Ian Doody was recently named the valedictorian of Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s Class of 2022. The achievement has also earned him the Richard B. Talbot Award, named for the college’s founding dean.

Doody is from Damascus, Maryland, where he grew up on a dairy farm.  

His interest in veterinary medicine started when he was in high school and got to work with a veterinarian doing embryo transfers.  

“After that, I realized there’s more to the veterinary field than just vaccinating cows,” Doody said.  

After working with sick cows on the family farm, his interest grew. Doody attended the University of Maryland at College Park, studying agriculture and veterinary medicine with a minor in business.  

He chose Virginia Tech for veterinary school because of the beauty of the campus and its proximity to his home.

The curriculum gave him a solid foundation in veterinary medicine that prepared him for his goal of working in a mixed-animal practice. Doody chose the college's food animal track, which allowed him to study food animal medicine in greater depth.

Doody said he appreciates the friendships he formed with fellow students as well as seeing the community come together for events such as Mentor Day and the college's open house.  

“The main reason I enjoy going in every day — besides getting to learn more every day — is the camaraderie. It makes the every day a great experience,” said Doody.  

After graduation, Doody will work in small animal emergency medicine at a clinic in Hagerstown, Maryland, while also working at a mixed-animal general practice. He will continue to develop his skills and pursue certification in acupuncture.  

Ultimately, it’s Doody’s goal to open up a mixed-animal practice of his own, where he can work in both general practice and emergency medicine.  

“In emergency medicine, I like the fast-paced environment and the ability to learn something new from every case that comes in the door, whereas in general practice, I like the follow-up that you get — the client-patient relationships.”

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