Meet the Class of 2024: Cody Yeik

Fourth-year veterinary medicine student Cody Yeik poses for a photo after giving a dog an exam on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman. (College of Veterinary Medicine/Ted S. Warren)

Once Cody Yeik earns his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University, he will head back home to Bremerton, Washington, to work alongside one of his lifelong teachers – his dad – at Alder Trail Animal Hospital.

“The human-animal bond is very important and crucial to many of us,” Cody said. “Working as a veterinarian enables us to not only preserve but strengthen that bond.”

Cody plans to expand the family-owned small animal general practice to incorporate emergency medicine as well as other avenues of veterinary medicine.

That wasn’t always the plan. After earning his criminal justice degree from WSU, Cody was all but enrolled in law school.

“I took a gap year before enrolling in law school, then found out law was not the career for me,” Cody said.

He later re-enrolled in college and completed his veterinary school prerequisites at a local community college in western Washington.

Cody said he was always drawn to veterinary medicine.

“Veterinary medicine is one of the very few careers that I truly consider a jack of all trades. As a veterinarian you are not restricted to one certain aspect of medicine, nor do you see the same cases day in and day out,” he said. “Being a veterinarian enables you to help both the patient and client alike.”

Cody said both Dr. Rick Debowes two-week veterinary practice management rotation, which provides students financial and business management education, and Dr. Rance Sellon’s clinical problem-solving elective, which tasks students with solving complex medical cases, have prepared him for his career as a small animal general practitioner and clinic owner.

“Students can enroll in Dr. Sellon’s clinical problem-solving elective to work up complex cases and collaborate with one another to solve the puzzle, something that we will be doing multiple times every day when we are practicing veterinarians,” he said. “Additionally, Dr. Debowes has a two-week rotation in which students are able to step away from the medicine and focus on the financial aspect of veterinary medicine. During this rotation you observe a hospital, examine their financial records and implement strategies that could hopefully enable the clinic to become more functional and more financially stable.”