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Ep 158: The Making of a Mentor, with Dr. Sydney Pokard

Episode Details

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

For this week’s episode of That Vet Life Podcast, Dr. Moriah is joined by Dr. Sydney Pokard to discuss her mentorship experiences in her first job – both the positive and negative aspects of it – as well as how mentorship helps to position yourself for success in the veterinary field.  

Dr. Sydney Pokard is a veterinarian in Southern California who specializes in exotic and small animals. Dr. Sydney entered practice right away after earning her degree in veterinary medicine from the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. She also joined the staff of a nearby zoo and worked with small animals, exotic animals, and wildlife. 

Dr. Pokard has enjoyed working with numerous endangered species while traveling the globe and practicing veterinary medicine. Her passion for the profession influenced her to become a mentor to young veterinarians. By serving as a reliable resource for exotic medicine when it isn’t taught in school, she motivates and encourages veterinary students and other emerging veterinarians who are eager to treat exotic animals.

Listen in as Dr. Moriah and Dr. Sydney discuss their mentorship experiences while offering helpful suggestions for recent graduates and veterinary students seeking the right mentorship.


  • [01:13] Dr. Moriah begins the episode with a short introduction of Sarina Manifold. 
  • [02:05] What the mentorship experience was like while at vet school.
  • [05:25] We hear Dr. Pokard’s experience with mentorship in her first practice, highlighting the challenges she encountered and the help she received from the staff.
  • [08:15] Talking about the communication aspect of mentorship, Dr. Moriah and Dr. Pokard discuss how to convey your expectations and needs as a mentee to the mentor and other staff members.
  • [13:45] A short ad break – join Thrive
  • [14: 54] Dr. Moriah and Dr. Sydney discuss the most important question young veterinarians should ask before joining a practice: “Have you had a fresh graduate work here before?
  • [20:30] How the role of mentorship changed during the first three years of Dr. Sydney’s career.
  • [26:45] Both Dr. Moriah and Dr. Sydney Pokard express how happy and proud they feel to be a mentor and see the recent grads grow.
  • [30:05] Dr. Pokard discusses how she uses social media to mentor and inspires young graduate and veterinarian students.
  • [34:18] Dr. Moriah wraps up the episode.


Connect with Dr. Sydney Pokard:

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