How Dr. Marie Sato Quicksall stays at the top of her game
As a woman of Japanese heritage, Dr. Marie Sato Quicksall learned early in her career that our profession needed help with diversity. As a student at The Ohio State University, she served as a national president of a group that helped support multicultural students. Early this year she helped formed the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association, with the goal to improve well-being and fulfillment for multicultural people in the field.
Vet Candy connected with Dr. Marie about dealing with stress, enjoying life, and how to stay motivated.
How I stay excited about my job:
Placing a priority on growth has helped me continue to feel fulfilled. I remember looking at my life after graduation and asking “Is this it? Do I just go to work every day for the rest of my life without any changes?” I realized that I needed to strive for something meaningful. So, I started setting goals for my life. Getting involved with the formation of the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association and getting certified in acupuncture are two of my proudest career accomplishments.
How I make decisions:
When I have a difficult decision, I like to consider it from different perspectives. I am a very analytical person. I consider all the possible outcomes.
My ten second stress reliever:
A well-timed, goofy joke can diffuse tension quickly and shift focus.
My power song:
“I Am The Highway” by Audioslave. When I was in undergrad, I volunteered in the medical department at a local shelter. I had several years of vet assistant experience by that time and had just applied to vet school. I was there when a litter of kittens was brought to us, their eyes just starting to open. They needed bottle fed and I volunteered. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t know how to take care of them. When I got in the car to take them home they all started crying loudly. Already one of my favorite songs, “I Am The Highway” came on the CD player in my car. The kittens all immediately quieted and went to sleep. From that moment, I knew that they would all be okay, and they were! Whenever I hear that song, I think of my little orphan kittens.
My advice for this year’s graduating class:
Never stop learning! I’ve been fortunate enough to work with doctors from different backgrounds and they have all taught me something about veterinary medicine. Get to know your staff and learn from them. They also have a lot of experiences to share.
How to best protect your mental health
I find a proactive approach is best. I’ve sought a work environment that supports my lifestyle. I have created boundaries and I take vacation time to give myself a break.
I also make sure to find time to enjoy play ice hockey. I’ve been in love with the sport since I was a child and would spend hours every day at the rink if I could. The physical and mental challenge consumes me helps clear my mind. Everything seems clearer after a game.
My best tips for dealing with difficult people
When dealing with difficult people, I use the same strategies I use with fractious patients. When our patients lash out, we understand that they do so because they are stressed. So, when dealing with a difficult customer, I give them patience and respect. Most people are receptive to a civil conversation if you acknowledge their words and emotions in a calm and caring manner.
How I motive myself to keep a healthy lifestyle
I’m fortunate that many of my favorite activities, like playing ice hockey, are physically active and I get most of my exercise that way. When I work out otherwise, I do it with hockey in mind. The added goal of playing better gives me another motivation to get to the gym. I feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally when I exercise, eat well, and sleep enough. I also make it a routine to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
My advice to my younger self
My advice to my younger self is to continue being true. I’ve spent a lot of my life having people tell me what I should and shouldn’t do, and who I should and shouldn’t be. Be yourself, be your best, and embrace your weirdness. I’ve never fit into the neat boxes others have for people, and rather than being ashamed or embarrassed, I choose to embrace it proudly.
The best advice I was ever given?
My dad always says “Use your brain.” A lot of times it’s in a joking manner, but I think it’s a good way to look at the world. Stopping and looking at an issue with critical analysis and creativity can solve many problems. Whenever I’m getting frustrated, I can hear my dad in my head saying “use your brain” and I stop and try to look at whatever it is in a different way.