Margaret Ferrell, DVM is Appointed to the ASBVME
Margaret Ferrell, DVM, a veterinarian that performs surgery at Alabama Spay/Neuter, has been chosen to be a member on the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners by Honorable Governor Robert Bentley. “She is well qualified and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the board,” Gov. Bentley’s communications director, Jennifer Ardis says of the Governor’s decision to appoint Ferrell. “Obviously, he was aware of the complaint, but chose to move forward. He has a good deal of respect for her—she is well qualified.”
Dr. Ferrell exhibits myriad of qualities that are expected of an ASBVME member. Let’s take an inside look of why Dr. Ferrell not only makes a well qualified member but also a virtuous leader…
What do you hope to accomplish while on the ASBVME?
Board members have many responsibilities, but ultimately a board member is a servant for the citizens of the state and he or she makes sure that veterinarians are in compliance with the Alabama Veterinary Practice Act in order to help protect the public from malpractice or negligent veterinarians. However, no one can ignore that the state’s four non-profit spay-neuter clinics have been a contentious issue between the ASBVME, the public, and some veterinarians the past few years. I hope to gain a better understanding of the core concerns from all parties and do what I can to give both the public and veterinarians confidence in the ASBVME. I believe that both veterinarians and the public have a strong desire for an amicable solution to be reached.
What would you do for the animals of Alabama, if given $1,000,000?
I would try to fund a state-wide educational campaign targeted at elementary students about the importance of preventative veterinary care and spay-neuter in our companion animals. I would also like to see more prison-shelter pet programs or something similar. Other states have programs where inmates train shelter pets or retired Greyhound racers to make them more adoptable. It benefits both the pets and the inmates. I’m not familiar with Alabama having any programs like that. Additionally, I would set up a scholarship to send Alabama veterinarians to the Humane Alliance in Asheville, NC for those interested in furthering their education in spay-neuter surgery techniques.
What motivated you to become a veterinarian?
Truly, my love for animals. I was coached not to say that in my vet school interview by someone and to focus more on medicine, but for me, it has always been about helping animals (though medicine and surgery intrigue me a great deal also). God made such a wonderful variety of animals and they give so much to mankind. I want to be able to give something back and use my talents to serve them.
What are other causes you are passionate about?
Missions. I want to serve others and lead people to know Christ. It’s challenging though because when you make mistakes, you don’t want others to judge your actions and then reject Christ. I want people to see that I need Christ because I make those mistakes. It is through His grace that I have been blessed to do what I do and I want all the glory to go to Him.
What are your personal dreams or aspirations that could be enhanced by service on the board?
I want to raise my children well and show them how to be leaders. I am an introvert, but my parents always challenged me to step out and be a leader (that is hard for us introverts). I would like to be a good example to them as well as my friends. I want people to be encouraged that you can make a significant and positive difference for others, but you won’t if you never try.
What expectations do you have of the current board?
The ASBVME appears to be very busy and there is much work to be done. I imagine my working relationship with each member will be both cordial and professional. There will be many important discussions and decisions. I am excited to have this opportunity to serve both the citizens of Alabama as well as my veterinary colleagues.
How did you feel when Honorable Gov. Robert Bentley appointed you as a board member?
I was very surprised, but so, so happy! I’m still very excited about it. It feels like your first day of vet school, when you think “I’m going to be a vet! I’m going to be the best one I can be!” Now I am saying, “I’m going to be a board member! I’m going to be the best one I can be!” I am so thankful for Governor Bentley giving me this opportunity and I’m committed to giving it my all and doing the best I can.
They should be honest, humble, compassionate, not too quick to judge, empathetic, have a willingness to serve others, possess good communication skills and be familiar with the Alabama Veterinary Practice Act.