Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) veterinary students Michael George and Aurash Behroozi are taking advantage of the innovative technologies and learning opportunities presented to them in the areas of radiology and opthalmology while on their fourth-year clinical rotations at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospitals (VMTH).
When George started his journey in a pre-vet program at Tarleton State University, he never imagined that his love for robotics in high school would translate into his future career in veterinary medicine. But instead of a robot remote control in his hands, he now is looking forward to using a probe to perform ultrasounds on animals.
“If I can have a probe in my hand all day, I’d be happy,” George said.
A veteran who grew up living all over the world, George has a special interest in radiology, and particularly ultrasounds.
In fact, George hopes to learn how to use ultrasounds to make more effective choices in treating various animals, including dolphins and other wildlife. For example, performing an ultrasound on an animal can give George a better idea of how serious a disease is.
“Radiology can be used to stage cancers or look for certain diseases, such as liver or renal disease,” George said. “Oftentimes, you can make a diagnosis without radiology, but you wouldn’t know how extensive the disease is. I think radiology is a really useful tool and it should be used more often to make better treatment choices.”
Though George is now confident he is destined to be a veterinarian, he wasn’t always so sure. After spending a year in the military, George decided to pursue education to become a teacher. However, an experience with his friend’s pregnant dog changed his plan.
“When I first met Blue, she was pregnant and about to have her first litter of puppies,” George explained. “Dogs usually don’t like to have strangers around when they’re pregnant, but she came up and sniffed my hand. We bonded pretty quickly. Then a few days later, I helped her give birth. After that experience, my friend suggested I look into veterinary medicine.”
Since then, George has excelled in his studies and is looking forward to more hands-on learning in his fourth year.
“I want to learn the day-to-day life of a veterinarian,” George said. “I know the medicine, diseases, and treatments, but I don’t know how to apply them yet; that’s what I am really hoping to learn this last year.”
After graduation, George hopes to move north with his wife, Susan, and his daughter, Sophie. He plans to continue pursuing radiology and practice in multiple settings, including clinics and even aquariums.
With his final year ahead of him, he sees the opportunities as endless.
Keeping His Eye on the Prize
Behroozi has a special interest in small-animal ophthalmology, despite his curiosity in many other fields, including dermatology.
“If I could wake up tomorrow and be anything, I’d want to be an ophthalmologist,” Behroozi said.
Though he is the first in his family to pursue veterinary medicine, Behroozi is confident and ambitious. He said these strong qualities stem from his parents who supported him throughout his life.
“My parents molded their children to be determined individuals, to never give up, and always try their hardest,” Behroozi said.
Pursuing veterinary school has been Behroozi’s goal since middle school, when he helped care for a childhood pet with epilepsy.
“It was really hard for me when my dog got epilepsy,” Behroozi said. “It was traumatic, but I wanted to do something about it.”
The event motivated Behroozi to learn more about animals and how to help them when they are sick or hurt; this motivation, along with the support of his family, pushed him to begin veterinary school early, while he was still pursuing his biomedical sciences degree from Texas A&M.
Although it may sound like Behroozi is strictly business when it comes to academics, he said that taking time to destress is important. In fact, Behroozi admitted that some may think he is a little “too relaxed” sometimes.
“I’ve seen a lot of students get stressed out with school, but one of the things I learned in college is that there is so much information and you can’t learn it all,” Behroozi said. “You have to manage the stress and take care of yourself.”
When Behroozi is taking a break from the books, he can be found playing with his miniature Australian Shephard; visiting his girlfriend, who is a first-year medical student; or playing sports with friends.
As Behroozi begins his final year in the DVM program, he looks forward to learning more about ophthalmology and gaining more independent-thinking skills. In addition, he hopes to get more practice and experience in different procedures, such as surgery and making his own diagnoses.
Though he has dreams of practicing out of state, Behroozi plans to practice in Houston after veterinary school. No matter where he goes, Behroozi’s uplifting and confident spirit will guide him toward achieving his goals.