Women's History Month Spotlight: Lea Stogdale, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)

Mar 11, 2024, 10:33 AM by Krystin Langer


What inspired me to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, particularly in specialty medicine? 

When I initially thought about veterinary medicine as a career, at about age15, it was to "feed the world." Predictably, that didn't happen. I traveled, worked in small animal practices in England, and moved to South Africa, where I was appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine. I had had no special training, no advanced degrees and knew only a little small animal medicine. The students, my colleagues, books, Babesia and Ehlichia enabled me to climb the steep learning curve rapidly. At the same time I embarked on a Master's degree in veterinary medicine. On arriving in Canada in 1980, three weeks later I traveled to Washington D.C. to sit the General exam. One year later, the Specialty exam. No time for studying, but due to my experience in South Africa, I passed.

Describe your experience in veterinary medicine as one of the early women veterinary specialists.

I have only occasionally experienced prejudice, either as a female, an Australian, or, now, as a senior.

University of Melbourne School of Veterinary Medicine was blessed with having Dr. Doug Blood as its dean. He had five daughters; he did not tolerate any sexism. And that was in the sixties in Australia. When I graduated in Australia, women made up about 10% of graduates. Now its certainly over 50%, and people are more oblivious to the gender of their professionals. 

How do you think that the veterinary profession has evolved for women since you became a Diplomate?

Becoming a veterinarian and a specialist has enabled me to work and live in a number of countries, to pursue various aspects of my profession, to enjoy a wonderful and fulfilled life, and to relish my senior years: I'm financially comfortable, active both physically and intellectually, and I'm having fun.

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