Monday, August 26, 2013

Student again!!!

I have always been fascinated by animal behaviour. It is my true passion in veterinary medicine. This spring I found a board certified veterinary behaviourist, Dr. Diane Frank, who is going to mentor me through my non-conforming residency. Yup, I am going to be a student again!!!!

For those of you who don't know what a non-conforming residency is, I will try to give you the short form of how I plan on accomplishing this. (The proposed program I sent to the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists was 26 pages long!) I will still be practicing general practice veterinary medicine at my hospital; however, Dr. Frank will be coming out once a month for three or four days at a time to oversee my initial cases.

Here's how my caseload works. She will be present for the first 25 cases and then she will be present for 25 of the next 50 cases. There will be varying amounts of supervision as we progress through my minimum of 400 cases. Not only will I be seeing dogs and cats, but horses, birds and zoo animals. This is going to take me about five years. If I were to go to a university with a behaviour residency program it would take about 2 to 3 years. The thought of leaving my patients, clients, work family and, of course, my patient husband, just doesn't work. As well, I will be writing a paper based on research I will be doing that will be published in a peer reviewed journal. I also will find the time to write three peer-reviewed case reports. Once I have completed my program, I will be apply to sit for the boards. This is a two day test (not stressful at all!). Upon passing, I will be board certified in animal behaviour.
Now, during this process, I will still be practicing veterinary medicine as usual. I would likely go absolutely mad if I couldn't. I will also continue to do general medicine once I am a specialist. Being able to help my patients to have a great experience at the hospital is so fulfilling as is helping my scaredy cats and dogs learn to relax.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

PEI generosity

It is has been a bit of a roller coaster week and a half. I absolutely love being a veterinarian but I always feel so helpless when there is something going on with one of my Mom's animals.

Last Thursday my Mom had to take her assistance dog, Tag, to the Atlantic Veterinary College for neurological signs (one eye had started to sink into its socket and a tilt to her head). She ended up getting there later in the day and we knew that being able to find her a hotel room was going to be a challenge. It was Old Home Week on the Island and almost all the hotels were fully booked. On her way to my old vet school, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, my amazing office manager, PJ, did some calling around and found her a room at the Garden Gate Inn.

Mom finally gets there and over the next few hours, in between other emergencies being brought in to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Tag was examined, admitted and a game plan was determined. At nine her time, I received a call from the owner of the Garden Gate Inn. Joan Cumming was wondering if I knew when Mom was going to be arriving as she had to step out. Since I hadn't heard from Mom at that time, she instantly said it wouldn't be a problem. She was going to leave a note for Mom on the door telling her to look in the mailbox for the key to her room!! This is an example of the famous Island hospitality. Mom was at the hospital until 1 am and all she had to do was drive up the street and go to bed.

Through a few emails with Joan, we figured out that I'd worked with her daughter, Karen, when I was a student in Truro, Nova Scotia. Karen is an awesome AHT and taught me many things that I still use today. Joan is also the woman who directed me to the dress maker who made my wedding dress. Such a small world!!!

After six long days, Tag was finally able to come home. Mom will be taking her back to the AVC Monday (tomorrow) for the final test. The moment I found out that Tag was going to be going back for an MRI, I contacted Joan. With that kind of personal service, I knew Mom would be well taken care of during this trying time.

If anyone is ever going to be visiting beautiful Prince Edward Island, I would highly recommend staying at the Garden Gate Inn. I know you will be thoroughly impressed with the service. Thanks again Joan, you are an angel!

Yes, there is a Tim Horton's right beside the Inn! Yet another plus for this Tim's addict!