1. What inspired you to become a veterinary
I always felt that I'd rather know a lot about a little than a
little about a lot. Also, the teachers I had in vet school and
during my internship were very inspirational.
2. What was the best academic/professional
advice you ever received?
That's a hard one…. I guess I'd have to include the
"If you hear hoof beats, it's probably a horse not a zebra"
"Common things occur commonly"
"There's no such thing as an idiopathic disease"
3. What was your most memorable experience
as a veterinary student, intern, or resident?
I will never forget my first case as a veterinarian… Her name
was "Babe" and she was a pointer with nasal fibrosarcoma. We missed
the diagnosis initially and subjected her to a miserable and
aggressive treatment for fungal rhinitis. I cried the day we got
the true answer.
I will also never forget being made to go through the biohazard
waste in surgery prep when I was an intern, looking for a piece of
stomach tissue which the surgical resident wanted submitted to the
path lab but which had somehow got lost. It was a Friday evening
and I just wanted to go home. All the stinky and bloody surgical
waste had been dumped in to a huge garbage container and I had to
sort through the whole thing. I never found the stomach...
4. What would you advise a student
interested in pursuing specialty Board certification?
Several points come to mind:
a. Grades matter, and it's hard to make up for a slow start in vet
school. So, pay attention and work hard from the outset as it's
almost impossible to overcome mediocre grades from the first few
b. Get to know your clinical teachers as early as possible, as
they are the ones who write your recommendations. Ask questions
after class, participate fully in any interactions, show that you
5. What part of your work do you enjoy
most? What part would you consider the most challenging?
I enjoy teaching small groups of students. Morning rounds can be
the best part of my day, especially if someone clearly gets
something they never quite understood before, or begins to think
like a doctor.
The most challenging is dealing with a group with very mixed
interests and abilities. It is hard to engage every one if the
group is disparate.
6. What kind of pet(s) do you
I have a DSH cat - 12 years, female (s), absolutely gorgeous,
I have a black mouth cur (sort of) - 2 years, male (n), absolutely
fabulous, called Texas
7. What activities do you enjoy most in
your spare time or while on vacation?
I like to sew, work in the garden, exercise (walk, ride my bike,
play bad tennis) and cook.
8. What makes a good
A good veterinarian is smart and able to think on his/her feet.
A great veterinarian combines those smarts with kindness to people
and a true love of animals.