Hélène Marie Desanti Consoli, DVM, DACVIM (LAIM) | Equine Internal Medicine Hospital Practitioner, Veterinary School of Oniris, France
Dr. Desanti Consoli is a newly Board-certified specialist in Large Animal Internal Medicine. She attained her veterinary degree from ESFA, Véritas University, in her home country of Costa Rica. After working in equine practice, she concluded two 1-year equine internships at the University of Saskatchewan and Massey University. She then completed her advanced training with a large animal internal medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, Dr. Desanti Consoli works at the Equine Hospital of the Veterinary School of Oniris, France. In her free time, she dances all styles of bachata and spends time in nature with friends. She enjoys hiking through mountains and the rainforest, where she likes photographing wildlife.
What inspired you to become a Board-certified veterinary specialist?
My goal to provide high-quality care to my patients inspired me to become a Board-certified veterinary specialist. Meanwhile Veterinary School, books, and private practice offered limited resources to answer all the questions my inquisitive brain had. I wanted to surround myself with knowledgeable minds, unique experiences, and challenging situations that provided the means to find those responses.
Are there any resources or pieces of advice that helped you along the way?
I learned that it is equally important to be there for your patients as it is to take care of yourself. Thus, I encourage you to make yourself a priority. Validate your emotions. Invest time in self-care and having a support system. Take time to celebrate your achievements. Exercise, eat nutritious foods, keep hydrated, and promote an assertive attitude. Invest in building a happy life outside of work. Do not feel afraid to speak with someone if you are overwhelmed.
Is there a story or experience that stands out in your mind that reaffirmed your decision to work in specialty veterinary medicine?
Since I was 4 years old, I wanted to cure animals. Hence, working in specialty veterinary medicine has been a clear path to follow. My career lets me combine passions. I treat animals, I share knowledge, I can do research, and I collaborate with multidisciplinary professionals influencing a global well-being.
When it comes to increasing diversity in veterinary specialty medicine, what kind of resources or changes would you like to see from the ACVIM and/or similar organizations? Diversity is the practice of involving people from a range of different backgrounds (social, ethnic, gender, sexual) and regardless of our apparent differences; we all shared the same goal, pursuing advanced training. Thus, apart from promoting diversity, I believe it is equally important to enhance inclusiveness within the organizations. As a non-native English speaker, I think that the creation of committees with bilingual delegates could assist foreign native language speakers that wish to acquire ACVIM board certifications.
What do you consider one of your career successes? How did you achieve it?
Definitely achieving board certification has been one of my major career successes. Furthermore, it is rewarding to be in a position where I can inspire students to dream big, work hard, and get out of their comfort zone. I am grateful for the opportunity to influence them to pursue advanced training programs.
What do you consider a challenge you’ve faced in your career? How did you overcome it?
The path has been full of adversities, yet, suffering discrimination has been the most challenging one in my career. In general terms, I have suffered sexism and racism. I managed to overcome many battles by being resilient, adaptable, persevering, and maintaining a positive attitude. Regardless of the cause of discrimination or personality traits. Having a support system is essential to navigating this type of situation, and I have been immensely lucky because my family and friends have been there for me unconditionally.
What impact has the ACVIM had in shaping your career?
The ACVIM had made it possible to become a Board-specialist veterinarian. I am grateful to all the persons that have had a role in developing the residency programs that certify all of us get the best quality training. Special shout to the Certification and Accreditation Specialist team for all your support and guidance.
Since becoming a Diplomate this year, how has your perspective as a veterinarian changed?
As a veterinarian, I have constantly aimed to enhance the patient’s care. Now as a Diplomate, I have found the means to provide the finest medicine possible.
What advice do you have for those aspiring to become Diplomates?