What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted in your life? (Feel free to give specific brands/models).
My blue road bike with yellow handle tape, she's a thing of beauty. Got it off Craigslist and it has given me a nice hobby and way to stay healthy. Oh, and anytime I buy sushi.
What is the funniest thing that has happened (to you or witnessed) in your job?
Hard to think of the funniest thing ever as my workplace is always very light-hearted but… I was doing a lower GI scope and my scope came out. My coworker then proceeded to try and put it into the dog’s vagina. She eventually realized what she was doing.
Favourite guilty pleasure after a stressful day at work?
McDonald’s - hot n spicy and a mcdouble plain. I know it’s horrible- hence the bike riding.
How has a failure (or apparent failure) set you up for later success? Do you have a "favourite failure" of yours?
My favorite failure was performing a liver laparoscopy but instead of introducing the varus needle first, I used one of the ports. I looked at my mentor and went “now what” to which she stared at me blankly wondering how she let this happen. Now I always know to use the varus needle first… (but there’s always more than one way to do something).
If you have a billboard for all other medical professionals out there with any message, what would it say? (It can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
Your patients and clients can wait. If not, that’s why there are ER veterinarians.
I do have to clarify- I care deeply about my clients and patients, but again, for us to benefit them for their life, we have to keep sane for ours.
What is an unusual habit or (conventionally considered to be) absurd thing that you do/love (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice)?
I wouldn’t call these habits/things I do as absurd but I like putting together little metal figurines as well as doing karaoke. Go to song- You Shook Me All Night Long, AC/DC. Hell yeah.
In the last 5 years, what new belief, behaviour or habit that has most improved your life (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice)?
Not responding to e-mails after 5 pm or on weekends and turning off my work-phone. Honestly, as veterinarians, our clients and even other veterinarians expect you to throw your whole life into your career. I don’t believe that- your career shouldn’t be the only thing to make you happy and should definitely not be your life.
“If it’s not a f*ck yes, it’s a no.”
What advice would you give to a smart, driven student? What advice should they ignore?
I would tell them to start creating a database of reference papers to help with what to do with certain disease processes- JVIM consensus statements, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery papers, and AAHA guidelines are things I always reference. Always attempt a diet trial. You can only do as much as a client lets you.
I would tell them to ignore the “you don’t have to do a rotating internship” mentality. I find that there is a real difference in quality between a non-internship doctor and internship doctor… You are never promised a good mentor/mentoship and you will not know how your senior doctors will practice medicine until you get there…
What bad recommendations do you hear in your area of expertise that you would want to correct the most?
Please stop using NSAID’s for gastrointestinal disease in cats and dogs.
In the last 5 years, what have you become better at saying "no" to? What new realizations helped?
I’ve always been very good at saying no.
I’ve realized that we are a profession that gives too much of ourselves to the profession which causes immense work-life balance issues. There is so much depression and suicide in our field and in order to rectify this, we have to start with setting boundaries and making time for ourselves.
When you feel overwhelmed or lost focus temporarily, what do you do? (What questions do you ask yourself to get back on track?)
I ride my bike, walk my two dachshunds, binge watch movies, or listen to music.
What is your best or your favourite achievement in your career so far?My best achievement is becoming an Internal Medicine resident and simultaneously keeping a good work-life balance.
Cindy Sotelo DVM, DACVIM-SAIM Candidate
“I’m a Californian sweetheart. I live with four meal- two dachshunds and two rats. My favorite hobbies are reading, painting, singing (love karaoke and know words to a lot of songs) and watching movies alone. My goal in life is to be able to afford sushi whenever I want and afford a large yard for my two weens. I grew up in a underprivileged home and hope to provide affordable healthcare to patients who need it or guidance who students that want to be veterinarians.”