“Learning should not be difficult,” is the motto on which Dr. Pauline Prince has built her career. “The more I understand why, the more I know how to help,” Prince said.
The staff psychologist and coordinator of clinical psychological services for MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine has spent much of her career helping people understand their strengths and needs so that, together, they can develop strategies and skills for effective learning and to create a success plan for a happier, healthier lifestyle.
“It’s no secret that the stress level in the world today has increased dramatically and nearly four decades of data shows the mental health situation in veterinary medicine has become a significant obstacle for students and practitioners alike,” Prince said. “In order to have systematic change that affects all of veterinary medicine, you have to utilize a comprehensive service model,” she said.
Access to psychological services, dedicated to the specific needs of a professional medical school, allows for expedient access to resources to help with the day-to-day stressors of veterinary medicine. Lack of access to these services can contribute to overwhelming depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation that can lead to a premature exit from this career field.
The comprehensive service model Prince refers to includes everything from evidence-based learning and teaching strategies to trauma response. Within the Wise Center, she employs an open-door office policy and welcomes students, faculty, and staff into her office to discuss anything on their minds.
As a board-certified neuropsychologist, Prince specializes in providing therapeutic counseling services to students who are experiencing anxiety and depression and can help them develop strategies for their individual needs in managing academics, as well as life stressors. For the past 30 years, she has grown her expertise in the evaluation of complex diagnostic cases and concussion diagnosis and recovery, and she understands the neuropsychological underpinnings of disabilities, functional implications for learning, social and emotional functioning, skill demonstration and activities of daily living.
“Transitions are difficult, the training and academic demands can be intense, and—albeit very rewarding—the work life of a veterinarian can be extremely stressful,” Prince said. “I’m very thankful that the College of Veterinary Medicine administration has allowed me to become totally immersed in every aspect of daily activities within the college. When I speak with anyone in the building for just a few moments, I touch every person they interact with the remainder of that day. It creates the potential for real change, and I’m grateful for the opportunities to make that difference. This is just the most amazing place to work!”