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  1. Animal Health Literacy

Dr. Karen Sussman

Veterinary Medical Officer
Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation

1. Why did you become a veterinarian?

I love horses and have always enjoyed caring for them in addition to riding, competing, and teaching riding lessons. I became a veterinarian because it’s a profession where science, animal husbandry, and public service converge. As a veterinarian, you can care for animals you love, help educate animal owners and producers, and impact public health and animal welfare every day.

Dr. Karen Sussman
Karen Sussman

2. What made you want to work for CVM?

CVM is a place where, as a veterinarian, you can have a broad impact on animal welfare and public health.

3. What is the best thing about being a veterinarian for CVM?

There are many enjoyable aspects about being a veterinarian for CVM. It’s a collegial work environment where I’m able to continually learn about scientific and medical advancements and also work as part of a team to solve complex problems related to the accessibility of safe and effective animal drugs.

4. What does the veterinary profession mean to you?

The veterinary profession is a place where compassion and science can co-exist and provide for advances in medical treatments and animal welfare. It’s a very rewarding profession.

5. What is your most memorable moment as a veterinarian?

My most memorable moment as a veterinarian is loading one of my equine patients onto a trailer to return to his family after being part of a team that treated him over several months for an antibiotic-resistant septic arthritis, a tarsal fracture, and laminitis. The entire team, including this very special horse and his dedicated and caring owner, worked together to provide medical and nursing care to help him recover from his complicated medical conditions and setbacks. We used several novel techniques to manage his pain and treat the infectious disease, and there were several diagnostic challenges to work through. As a veterinarian, I learned a great deal about diagnostic and treatment procedures from the case, but caring for this horse was also a significant emotional and personal experience for me.