Career Spotlight: Lucas Pantaleon
Dr. Lucas Pantaleon
This is the first in a series of interviews with veterinary specialists connected to the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) to share insights, knowledge and expertise about career opportunities, growth and development. We begin with ACVIM Diplomate Dr. Lucas Pantaleon.
Dr. Pantaleon is a veterinarian graduate of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, an ACVIM Diplomate in Large Animal Internal Medicine, holds a Master’s from Virginia Tech University and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the founder of DVM One Health which advises on the implementation of strategies to improve animal health. He also practices as a small animal primary veterinarian and is involved in different committees, councils and boards working to improve the health of pets and livestock. These include Co-Chair (and starting in 2022) Chair of the ACVIM Membership Committee and National Institute for Animal Agriculture board of directors. He enjoys researching, teaching, speaking and writing about topics that blend business and science. He lives in Kentucky with his wife and twin daughters.
1. What made you decide to choose veterinary internal medicine as a career and your particular specialty?
I came to Kentucky from Argentina after graduating from vet school to work in a large equine hospital. This was a life-changing experience. Spending time at the internal medicine department and learning from incredible mentors about the care provided to horses made me want to learn more about internal medicine.
2. Name one career success and how you achieved it? What one career challenge did you face and how did you overcome it?
A success was to be able to work as an internist and lead a hospital team in a busy practice in central Kentucky. It was challenging work but I learned a lot along the way and met many interesting people.
I have faced several professional challenges in my career. For example: on my 37th birthday I was let go from my job as an internal medicine specialist, since the management and partners decided to close the department. Having a fantastic supportive family, a hobby (sports in my case) that helped me get my mind off the issue, and trying to keep a positive mindset to learn from the experience, all helped me overcome it.
3. How did the global pandemic affect your day-to-day working life?
Right before the pandemic I embraced the challenge of small animal primary care practice. To me, it has been a learning and humbling experience to be a small animal practitioner. In addition to this I continued to work in my advisory role throughout the pandemic. I have been really busy and I believe that I was able to adapt to these changes pretty well.
4. Where do you see your career path going next?
I like the variety of things that I do today; clinical practice, advisory work and being member of committees and a board. I am always learning something new about different sectors of animal and human health. I hope to be able to continue with what I am doing, to never stop learning and meeting interesting people with whom I can collaborate.
5. What membership benefits or advantages from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine have helped you excel?
One of the main benefits that I used to utilize a lot was the library system to get papers and journal articles. That was discontinued so I currently enjoy serving as a volunteer and am working with a committee to find a new solution for members to access scholarly resources again, among other member benefit and engagement initiatives.
6. What one piece of advice would you share with job seekers or employers?
Career paths are likely to have many ups and downs and unexpected turns. Work hard and enjoy what you do, be open minded and open to change, never stop learning. To me this will prepare you better for changes in your path to success.
7. Is there a particular animal or species you enjoy working with, or that interests you, and why?
I have had the opportunity to work in one role or another with companion animal, equine, livestock and poultry. What I like is that there are things that we can learn and apply from different species (including human medicine) to improve the care we provide to all animals.
8. Finally, what’s an unusual fact about you that people may not know?
I was studying for my MBA and working a full-time job, when my twin daughters were born. You can do anything if you are passionate!