Career path always clear for longtime veterinarian

By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer

Cumberland veterinarian Joyce Gifford knew at an early age there was only one career path for her. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



BUSINESS WOMEN

Career path always clear for longtime veterinarian

PBN PHOTO/NATALJA KENT
DOG DAYS ARE OVER: Joyce R. Gifford, Abbott Valley Veterinary Center owner, left, works on “Buddy” as the dog’s owner, Cevyn Rieger, looks on.

By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 1/14/13

Cumberland veterinarian Joyce Gifford knew at an early age there was only one career path for her.

It started when she read “All Creatures Great and Small,” the 1972 compilation of British veterinary surgeon and writer James Herriot’s first two novels.

“I fell in love with the whole notion of being a veterinarian and I really couldn’t be persuaded otherwise,” Gifford said. “It was a very clear plan. That’s not an uncommon thing for veterinarians.”

At the time she was a child growing up Queens, N.Y., and back then her dream was centered on a simple love of animals.

She parlayed that love into securing student loans to be able to earn a bachelor of science degree in pre-veterinary medicine at Rutgers University in 1981, and to pursue a master’s in animal and nutritional sciences at the University of New Hampshire. She stopped short of completing her master’s thesis when her father fell ill, but quickly resumed her studies and earned her doctor of veterinary medicine from Tufts University in 1989.

“When I started taking classes in science and pre-veterinary medicine, I loved the medicine component,’ Gifford said. “I loved the problem-solving and trying to get to the bottom of the animal’s condition and figure out what was going on.”

After completing a 13-month internship in medicine and surgery at the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, she spent a few years working part time in private practices while beginning a family.

While her sons were still toddlers, she decided to open her own practice.

Eighteen years later, she employs 16 doctors, technicians and staff at Abbott Valley Veterinary Center.

But it was far from easy.

Gifford said that in getting her business going, she encountered a lot of resistance from banks unwilling to lend what she needed. She found solace and help in the Rhode Island Small Business Administration, receiving a direct loan – and plenty of coaching advice – from them.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Join PBN and two panels of successful female executives, business owners and entrepreneurs as we delve into what women should do to advance their careers, and become leaders in the corporate world and their own enterprises.
  • Book of Lists Party
    Save the date - January 15, 2015 for PBN's Book of Lists Party at the Providence ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement