William Allen Hill, DVM
When and why did you decide to pursue a career in veterinary medicine?
Undoubtedly, veterinary medicine is my calling; I realized my calling as an eighth grade student in rural Eastern North Carolina. Uniquely, I am a second generation, African-American veterinarian and the third in my family; consequently, there were likely familial influences on my career decision. Shortly after deciding on a career in veterinary medicine, I realized I was most suited for specialty practice. My father’s death and my mother’s subsequent diagnosis with cancer clarified my career goals. During my second year in veterinary school, I decided to pursue a career in laboratory animal medicine. As a laboratory animal veterinarian, I not only impact animal health, but I also impact human health; in every aspect, I heal animals and simultaneously heal the world!
Describe your current position.
Currently, I serve as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Director in the Office of Laboratory Animal Care at The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, Tennessee. My primary duties include providing clinical care and preventative medicine for a variety of species and maintaining a campus-wide health surveillance program. Additionally, I assist with facility management, institutional animal care and use committee activities, compliance issues, training of research and animal care and staff, and research collaboration with investigators. Furthermore, I also teach veterinary students.
What is rewarding about your current position?
Because of my unique experience at NCSU-CVM, I have a real passion for veterinary students and veterinary medical education. My current position affords me the opportunity to not only practice laboratory animal medicine, but also impact the recruitment and training of veterinary students.
What was it like to be a veterinary student? What was most rewarding? What was most challenging?
I am most proud of my degree from North Carolina State University! Unquestionably, NCSU lacked the cultural diversity of my undergraduate institution, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; as a result, the climate of the college was in some respects isolating. After making inroads with some colleagues, I became a valuable, contributing member of the NCSU veterinary family. To that end, my challenges were no different than any other student. Certainly, the volume of material to comprehend and process was seemingly insurmountable; time management quickly became the key to my success.
Why did you choose NC State for your veterinary education?
The veterinary program at NC State is internationally respected. At the time of my application, I was a North Carolina resident and thusly, NCSU offered a respected, affordable degree.
What advice would you give to younger students interested in veterinary medicine?
Study! Admission to veterinary school remains highly competitive; be the competition. Additionally, completely explore the profession; there are many non-traditional roles that offer wonderfully exciting career options.