm a Veterinarian, originally born in Argentina but now living in Los Angeles.

Q: What made you get into medicine and pursue vet school?

A: I like to say I was born with this urge to practice medicine. I really just loved animals from a young age, and once I started learning about biology and chemistry, I started realizing that I liked that, too. So it just felt perfect to get into veterinary medicine.

I also look to my mom because she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was younger, too. And she started vet school but had to drop out. And in many ways, I was always an animal defender. I remember when I was in elementary school, a classmate was trying to squash a bee and I started crying and telling him to stop. I was born with this urge to want to help animals.

Q: Can you describe your relationship with medicine in one word?

A: Committed. I'm willing to put the work and effort into making my relationship with medicine strong.

Q: What made you fall in love with veterinary medicine?

A: It was really difficult in the beginning. The hardest part was going into hospitals and figuring out where I fit in. When you're so young, you don't know how to deal with that. But it's been like a lifelong journey of trial and error. There were times when my passion faltered a bit, but my family and friends really supported me. Every time I fell down, they picked me back up and encouraged me to continue pursuing my dream.

Q: What were some of the hardships that made you want to give up?

A: When I was younger, I was more soft-spoken or afraid to speak up when I saw something wrong. When I started to realize I was that way, though, I started pushing myself out of my comfort zone and slowly started gaining more strength and confidence. Now, I am not so easily swayed.

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women in healthcare?

A: Veterinarians have the lowest salary of all doctors and healthcare in general. But on top of that, there's a wage difference between men and women. One of the hardest things is pushing for and demanding more for what we do. I think gaining the confidence to ask for more is a big challenge for us.

Q: How did you find your own voice to speak up for yourself?

A: Building confidence is like building muscle. The more you do work on it, the easier and bigger it'll be. When I first started that school, I definitely lacked that a lot. But now I feel much more confident in asking for more for what I do.

Q: Do you feel a greater sense of responsibility as a woman in healthcare?

A: Definitely. I think that as a woman in healthcare, we have a responsibility to break down the societal expectations that women have. I grew up being taught that I should be one way or another — soft-spoken, lovely, accommodating. It’s up to us to show that we don't have to be that way. You can if you want to, of course, but there shouldn’t be any pressure and young girls shouldn't be taught those expectations.

Q: How do you find balance between school and life?

A: One of the ways I find balance is by trying to stay present. A lot of people who have high ambitions, like healthcare workers, sometimes find themselves dwelling too much on past mistakes, or focusing too much on the future and what comes next. So I see people miss out on a lot when they’re not present. What that looks like for me is just simply taking a walk or acknowledging everything that you have around you, and expressing gratitude.

Q: What do you want young women to know about working in healthcare?

A: Don't let anyone tell you what you are or aren’t capable of. Set those boundaries and rules for yourself, then crush them.

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