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Vet Student Profiles

Kaitlin Enck

Where are you from? Pennsylvania, USA, but living Melbourne for 3 years.

Which University are you currently studying at: University of Melbourne

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 13/3/2017

Why did you choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies? I am interested in wildlife and zoo medicine, especially Australian Wildlife since it is only found here. I thought this would be a great opportunity to see how to treat Australia's unique animals.

What are your goals for the future? Finish vet school and possible head back to USA to pursue internships and residencies to specialise in zoo medicine or surgery.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital? Kaylee the koala was in ICU for my entire placement, so I really got to see how her treatment plan developed as new obsticles developed. It was also very interesting to see the Loggerhead Sea Turtle being treated for a boat strike wound. As they are massive animals, you don’t get to see them very often.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there? I would advise getting as much varied experience with as many different species as you can during vet school, because it is the best opportunity to gain exposure to treating animals you didn’t realize you may get to treat someday.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets Absolutely, everyone here is so knowledgeable and willing to teach me everything they can so I was able to learn so much.

Deanne Mazzone

Where are you from? Adelaide, South Australia

Which University are you currently studying at: Adelaide University (University of Adelaide)

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 21st November, 2016

Why did you choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies? I have a passion for wildlife and wanted to be able to see how a large wildlife hospital was run and managed and to see what wildlife is commonly presented with and how to diagnose and treat them.

What are your goals for the future? My goals are to finish university and to eventually work with wildlife and/or exotic animals. I also hope to travel to South Africa and volunteer or work with their animals there.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital? Red neck wallaby with gastrointestinal upset. His name was Sir Walter.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there? To take one day at a time and always give everything a go if you get the opportunity to, otherwise, seek the opportunities.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets I have had the best time at AZWH! I did not think I would get as much experience and knowledge out of it than I actually did. The vets and nurses were always willing to show me something new and exciting and I absolutely loved being able to get close and help the vets treat such a variety of wildlife which can be released back into the wild.

Rachel Tsang

Where are you from? Hong Kong

Which University are you currently studying at: University of Qld

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 8th August, 2016

Why did you choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies? Because it's a well set up Wildlife Hospital. For the good amount of case exposure of different species and hands-on experience. Good protocol for Vet Student work experience.

What are your goals for the future?
Save as many animals as I can. Increase public awareness of the importance of wildlife and conservation. Improve welfare of animals. Basically be a good vet!

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital? Exploratory laparotomy in koala named “cap”.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there? Ask as many questions as you can and be enthusiastic and proactive. Try to get as many hands-on experiences as you can as you will definitely learn something from it.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets Yes, definitely. Staff and vets are extremely friendly and helpful. I have learnt heaps from just spending two weeks here.

Nicole Brook

Where are you from: Perth, Western Australia

Which University are you currently studying at: Murdoch University

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 21st September, 2015

Why did your choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has a reputation for being one of the best wildlife hospitals in Australia. The combination of individual patient work combined with disease surveillance and research really excited me and I choose to spend time with AZWH to learn from the best.

What are your goals for the future: My goals are to eventually focus on wildlife disease surveillance and research. I have a really strong interest in research into development of biological control of invasive species especially feral cats. I hope to be able to use my veterinary degree to work with native species breeding programs and conservation management strategies.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital: Evan the Wedge Tailed Eagle. Evan fell into the hands of a member of the public who cut back some of his talons. He is in hospital recovery and will go on to be an educational bird as his injury means he won’t be able to be released. This case highlights the importance of community education from a grass roots level.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: Follow your dreams and your passion. Whatever you want to achieve you can and you don’t need to fit into the box of what everyone thinks a vet ‘should’ do. This industry has so many exciting and different avenues to pursue, chase them!

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets: Loved my time at AZWH! Learnt loads and saw so many amazing species. Definitely feel more equipped to deal with a variety of wildlife as a vet after my experience.

Lucy Smith

Where are you from: Buderim

Which University are you currently studying at: University of Queensland

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 15th – 26th June, 2015

Why did your choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies: I chose AZWH because I am interested in wildlife and conservation. I know the staff & volunteers are very passionate about this and I wanted to be a part of it. I though it would be an interesting experience working with the unique wildlife.

