Meet Rachel Kanefsky, a second-year DVM/MPH student at Cummings School. She likes to joke that she’s a cowgirl who never touched a cow until college — but once she did, it was off to the races.
Rachel fell in love with dairy science when she was an undergrad student at Virginia Tech. The summer between her junior and senior year there, she went abroad for about 3 months to Senegal to help develop a 4H curriculum for the Senegalese culture. It was that experience that ultimately brought her to Tufts.
“I really enjoyed seeing how much impact livestock has on people’s lives and how important livestock husbandry and care is for developing areas or people in times of crises,” says Rachel. “So, I came to Tufts for the unique International Veterinary Medicine program — as well as for a change of scenery and the awesome people and campus.”
When she’s not in class, Rachel works alongside 30 other students as a technician at the Hospital for Large Animals. She’s involved in everything from medicine to surgery to pathology. “It’s an awesome opportunity to be better prepared for fourth-year rotations,” says Rachel. “And to get to know the doctors so I can really figure out if this is what I want to do in the future.”
Rachel’s dream job is to work with a non-government organization (NGO) and provide veterinary care in underserved countries. She’s also interested in regulatory work through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For now, she’s working on gaining clinical experience and is considering ambulatory work as well.
“I love animals — what vet student doesn’t? But I also love people and I love watching how much better people’s lives are through animals,” says Rachel. “I want to work with farmers to make the food system better, more efficient and healthier for the animals.”
“All areas of vet medicine are important — especially the area that takes care of the animals that end up on your plate.”
Rachel wants readers to know that she’s only where she is today because of the amazing mentors in her life who have constantly cheered her on and encouraged her to push for something more. “I am so thankful for everyone who has helped me get to where I am,” says Rachel. “And for all the big and little things people have done to help me live out my dream.”