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Career Spotlight: Hélène Marie Desanti Consoli

Published on: Jul 11, 2023

desanti consoli career center

This is the latest in a series of interviews with Board-certified veterinary specialists of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) to share insights, knowledge and expertise about career opportunities, growth and development. Today we hear from ACVIM Large Animal Internal Medicine Specialist and early career Diplomate Dr. Hélène Marie Desanti Consoli.

Dr. Desanti Consoli is a newly Board-certified specialist in Large Animal Internal Medicine. She attained her veterinary degree from ESFA, Véritas University, in her home country of Costa Rica. After working in equine practice, she concluded two 1-year equine internships at the University of Saskatchewan and Massey University. She then completed her advanced training with a large animal internal medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, Dr. Desanti Consoli works at the Equine Hospital of the Veterinary School of Oniris, France. In her free time, she dances all styles of bachata and spends time in nature with friends. She enjoys hiking through mountains and the rainforest, where she likes photographing wildlife.

What inspired you to become a Board-certified veterinary specialist?
My goal to provide high-quality care to my patients inspired me to become a Board-certified veterinary specialist. Meanwhile Veterinary School, books, and private practice offered limited resources to answer all the questions my inquisitive brain had. I wanted to surround myself with knowledgeable minds, unique experiences, and challenging situations that provided the means to find those responses. 

Are there any resources or pieces of advice that helped you along the way? Is there any advice you would specifically give to job seekers? 
I learned that it is equally important to be there for your patients as it is to take care of yourself. Thus, I encourage you to make yourself a priority. Validate your emotions. Invest time in self-care and having a support system. Take time to celebrate your achievements. Exercise, eat nutritious foods, keep hydrated, and promote an assertive attitude. Invest in building a happy life outside of work. Do not feel afraid to speak with someone if you are overwhelmed. 
Job seekers aim to find a position that brings joy, and has a supportive and collaborative team. The job should inspire and allow you to keep growing. If needed, look for assistance writing the CV and cover letters, interviews, and negotiating the details of the position and compensation.  

Is there a story or experience that stands out in your mind that reaffirmed your decision to work in specialty veterinary medicine?
Since I was 4 years old, I wanted to cure animals. Hence, working in specialty veterinary medicine has been a clear path to follow. My career lets me combine passions. I treat animals, I share knowledge, I can do research, and I collaborate with multidisciplinary professionals influencing a global well-being. 

What is something you wish the general public knew about veterinary specialists? 
I wish the general public knew the difference between a veterinarian who usually works in an area of medicine and a specialist veterinarian who pursues advanced training. Board-certified specialists have invested many years of study, work, and sacrifices to achieve the highest degree in veterinary medicine. 

How is specialty veterinary medicine paving the way for advances in veterinary science?
Specialist veterinarians provide advanced expertise and diagnostics to patients who are suffering from challenging illnesses. Moreover, we are the leading force in veterinary research and scientific publication, which contributes to the practice of evidence-based medicine. Additionally, often Veterinary Specialists collaborate with human physicians to facilitate global well-being.

What does a typical workday look like for you?
A regular day includes inpatient hospital rounds, followed by didactic topic rounds for students based on hospitalized cases. Re-evaluation and diagnostics of patients, referrals, and emergencies. Late afternoons include discharge records, journal clubs, and attending student clinical case presentations. Finishing the day with the transfer of hospitalized cases to the night team. 

What do you consider one of your career successes? How did you achieve it?
Definitely achieving board certification has been one of my major career successes. Furthermore, it is rewarding to be in a position where I can inspire students to dream big, work hard, and get out of their comfort zone. I am grateful for the opportunity to influence them to pursue advanced training programs.

What do you consider a challenge you’ve faced in your career? How did you overcome it?
The path has been full of adversities, yet, suffering discrimination has been the most challenging one in my career. In general terms, I have suffered sexism and racism. I managed to overcome many battles by being resilient, adaptable, persevering, and maintaining a positive attitude. Regardless of the cause of discrimination or personality traits. Having a support system is essential to navigating this type of situation, and I have been immensely lucky because my family and friends have been there for me unconditionally.

What impact has the ACVIM had in shaping your career?
The ACVIM had made it possible to become a Board-specialist veterinarian. I am grateful to all the persons that have had a role in developing the residency programs that certify all of us get the best quality training. Special shout to the Certification and Accreditation Specialist team for all your support and guidance. 

What advice do you have for those aspiring to become Diplomates? 
Dear soon-to-be Diplomates, remember to be kind to yourself, feel proud of how much you have gained so far, and make sure to embrace the experience. Do not feel afraid to reach out if you ever feel the need. 
Finally, what is something unique about your career, or career path?
My career path has been special because I have had the luck to travel around the world, experience different cultures, and connect with diverse people while acquiring specialized knowledge.


Learn more about the ACVIM and ACVIM Diplomates >>