What are your goals for the future: To become a vet that can competently and confidentially treat a range of animals, including wildlife! In the future I would ideally love to work with wildlife.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital: Banana. A female Carpet Python from Maryborough! She was referred to AZWH for having a severely swollen and distended cloaca and suspected retained eggs. Dr Claude did exploratory surgery and removed 7 slugs (immature eggs). The procedure was memorable because it was amazing to see the lengths, compassion and dedication for the patient to return to health.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: Don’t limit yourself to one species, basic principles can be applied cross-species. I think my time here was definitely different from my other prac placements, but, I was exposed to a wide range of cases and it was unique for experience.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets: I have really enjoyed my time here, it is a positive learning environment and the vets and nurses were all happy to teach me thins. It was definitely a different experience, no two days were the same.

Kathryn Bruce

Where are you from: Brisbane

Which University are you currently studying at: University of Queensland

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 4th May, 2015

Why did your choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies: I chose Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital because I am interested in wildlife medicine as well as the care of zoo animals. I wanted to gain practical experience with a variety of wildlife species, in a facility that could offer the animals a high standard of care. I also appreciated that Australia Zoo has such a significant role in wildlife conservation.

What are your goals for the future: I would like to become a Zoo Veterinarian, while also undertaking research that will improve the medical management and conservation of wildlife and exotics. My dream job is to work with big cats or bears.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital: I saw a koala come in that had been hit by car and sustained a collapsed lung and naenothorax. The vets performed multiple chest taps and placed a chest drain to take pressure off his lungs.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: Don’t just stick to one area of the hospital. There is a lot to learn not only from the vets in triage, but also from the nurses and keepers looking after the avian/reptile/koala etc. patients as well.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets: Yes! I saw such a variety of cases and felt very welcomed by all of the staff here.

Anna Sri

Where are you from: South-East Queensland

Which university are you currently studying at: University of Queensland

What date did you start your prac studies at the Australian Wildlife Hosptial: 1st September 2014

What are your goals for the future: To work as a veterinarian in a job that I enjoy while also having time to volunteer at animal welfare organisations and hopefully the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital :-)

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hosptial: Strawberry the green sea turtle, it was great to see her improvement over the two weeks I was on placement from not wanting to eat at all to quickly retrieving a piece of fish she dropped on the bottom of her tank.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: Follow your passion and you will find the work easier and more enjoyable.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hosptial working with our staff and vets: Yes, everyone was very friendly, helpful and knowledgable. It was great to see the variety of animals presenting at the hospital and assist in their treatment.

Michael Franklin

Where are you from: Melbourne

Which University are you currently studying at: University of Queensland

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 21st July, 2014

Why did your choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies: I have always loved wildlife and I knew the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital does some amazing things with the wildlife it helps. Working with wildlife is great fun, constantly presenting new and unexpected challenges in such a variety of species and at the end of the day it is very rewarding.

What are your goals for the future: I am hoping to work in wildlife or zoo medicine.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital: Sparkles and Twinky, the koala mother and joey were my most memorable patients. They were both great to work with and Twinky is so cut, especially when feeling playful.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: Make the most of your time as a student, there are opportunities there for you as a student which are much harder to come by once you have graduated.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets: Absolutely. All the staff have been wonderful and involved me whenever possible. It has been great!

Michelle De Ford

Where are you from: USA, Colorado

Which University are you currently studying at: Colorado State University

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 21st April, 2014

Why did you choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies: I am very interested in global wildlife, especially where humans and wildlife come together. This seems to bring about unique issues dependent on culture, species and problem ( eg. Predation, habitat, destruction, disease). These medical issues are of particular interest as well as the systems different cultures put in place to manage them.

What are your goals for the future: I hope to work full time in global wildlife projects. Although due to the difficult nature of funding these positions, I will at lease continue to volunteer globally where I can until I can find a position full time. Until then, likely small animal or mixed animal practice.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital: Jack the orphan koala, neurological (among other things) and Jemma the Sea turtle! They will forever remain special to me!

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: Come with an open mind and a willingness to help wherever you can. If there is something you want to do, no matter where you go, just ask! Otherwise you will never know if it is something you could have done or really enjoy doing!

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets: Absolutely! All of the staff have been incredibly willing to teach and share what they know. Thank you to everyone for accommodating changes in my schedule and involving me in medical and daily activities! Thanks again everyone!

Emily Ryder

Where are you from: Melbourne

Which University are you currently studying at: University of Melbourne

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 2nd March, 2014

Why did you choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies: Having a strong interest in wildlife and conservation, AZWH was an obvious placement choice for me to learn and get quality experience treating Australia’s native animals.

What are your goals for the future: I am not sure exactly where I will end up, but in general my goal is to apply my veterinary training to the best of my ability and to not be daunted at the prospect of treating any species of animal in need of veterinary care.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital: All the patients were memorable but special mention goes to Gemma the Green Sea Turtle, George the Sacred Kingfisher and Dobby the Green Tree Frog – I wish them a speedy recovery!

