Like Father, like Daughter

Dr. Tim Fleming almost didn’t make it to his interview for the Mississippi State Vet School Class, but he had a great excuse—his six–week–old baby girl, Bailey, was sick with meningitis. But, fortunately, her fever broke and he was able to make it to Starkville just in time. Over the next few years, while daddy studied, Bailey grew up—first learning how to walk and later learning to speak her first words. Classmates were always delighted to see her smiling face when she visited Daddy on campus. She was the unofficial member of the Class of 1995.

After graduation, Dr. Tim relocated his family to northern Mississippi where he later purchased Hernando Animal Clinic. Bailey, a lifelong animal lover, spent her summers working for her father and eventually followed in his footsteps by graduating from MSU’s veterinary college in 2017 and joining her father at Hernando. And if two vets in one family wasn’t enough, Dr. Bailey married her classmate, Dr. Ryan Poling, a week after graduating.

Why It Works

Dr. Bailey says, “I think that working with my dad has been so easy because he has this fantastic ability to mentor without being stifling. He started taking me on farm calls as a child, so the level of training and support he shared, even from such a young age, was incredible. Plus he’s hilarious, so when practice brings rough days, which it inevitably does, he’s always there with a joke and a smile to make everything better.”

Why It Matters

Dr. Tim says “Being in vet school was hard, and when you combine that with juggling the demands of a young family, it’s even more challenging. But, I could not imagine my life any other way.” +