In this enlightening, uplifting VCA Voice podcast episode, Dr. Marie Kerl, VCA’s Chief Medical Officer, interviews Dr. Timbrala Marshall, VCA’s Director, Veterinary Equity Inclusion & Diversity Programs, about the profound importance of EI&D, both in veterinary medicine and in life.
When Timbrala Marshall was just eight years old, her uncle asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. Without hesitation, Timbrala enthusiastically replied, “A veterinarian!” From that moment on, her focus never wavered.
Timbrala studied hard, found scholarships to help pay for college, and made connections in her future profession. Then, after more than a decade of dedication, came the first day of veterinary medicine school at Michigan State University. Timbrala was making her lifelong dream come true.
“I walked in, looked around and realized I was the only Black person in the room,“ she recalls. “In an instant, it transformed my way of thinking. I wanted to get to know my classmates, but also wanted them to get to know me and more about each other.”
That was the moment Timbrala found her true calling – merging her passion for pets with her dedication to diversity and inclusion. Today, Timbrala (aka Dr. Marshall) is the Director of Veterinary Equity Inclusion and Diversity (EI&D) programs for VCA Animal Hospitals.
“In the veterinary profession, we joke that real doctors treat more than one species,” she laughs. “But being able to understand and support diversity also applies to real life, to humans. Embracing our differences is vital. My goal is to create a safe space at work for each Associate to be themselves. I also want to embrace our pet parents’ diversity so they feel connected and comfortable accessing care for their pets. And I want the young people in our communities to feel inspired to be part of this profession because they see others like them represented here.“
Tune in to hear about the top three ways Timbrala is helping VCA create a more equitable, inclusive and diverse veterinary profession and within communities. Timbrala also shares how her team is shaping a bright and inclusive future for veterinary medicine practitioners, as well as pet health.
Listen to the end of the podcast for perhaps the best gem of all … Timbrala’s life advice for anyone starting a career or simply a new phase of life.
VCA Voice is an ongoing podcast series, with a new episode released every other Monday, so be sure to tune in! Find us wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and more. Want to learn more or get involved in VCA’s EI&D efforts? Email Timbrala.Marshall@VCA.com!