She was just 18 years old when she boarded a plane in France and headed across the Atlantic Ocean to her destination more than 5,000 miles away.
Lauren Ayne’s final stop wasn’t exactly an international travel destination – it was Logan, Utah.
But it was where Ayne, who held dual citizenship in the United States and France, would spend the next six years of her life as she completed her undergraduate studies and first two years of veterinary school at Utah State University.
A student in the Washington–Idaho–Montana–Utah (WIMU) Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine—a partnership between Washington State University, the University of Idaho, Montana State University, and Utah State to train future veterinarians—Ayne (’17 DVM) completed her final two years of her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in Pullman.
“My uncle is a professor at Utah State, otherwise I would have never known about Utah,” Ayne said. “When you make such a big move across the world, it is nice to have some family around.”
Twelve years after arriving in the U.S., Ayne recently started a one-year internship specializing in diagnostic imaging at WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She works and trains alongside the faculty on WSU’s diagnostic imaging team, including Drs. Ashely Hanna, John Mattoon, Greg Roberts, and Thomas Wilkinson.
With advanced imaging technologies – of the same caliber found in modern human hospitals – and highly trained and experienced staff, the diagnostic imaging team supports nearly every hospital service in helping to diagnose patients and develop the best treatment plans.
Being a veterinarian is fulfilling a lifelong dream for Ayne, who spent her teenage years volunteering at the local humane society.
“I always knew I wanted to be a veterinarian – there was no other option,” she said. “That was the plan, and it happened.”
Following graduation, Ayne worked in general practice and emergency care roles for four years at a 24-7 veterinary practice in Utah.
“I learned a lot, but I always had radiology on my mind,” Ayne said.
That interest runs in the family, as Ayne’s grandfather in the U.S. was a radiologist, only he practiced on humans.
Ayne enjoys how the diagnostic imaging staff works closely with other departments throughout the veterinary hospital to better care and serve patients, like when her team performed a CT scan on a dog that had been mysteriously declining for months. The scan led the dog’s care team to determine the animal had a stick lodged in its thorax. The dog was successfully treated with surgery.
“This dog had been living that way for so long,” Ayne said. “So many services came together to help this dog get better.”
After her internship ends next summer, Ayne plans to apply for a residency to continue her specialty training.