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: As a vet student, I think it’s important to be enthusiastic about taking any and every opportunity to be involved and help out and to not underestimate how much can be learned from the nurses.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets: Of course! It has been a really unique and valuable learning experience.

Juliane Dreher

Where are you from: Germany (Berlin, Germany)

Which University are you currently studying at: Freie Universitat, Berlin

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 20th January, 2014

Why did your choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies: The AZWH provides great hands-on experiences in their student program and one gets the unique opportunity to deal with and learn about Australian wildlife.

What are your goals for the future: I would like to broaden my knowledge about wildlife medicine regarding different assessment methods and treatment options as well as animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital: During my time at the AZWH I got quite fond of “Nevoda”, a 5 year male koala. Due to severe conjunctivitis, Nevads’s corneas are scarred so that his vision is fairly bad. He may not be the “prettiest” koala, but he is overall sweet, calm and doesn’t mind company once in a while.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: Enjoy the large variety of patients and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you like about the different species. This will allow you to help more and get the most out of your placement at the AZWH, as you have a better understanding.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets: Yes! All the vets and staff were very welcoming and accommodating towards all my questions and interests. The friendly and well organized working environment greatly helped me to ease my transition into the AZWH team. It is great to see how much effort is put into every single patient, whether great or small. I learned a lot about koalas, their behavior, demeanor, their different characters as well as ailments and common diseases. I took a special interest the conservation of koalas and hope that I can be part of a research program or even write a dissertation about it to maybe help to maintain and improve the population’s health. I had a fantastic time, gaining not only knowledge, but a new found passion for Australian wildlife. Thank you all so much!!

Chloe Stevenson

Where are you from: Melbourne (via Wagga Wagga)

Which University are you currently studying at: Charles Sturt University

What date did you start your prac studies the Australian Wildlife Hospital: 17th February – 28th February, 2014

Why did your choose the Australian Wildlife Hospital for your prac studies: I am very passionate about wildlife medicine and rehabilitation and the hospital here has such a large caseload of very interesting species and problems. What are your goals for the future: I would love to work as a wildlife or zoo vet, but am aiming for a busy mixed practice in the meantime.

What is your most memorable patient/moment at the hospital: Meeting a bandicoot for the first time, and feeding sea turtles and observing a fishing lure being removed from a pied cormorant.

What advice can you give to other vet students out there: Wildlife medicine’s always changing and adapting so research and reading needs to be ongoing. Volunteering is a great way to get hands on experience.

Have you enjoyed your time at the hospital working with our staff and vets: Yes, very much, I have appreciated being able to observe and ask questions and see so many new animals and procedures.

Rebecca Hadrian

From: Hannover, Germany
Prac Studies: 22nd Oct - 16th Nov, 2012

Why the AZWH?: I thought it would be a great experience to work with such unique animals as in the Wildlife Hospital. I was fascinated by the passion with which the Wildlife Warriors and veterinary staff treat these animals and wanted to experience it for myself. I think to protect wildlife is an honorable task, which I wanted to support in my own vet future.

Goals: My goals are becoming a vet, who cares about wildlife as well. I would either love to work fulltime with Wildlife animals and am very interested in the huge variety and specialties such as behavior and anatomy; or work as a reptile vet, because this species fascinates me the most and would also care about wildlife in my free time.

Memorable Patient/Moment: Little Pegasus, an Eastern Grey Kangaroo Joey. He was found on the side road after his mum was sadly hit and killed by a car and was brought to the hospital by a local vet. The hospital vet Robyn found he had suffered a severe laceration to his face, with x-rays confirming a small fracture on his frontal bone. She cleaned his would and covered his skin with bandages after his sutures came loose due to dying skin. Luckily we could take his little bandages off and send him to a carer, where he can stay until he is grown up.

Advice: Try to do as many different kinds of work experience in many places all over the world. You might see unique animals, meet lovely people and learn lots of helpful stuff for your future! It was one of the best experiences I ever had in my vet student career.

Have you enjoyed your time at the AZWH working with our staff and vets?: I really enjoyed my time here, it was great to work with many completely different species of animals I've never seen before, with their fascinating varieties in behavior, anatomy and strategies of life.

To work with the team in the hospital was great as well. The vets tried to teach me everything as much as time allowed. So I really learnt lots of new skills and consolidated my existing skills. All in all I really enjoyed my time here and I advise anyone who is interested in wildlife to come over to this hospital.