Meet the Veterinary Teaching Hospital team: Connie Fraser

Connie with one of her cats and her dog, Barkley..

Connie Fraser proves it is never too late to realize your dreams. She grew up dreaming of working in veterinary medicine, however, it wasn’t until she was 40 years old that she finally enrolled in veterinary technician school. She has now been helping to care for patients in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Neurology Service for the past eight years.

Connie has been married to her husband, Ed, for 30 years. Together they have one 11-year-dog, Barkley, and five cats, Samantha, 16; Quincy, 15; Redd, 6; and sisters Betty and Wilma, 2.

Quincy, Betty and Wilma are all blind.

What is your typical day like at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?

The bulk of my day is spent working alongside students, house officers, and faculty. I assist them with whatever they need for our patients, everything from performing exams and procedures, obtaining lab samples, scheduling diagnostics to whatever needs to be done to help our day run smoother.

What made you want to work in veterinary medicine and at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?

I’m afraid my answer isn’t much different than most people in this field – I love animals! As a kid I dreamed of being a veterinarian. That didn’t happen, and when I turned 40, I decided no regrets and enrolled in vet tech school. In retrospect, it all worked out the way it should have. I am a caregiver at heart, so my role as a veterinary nurse is where I should be. My clinical externship was here at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, so when the time came to move back to this area, I immediately thought this would be a great place to work.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

The best part of my job is working with the students. It is so exciting to interact with them knowing they are the next generation of veterinarians who will be making a difference in our field. Some of the most rewarding aspects of my job are the hope that I may impart some knowledge/wisdom to the students, experiencing the diverse group of amazing people who work here (you never know what language you are going to hear spoken in the halls) and without a doubt, the patients who we are able to help.

What are your career goals?

My goals are to continue working at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital doing all that I can to help our patients have the best possible outcome while being a productive member of the team. In five or 10 years, I see myself retired and spending as much time as I can with my husband and pets (and maybe volunteering at a local veterinary clinic).

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy working in my yard tending my plants, feeding/watching the local birds, reading, watching my favorite shows with a cat or dog or both curled up nearby, and spending time with my husband and pets.

What advice would you give to pet owners?

Take your pets in for annual wellness exams, love them as much as possible, and always listen to your gut when it comes to their care. You are their best advocate and know them better than anyone!