Celebrating Black History Month with Dr. Blue from The Vet Life
We spoke with Dr. Diarra Blue about how The Vet Life has provided visibility and inspired minorities to pursue veterinary medicine.
As one of the three stars of the Animal Planet series, The Vet Life, Dr. Diarra Blue knows how rare it is to be a tv celebrity. But what could be considered even more rare is being one of the few black veterinarians in the United States.
Dr. Blue, along with his colleagues Drs. Aubrey “AJ” Ross and Michael Lavigne, know The Vet Life is there for more than just entertainment. The show also serves as inspiration.
“It makes us want to be better than we are, to provide a positive image for people and their friends,” said Dr. Blue. “I feel that portraying friendship the way we do allows for others to be inspired to love and trust within their circle of friends and family.”
All three vets are alumni of Tuskegee University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, which is responsible for more than 70% of black veterinarians produced in the United States every year.
But with only 30 vet schools in the United States, admission is incredibly competitive. According to Blue, black vets and students comprise only 3% of the profession. A crucial step towards increasing that statistic is raising the number of minority doctors, medical students and medical professionals in leadership positions. The Vet Life helps bridge the gap.
“I take a huge amount of pride in representing what I believe is one of the most important, elite, difficult, loving and intellectual professions that exist. I feel that I have an even greater responsibility to my beloved, profession being veterinarian from the great Tuskegee University,” said Dr. Blue. “Add being Black on top of that, just shows how much more responsibility I have and how important my journey is.”
The celebration of black excellence doesn’t end with the conclusion of Black History Month.
“I am a firm believer that Black History month is a bonus, and focus point for my history, however, black history is American [and] world history,” Dr. Blue said. “So though this is celebrated in the month of February, in actuality it should be celebrated, studied and taught every day, just as the accomplishment of Black people are seen, used and appreciated daily.”