People of USask: Dr. Cody Creelman

Dr. Cody Creelman (DVM’11) is a veterinarian, CEO, and digital storyteller based in Alberta.

Dr. Cody Creelman (DVM’11) is a veterinarian, CEO, and digital storyteller based in Alberta. He attended the University of Saskatchewan (USask) as a veterinary medicine student in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). Since his time as a student, he has opened multiple practices in Alberta under his company Fen Vet.  

Why did you decide to go into Veterinary Medicine? 

I grew up on a farm in northern Alberta and always had animals. We had about 300 head of commercial cattle. My dad was a banker, turned cattle buyer, and my mom was a rancher. And animals were just always in my life. A girl on my school bus said that she thought that I would really love to do a volunteer work experience program at our local vet clinic. So, I called the vet clinic and I swear from the second that I walked into that vet clinic I was forever hooked with the bug that is veterinary medicine.  

Do you have any favourite memories of your time as a vet student?

Some of the fondest memories are trying to immerse myself in the culture that was WCVM. I went to every single large animal rounds at 8 am from first year on. I was one of the first at school to get to see these things. You have this amazing opportunity to go down as a first year and watch these large animal rounds and you see the interns and the residents. And at first it feels like they're speaking a foreign language. But by second year, you’re starting to catch the odd word here or there. And by the time you're in your final year, you're the one presenting at times. So just really immersing myself in that and I think in that the most special thing was the connections with the, you know, with my classmates and the connections with the faculty. 

Can you tell me your decision to start Fen Vet?

Within a couple of years of just putting my head down and working, I was offered a partnership [at a practice] and that was my first glimpse at practice ownership in business management. I ended up very much loving the business aspect as well because it's just part of the industry. I don't necessarily love veterinary medicine per se. I love everything about veterinary medicine. I love the history of veterinary medicine. I love the future of veterinary medicine. I love the politics and the students and the medicine and the surgery and also the business. In 2019, I decided to divest from my partnership and go it alone. To be a veterinarian, to own a veterinary practice, and there was just so many amazing opportunities that I saw that I could implement my skill set and, you know, my ability to be a practice leader and start a new brand.

What advice would you give to a student who is hoping to follow your career path?

I think one of the most important things that I've ever identified is doing the hard thing. I haven't found a thing in life that's good and also easy. Everything that is good in life is really, really hard. Usually, it's directly correlated to the harder and scarier thing that you do, the better the outcome could potentially be. 

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