Black woman opens N. Charleston animal hospital, addresses racial disparities in field
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One Black veterinarian just became the owner of a new animal hospital in North Charleston in a field in which the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates only 2% of veterinarians are Black.
Dr. Kristin Ingram is trying to normalize pet owners seeing someone of color in places like North Charleston where residents are predominantly black.
Ingram said her love for animals kicked in at the age of six since she grew up next door to a veterinarian in Virginia. She went on to become a wildlife biologist and finally made her way to Moncks Corner as an associate veterinarian.
Ingram now owns the Animal Hospital of North Charleston and said many of her patients are proud to see a woman of color taking care of their furry loved ones for a change.
She said she hopes being able to expand veterinary services in an area like North Charleston will help her reach members of the community in a way that makes them feel more represented.
“They’re really happy to see that, and I hope I’m inspiring more minority kids that they can do this,” Ingram said. “They can definitely become veterinarians and more. They can own their own practices and make a difference in their communities.”
Ingram said there continues to be a need for more diversity in the veterinary field. She said during her career, she’s seen a shift from men dominating the field now to women. She hopes that change will ignite a push for more minorities to become veterinarians.
The American Veterinary Medical Association said many practices are now working to draw underrepresented minorities in through diversity and inclusion training and diversifying interview panels for open positions.
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