Home > Blog > January 2021 > Alumni Spotlight: Leanna Chaffee

Alumni Spotlight: Leanna Chaffee

Posted: January 22, 2021 by Kasey Bowser
 


Leanna Chaffee graduated from our Las Vegas campus Veterinary Assistant program in 2016 then went on to earn her Veterinary Technician associate degree at our Aurora, CO campus in 2017. Since she was a little girl, she always wanted to work with animals but didn’t have a plan. Check out her story below and how being a Pima Medical graduate runs in the family.
 
“I was a high school drop-out and didn’t really care or know what I wanted to do with my life. As a little girl, I always thought I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I had no plan. My mom, who had attended Pima Medical Institute’s Dental Assistant program years earlier, suggested I check out their Veterinary program. I visited the Las Vegas campus and talked to an advisor who laid out a plan for me. He told me I needed a high school diploma to apply, which became my motivation. On my 18th birthday I tested out of all my high school classes, got my diploma and enrolled in the Veterinary Assistant program, all in one day.

I loved my experience at Pima Medical! I remember taking an anatomy class and feeling like I had found my place. For my externship, I was placed at an animal hospital where I was later hired. I really enjoyed my job, but after 6 months, I moved to the Denver area. As soon as I arrived, I enrolled in the Veterinary Technician (VT) program at the Aurora Campus to continue my education. My amazing instructors cared so much for me as a person, it felt like family. 

My VT externship was at the University of Colorado, which turned into my current job, to work with animals used in biomedical research to improve the lives of people. There are 22,000 cages (mice, rats, pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs and sheep) and all are used to advance medical research. My role is to oversee animals, address medical issues and assist in surgeries. I love talking with researchers and I learn more every day! We do cardiac research with our pigs, so down the road, I am considering using my animal background and becoming a cardiac surgeon to help with future cardiac research. 

Pima Medical has REALLY changed my life and I’m so thankful!” 

At Pima Medical Institute, you can begin your career in as little as nine months. With hybrid learning environments and hands-on experience in clinical settings, you will graduate ready to hit the ground running.

Learn more now.
 
 
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