Episode 42: A closer look at student leadership in veterinary medicine

February 19, 2021
Kelsey Gustafson, Associate Editor

On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Dr Christman is joined by third-year international veterinary student Legend Thurman, who discusses her evolving leadership role and the ins and outs of veterinary student government.

When third-year American veterinary student Legend Thurman first started her studies in London, UK, she was unaware of the many opportunities to create change within the profession. But once she joined Royal Veterinary College’s chapter of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA), her eyes were opened to a whole new world. She soon discovered she had a passion for veterinary government.

“I’m in love with this sector [government] of the profession so much because we’re not only limited to a clinical approach. Our voices can be heard. We can make a change, which is at least something I want to do in the long run,” she says.

In this latest episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, Thurman, president of RVC’s SAVMA chapter, breaks down the role of delegates who serve on SAVMA’s House of Representatives, explains why student leadership is so important, and how to get involved.

“Every veterinary school has 2 delegates that represent them on National SAVMA on the House, a junior and senior,” she tells Christman, adding that the position carries a 2-year term.

“You can correlate it to the House of Representatives in the United States. They are there to represent their school and the whole veterinary profession on the student level.”

Thurman, who previously served as senior delegate for SAVMA’s government affairs committee, says she recalls discussing a plethora of both old and new business topics relative to the profession with other student delegates around the world.

“From government to well-being, to diversity to leadership to education— we’ve talked about it,” says Thurman. “It’s a huge collaborative effort among all of these students across the world to create change."

Her leadership advice for her fellow students?: Find your passion and pursue it. “Insert yourself in an area that you’re passionate about. For me, it’s SAVMA and government, “ she says. Find a platform that allows you to share your thoughts and ideas and have candid conversations that can make a difference down the road, she tells Christman.

Listen below to learn more about Thurman’s thoughts on veterinary student leadership and government.