Each year the graduating class selects one member who exhibits the qualities of the Gentle Doctor—someone who reflects concern, affection, love and the significance of life for all God’s creatures great and small. Announced during the class of 2020 virtual commencement ceremony, this year’s recipient is Dr. Julia Jordy of Omaha, Nebraska.
“I was very entranced by Dean Risco’s description of the statue,” said Jordy. “I was picturing that in my head and didn’t realize they had called my name until I heard my family screaming. Then I looked at the screen and saw my picture and my name. I was just really overwhelmed. It means a lot. One of my life goals has always been to have a positive impact on any place that I go, any person I encounter, animals included. Because my classmates chose me for this, it affirms that I was able to have that kind of impact on the veterinary school and hopefully not just my patients but also any of the humans that I interacted with. That’s so encouraging and inspiring as I get ready to take on a new adventure with new people and new patients. It couldn’t have come at a better time as far as rejuvenating me to go out to the next step and continue to have that positive impact.”
Jordy knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian.
“I don’t ever remember wanting to be anything else,” she said. “I worked with a lot of very influential and inspiring veterinarians over the years before coming to vet school. Probably the most impactful event happened when I was 15. I was volunteering at my local humane society watching someone do a cat spay. The cat was pregnant. I remember feeling a pit in my stomach as I watched her pull the uterus out. There had to have been six or seven kittens in there. That was the only moment I can ever remember doubting what I wanted to do because is just made me so sad that things like that happen in the profession. At the same time, that solidified to me that’s what I wanted to do because I want to be a part of a world in which we have better educated and responsible pet owners so we don’t have to ever do things like that.”
Jordy got married several years before starting veterinary college.
“We moved around a lot, which wasn’t compatible with me applying to vet school anywhere. Then my husband got stationed here and we were hugely blessed in that this state has a vet school because not every state does. On top of that, it’s a school that after visiting, I realized it felt a lot like home. Nebraska is very much mid-western. Good people, genuine, friendly, family atmosphere no matter where you go and I found that here and I’m so glad for that.”
Jordy has many fond memories of her time at OSU.
“With the classmates that I have being so amazing, kind, generous, encouraging, hilarious, it’s hard to pick one memory. But if I had to pick one, it would probably be when we beat the average that Dr. Tim Snider set for us on a test. Then we got to pick out a Good Will outfit for him to lecture in.
“The biggest challenge was balancing family with school. I never could have imagined the stress and strain that school would put on not just my marriage but also my relationships with parents, friends, and siblings. Trying to make a conscious effort to keep those intact was something I didn’t realize I needed to do until later in vet school. There were definitely some rough moments. They tell you the curriculum will be hard but I wasn’t prepared for the extracurricular impacts.
“Vet school is a lot of hard work and requires a lot of dedication. I think family support is really huge as well. You’ve got to be prepared for that and at the same time, anybody that’s crazy enough to want to work with patients that can’t tell them anything about what’s wrong is probably crazy enough to be able to make it through all the necessary schooling.
“I just want to say thank you to everybody at OSU CVM. Everything that everyone—from the custodians to the clinicians—has poured into us as students. I think that’s never been more apparent than the changes that had to happen because of COVID-19. In particular, I had the same clinician for my last six weeks in clinics. Dr. Danielle Dugat really bent over backwards to tackle online rotations. She had Zoom on her phone and she took us everywhere in the hospital. We visited ICU patients, she live-Zoomed surgeries and took questions. Her commitment, energy and enthusiasm in those last few rotations when we’re all starting to get senioritis was the push I needed to get through to the end. I really appreciate their commitment to try to still give us a case-based clinical experience even though it was all via the Internet. Big shout out to them. I’m really going to miss everybody here.”
Dr. Jordy and her husband moved to San Antonio, Texas, where she works as a small animal veterinarian in a general practice. She also accepted a part-time relief position at a spay/neuter assistance program to give back in a shelter aspect, something she has always wanted to do.
MEDIA CONTACT: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU College of Veterinary Medicine | 405-744-6740 | firstname.lastname@example.org