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Field Leader Champions Local Veterinarians in Sacramento

Dr. Debora Pettit, DVM, is passionate about pets, the people who care for them, and her community. As interim Director of Veterinary Quality Dr. Pettit spends her days supporting veterinaries in the Sacramento region, both in and outside of Banfield. We caught up with her to learn more about her typical day at Banfield, her work supporting the community and her favorite activities in the Sacramento area. Enjoy!

Can you walk us through your journey with Banfield?

I started with Banfield in 2008 as a lead DVM, with the plan of mentoring other doctors. I then became a Chief of Staff and eventually Area Chief of Staff. Currently, I am an interim Director of Veterinary Quality for the Sacramento market. Community service has always been a passion of mine. With Banfield, I have helped organize fundraisers for the Banfield Charitable Trust (now HOPE funds), including golf tournaments and fun runs, and participated in Stand Down events to support veterans. I am just starting a new project with the Association of Asian Veterinary Professionals (AAVMP) and Banfield to help start student chapters at multiple veterinary schools around the country. 

Outside of work, what are your favorite activities to do in the Sacramento area?

I love to do craft projects, like sewing, crocheting, knitting, costume making, cooking/baking, and woodworking. My favorite thing to do is design and create something new that doesn’t already exist in the world. I also enjoy spending time outside and being in the Sacramento area, and I have the convenience of going to either the coast or the mountains. I love movies and plays and enjoy going to see them with my family and friends. 

What does a typical day look like for you, inside and outside of work?

A typical day at work is spent doing a variety of things to support my team. This can vary so much day-to-day that there is no “typical” day. It can be researching things to help someone, coaching them on how to do or say something, helping with a medical or surgical case, traveling to hospitals to visit and support, or going to events to share what we do here at Banfield to grow our teams. I am also a board member of the Sacramento Valley Veterinary Medical Association to bring together and support all veterinarians in our community.

What do you like about the culture at Banfield?

I love the culture of development. Banfield has always supported me in the ways I needed to grow, both as a doctor (medicine and surgery) and leader. I have learned so much about myself and how to help others through various programs both within and outside of Banfield. It is an ongoing journey, as I can always learn more and continue to develop. 

How does the field support their associates’ health and wellbeing? Do you have any specific practices that are encouraged?

There are so many resources available, which I appreciate because not everyone needs the same thing. I encourage my associates to take their PTO and take breaks away from work. I try to find the best solution to help each person since there is no “one size fits all” regarding wellbeing. I have encouraged our hospital teams to have a wellbeing champion to help organize and lead them in fun activities and give them a much-needed break in their day. I enjoy participating in the huddles to play games or do stretches. 

What advice to have for those just starting their career in the veterinary industry?

Pace yourself—it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Learn to take care of your mind and body early on and develop good habits from the start. Find a good mentor to support you. Discover your passion within veterinary medicine and when things are hard, remind yourself of your “why.” Be flexible and open to new opportunities. I started in small animal medicine, then ventured into large animal medicine, small ruminant medicine, back to small animal, and now I am in leadership. I could not have predicted this path, but I am happy with where I am now. The journey can take many twists and unexpected turns, which makes it interesting, so don’t get too caught up in what you thought your path would be and just enjoy the ride.

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