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Mobile Veterinarian-Nicole Kellum

Nicole Kellum is an equine veterinarian who works mainly with horses. She is from Kennebunk Maine and feels fortunate that her parents were very involved and supportive in her life.

For her occupation, she needed 4 years of college followed by 4 years of vet school. “I went through a one-year internship with horses, two years of fellowship with large animals and then 15 years in the private practice working with small and large animals.”

Now Nicole is a large animal ambulatory so she drives to many different farm calls throughout the day. Kellum says, “I was really young when I first wanted to be a vet like probably kindergarten.  She has now owned her own business for 11 years and been a vet in total for 19 years. “Spring is my very very busy season and winter is my very slow season and summer is medium.”

Nicole with a camel at one of her calls

While Nicole loves her work, she does sometimes wish that job emergencies did not interrupt her private life so frequently. But it is worth it to her because she loves working with animals and helping them.

“A benefit is every day is a different environment and the job is different at every place, the downsides to this job are probably the hours and being a solo practitioner.” Nicole said the job has changed over time because everything is more high tech now such as the digital x-rays machines.

“I do enjoy the people I work with, they are very helpful. I have vet techs that help me handle the animals and I bring interns on calls with me and make them feel comfortable about learning more about veterinary medicine, and they have become my friends over time.” A typical day for Kellum involves routine vaccinations, emergency care including treating lacerations and colics. “I leave at 8:30 AM and go on at least 5 calls and almost all of them are horses, occasionally an alpaca, cow, goat or sheep.”

“The most dangerous situation I’ve been in was about a year ago when I got kicked in the head by a horse, right between my eyes on the bridge of my nose. I was all black and blue.” Kellum said, “It is impossible to always be prepared for every for every call because I don’t know what I will encounter.” Kellum plans on retiring in about ten years but she’s not exactly sure about that yet. “People that know me will remember me as a hard worker, I will be both sad and happy when I leave my job but I feel like I’ll honestly miss it.”

Nicole helping her daughter Talia ride a horse

Kellum is proud of the work she does and said, “when you put dedication into something you take pride in, the outcome will bring you happiness and you know that your profession is doing something for the greater good.”

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