For Brittney Kilgore, the answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was always a veterinarian. Her passion for animals has followed her throughout her life, and at 16, she started her first job at an animal clinic. She moved on to attend the University of Georgia, where she studied poultry science.
Brittney is originally from Atlanta, and she made the bold decision to attend veterinary school outside of the country at St. George’s University in the Caribbean country of Grenada. She is currently six months away from graduating with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
Going to school outside of the country has been a huge accomplishment for Brittney, as it has helped her find herself. There, she joined the student government and became an ambassador for the school.
“It was the first time I was away from everyone I knew,” she says. “I became more social and involved and realized how passionate I was about serving others. Once I finish school, I would like to give back and be a visiting professor and help with policy change in the field.”
However, like many American students, the looming weight of debt and financial concerns remains an obstacle for Brittney. However, she has not allowed it to discourage her from pursuing her veterinary degree.
In addition, Brittney is a Black woman in a field that predominantly consists of white doctors.
She says it can be difficult being a minority in the veterinary field.
“The veterinary world, at least in the States, is [majority] white women, and less than 2% are Black,” Brittney says. “Sometimes you just feel out of place.”
She hopes that in the future, the veterinary field will become more diverse.
Brittney specializes in veterinary care for cats. She has loved cats her whole life and aspires to be a feline specialist at a clinic after she graduates. She also has a cat at home named Toulouse.
She has a multitude of patient stories to share, but there was one moment that made her want to be a better doctor when she first started out in veterinary school. There was a cat in the clinic who came in for an issue that could typically be resolved easily, but in this cat’s case, it was an emergency. Brittney thought that this cat would pull through and recover, but it unfortunately passed away.
“It made me understand why they teach us in school to never promise owners things, always be thorough and always tell people exactly what to expect,” she says. “That has always stuck with me.”
While working with animals, there are always sweet and funny stories to share as well.
“We had this cat for adoption named Simba, and he just loved everyone at the clinic,” Brittney says. “One staff member held him up like he was in The Lion King, and all of us bowed down. It’s things like that, even when you deal with difficult patients and difficult owners, you remember — the silly, fun times.”
When Brittney is not studying or in the clinic, she is creating online content on her YouTube channel and Instagram. Over the past three years, she has grown an online community where she shares her experiences in veterinary school and in Grenada.
When she moved there for school three years ago, the people in her life always wanted to receive updates and photos from her. She decided to make a YouTube channel all about her experiences so that everyone could easily see what she was doing. Then, other people started commenting and asking her questions about her vet school experiences. These questions and comments inspired her to make more videos, and her page has continued to grow. This prompted her to also make an Instagram where she could share content about veterinary school.
Her YouTube channel now has over 7,000 subscribers and is still growing, along with her Instagram page where she has almost 4,000 followers who love her content.
In the years to come, Brittney hopes to travel more and one day open her own cat clinic.
“Don’t let other people tell you you shouldn’t,” Brittney says. “There is so much more than your primary career. If you have a hobby that can also bring you income, or even if it doesn’t and there’s something you’re passionate about, do that. You only live once and you don’t have to devote your whole life to a stereotypical nine-to-five job.”