- October 2019
Department of Clinical Sciences
Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Years in position: 2 months
Years at MSU: 2 months
After Allison Mooney received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee in May 2018, she started her residency in neurology and neurosurgery at MSU in July 2019.
“This residency is a three-year-long advanced training program,” Mooney said. “My ultimate goal is to become a board-certified veterinary neurologist and neurosurgeon.”
A regular day for her consists of examining patients; evaluating blood work, MRIs and CT scans; formulating treatment plans; and learning how to perform neurosurgeries with faculty members.
“I also get to be involved in training current MSU juniors and seniors studying veterinary medicine,” she said. “I really love teaching and preparing the students to go out into the practice.”
Mooney’s said her favorite part of the job is creating success stories, such as helping dogs walk again or relieving pain for a client.
Her interest in neurology began before she started vet school. Mooney lost her father to a glioblastoma, which is an extremely aggressive type of brain tumor.
“I think it was therapeutic for me to talk to his doctors about his signs, look at his MRIs, his treatment and the surgery; it was a coping mechanism,” she said. “During school, neurology was my favorite subject. I learned I could help animals and potentially people like my dad.”
Mooney’s advice to students interested in this career is to study a lot, make good grades, get involved in research early and develop good self-care habits.
“Understanding how to cope with stress in a healthy manner and taking care of yourself is crucial and so much more important than anything else,” she said.
Mooney said being able to admit when you don’t know something and knowing how to find the answer is immensely important.
“Accept the fact that you won’t know everything and that at some point in time you will make a mistake -- and then learn from it,” Mooney said.