Scott Dee, DVM, knew he wanted to be a veterinarian at age 5.
“I still remember the exact spot in Rochester, Minn., where my dad told me, ‘You should be a vet,’” Dee says. “I loved dogs, so I thought that was a great idea to be a doctor for dogs. It just made sense to me.”
Dee grew up in Rochester – the home of Mayo Clinic. He went to Rochester Mayo High School and then Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, where there was a strong pre-health, pre-vet, pre-med program with tough competition to help sharpen your skills, Dee says.
Although he did not have a background in agriculture (and applied three times to get into veterinary school), he never gave up on his dream.
“My backup plan was going to grad school to study microbiology,” he says. “Then, I met Al Leman, Tom Molitor and HanSoo Joo, and they got me into pigs. I knew I was in for life after meeting the crew on the third floor of the vet school.”
Dee immediately started working on farms as much as possible to get experience. But he soon learned that no one cares where you came from in the swine industry. “If you have a good work ethic and good ideas to provide new thought that will help people, it doesn’t matter where you started,” Dee says. “Pork producers are interested in trying new things, especially if there is data behind it.”
Dee encourages young people interested in veterinary medicine to figure out what they are passionate about in life.
“This is an exciting time to consider a career in veterinary medicine,” Dee says. “With the world population increasing as it is and the need for safe food, there will always be a place for veterinarians and bright minds that are quick to think and adapt.”
Dee serves as the Director of Research for Pipestone Veterinary Services and conducts research in PRRS virus transmission and biosecurity.