What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted in your life? (Feel free to give specific brands/models).
Not a single purchase, but food in general! It can be home-cooked, a delicious mom-and-pop eatery, or a fancy restaurant, food is one of the best parts of life and is something I can always look forward to. It has inspired me to take trips to other countries for the cuisine and those trips have led to even greater experiences. Food. Is. Life.
What is the funniest thing that has happened (to you or witnessed) in your job?
I don't know why, but when a coworker gets peed on. It never gets old.
Favourite guilty pleasure after a stressful day at work?
Ice cream and Netflix
How has a failure (or apparent failure) set you up for later success? Do you have a "favourite failure" of yours?
Being unsuccessful at something has always been my motivation for doing it better the next time. Even when it is not "failure," but just simply not meeting expectations, it is important to not give up. Find out what went wrong, while also highlighting what went well, to then do even better.
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?)
You are smart. You are appreciated. You are loved.
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)?
Lancing abscesses (popping animal zits)
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)?
Focusing on my mental health and realizing work/life balance is essential to do so.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven student? What advice should they ignore?
Getting into a medical program is difficult and does require good grades, but DO NOT forget to also live your life. Enjoy times with friends, take a trip, get a job that you want and not just in your future field. I believe having a wide variety of life experiences will benefit you more than a concentrated amount of time spent doing one thing.
What bad recommendations you hear in your area of expertise that you would want to correct the most?
For veterinary students making their plans for after graduation, I strongly recommend pursuing an internship at a specialty hospital. Many new graduates don't, but an internship program is an excellent way to elevate the way you practice medicine (even if you want to be a general practitioner).
In the last 5 years, what have you become better at saying "no" to? What new realizations helped?
I have learned to say "no" to my old way of thinking that put emphasis on meeting the (sometimes unrealistic) expectations of others. Now, I focus on my goals and what makes me happy.
When you feel overwhelmed or lost focus temporarily, what do you do? (What questions do you ask yourself to get back on track?)
First, it is important to remember that feeling overwhelmed periodically is NORMAL. When it happens, take a short break, ask for help, or switch tasks. Even when times get tough, you have people who support and care about you.
What is your best or your favourite achievement in your career so far?
My best achievement has been graduating from veterinary school. Although I am still working on achieving my professional goals, just being a veterinarian was 15 years in the making and it still feels great.
Spencer Fennik, DVM
Diagnostic Imaging Intern
Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital
Dr. Spencer is from Orange County, California and obtained his DVM in 2018 from UC Davis. He then did a small animal rotating internship at VCA West Los Angeles, a small animal emergency and critical care internship at UC Davis, and is currently a diagnostic imaging intern at the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital. His goal is to become a board-certified veterinary radiologist. In his spare time, he loves to travel to international destinations, eat as many new foods as possible, and go to the beach.