Following Her Heart

Allison Masters has a plan and she is taking steps right after graduation from the College of Veterinary Medicine to make sure she succeeds.

“I hope to specialize in veterinary cardiology and ideally work in a setting such as academia where I can routinely teach and perform research in addition to having clinical responsibilities,” Masters said.

In order to specialize in an area of veterinary medicine, veterinarians must complete a three-year residency after graduating in vet school. And in most cases, the residency is preceded by a rotating internship.

Step one in Masters’ master plan will be completed this May when she graduates from Iowa State with her DVM. Step two begins a month later when she reports to Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine where she will complete a one-year internship at the school’s veterinary teaching hospital.

She was selected by Colorado State through the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program.

“I feel in love with the hospital and the program, as well as Colorado in general, when I visited during a preceptorship,” Masters said. “They also have a very strong cardiology program and supportive mentors within that service at their school.”

During her internship, Masters will rotate throughout various services within Colorado State’s teaching hospital including emergency medicine, internal medicine, surgery, cardiology, oncology, and radiology among others. Each rotation is two weeks long and she will also receive didactic training through weekly teaching rounds and assigned mentors.

The rotating internship is nice, but Masters is primarily interested in cardiology. She spent a summer during vet school at Iowa State as a summer scholar, working on a cardiology research project

In addition to completing her DVM studies, Masters is finishing a Master of Public Health degree, a program offered jointly by Iowa State and the University of Iowa. She recently completed a four-week preceptorship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta where she worked in the foodborne disease outbreaks division.

She has also completed preceptorships at Colorado State, a neurology rotation at The Ohio State University, and a spay/neuter rotation through the Humane Alliance in North Carolina.

“Each one has been unique and really supplemented my fourth year,” she said. “The culture at Iowa State really promotes involvement outside the classroom and I believe that has helped me to diversify my experiences and set myself apart from other applicants for the internship program.”