Veterinary Medical Officer
Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation
1. Why did you become a veterinarian?
I was studying marine biology as an undergraduate and not sure what I was going to do with that degree. I went home for a summer and volunteered with the Fishes Department at a major aquarium. During my time there, I saw the veterinarian tube feeding a wolf fish and taking care of other sick animals. I realized that there were veterinarians who helped aquatic animals and that I could combine my interest in aquatic animals and marine biology with that of a veterinary degree. So I started taking the courses I needed to be accepted to veterinary school and finished up my marine biology degree.
2. What made you want to work for CVM?
When I was finishing up my internship after veterinary school, I was made aware that CVM existed and I was presented with an opportunity to work on the Aquaculture Drugs Team. I felt I couldn’t pass up the chance to explore another subset of my veterinary career and to continue to use my knowledge of fish health in a slightly different manner.
3. What is the best thing about being a veterinarian for CVM?
The people and the opportunities. I work in a great division, but as a whole, the people at CVM are professional, respectful, and smart. That makes the job worth doing. Additionally, CVM has exposed me to so many other matters including public health, policy, leadership ideas, other animal health industries, and some personal ones too.
4. What does the veterinary profession mean to you?
I’m proud to be a veterinarian because I believe our profession does such amazing and important work. I read about veterinarians who are TED speakers, researchers, policy makers; those who identify and research emerging diseases; and of course, those who take care of all the animals. It’s not always easy work.
5. What is your most memorable moment as a veterinarian?
One of my first cases out of veterinary school, while I was an intern, was when a bunch of snakes in an exhibit fell ill quickly. I triaged the snakes and did the appropriate diagnostic tests. I was able to diagnose a parasite in the snakes’ intestines that was making them sick, get them started on treatment, and outline their care. Not all of the snakes made it, but some made a full recovery. It was memorable because it happened on a weekend while I was working alone (without other vets), and it gave me the confidence to manage a case.