Dr. Pat Steele

The horn honked, and all the kids in the courtyard brought their pets down to the ASPCA van that came by periodically for pet check-ups.  Pati brought down her favorite turtle, Tom, and watched as the veterinarian examined him. Yup, that was me, and at that moment, I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian to help people. (After maturing a bit, I decided driving in a van with drugs was probably not the smartest thing to do! ) Growing up in NYC, I only had pocket pets, but they were all part of the family.  42 mice (because the pet store didn’t realize they were a couple- so we raised the mice for the store), one alligator (he got out and tried to bite mom so we had to return him- not to be a NYC sewer story!!!), two parakeets and a canary, and three turtles from Woolworths!  Tom did grow to be a 12 inch across young man which we released in upstate NY when he out grew the bath tub.

It was at age eleven that my uncle told me I was not smart enough to be a veterinarian, and while looking for volunteer jobs in college I was told that it was a waste of the states money to educate a woman because I would just get pregnant.  Armed with great will and determination, I took my compassion for the animals and love of people with me on my journey.  After graduating from William and Mary and not being accepted to vet school, I reassessed my career choice and picked veterinary technology. At Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia I completed their two year program in just one and graduated at the top of my class.  This time when I applied to vet school I was accepted to Tuskegee Institute Veterinary School. There I continued the hard work and perseverance I had practiced all along and graduated with High Honors (so there Uncle Bob).  The   Vet Tech degree, allowed me to spend my summers working at veterinary hospitals at full capacity.  I found myself among a wide group of clients from West Virginia, DC, Park Ave in NYC and the horse country of NC.  The one thing they all had in common was the firm bond with their pets and this is what still drives me.  Some of the greatest joy has come from the continued care of a family’s pets through the years.  Having practiced for thirty years in the Annapolis/Baltimore area has given me the opportunity to really get to know my clients and their dear friends.

So that’s what brought me, Dr Steele, to being a veterinarian.  And on the second leg of life, I met my husband, Rance, when his dog was in a tussle with a raccoon.  I  have two children, and of course, a cat- Mo- and a Golden Retriever–Custer.  Ian is 16 and presently at Hereford High, hoping to be an actor, and Dani, who is at Georgia Tech in her senior year of Mechanical Engineering hopes to pursue her career while traveling the world. We enjoy travel (mostly National Parks and Civil War sites- guess which is which  ), photography, and hiking.  Rance is an avid bass fisherman also.  My new passion is week long bike trips, which Dani and I can enjoy together.  And on the bucket list is a cross country bike trip, so if Dr Pat is gone for three months, you will know where she is!