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Learn a little more about the veterinarians and staff at VCA SFVS in our staff spotlight series!

NameViru (Viranjini) Gopisetty, DVM

dr. gopisetty with chibita

dr. gopisetty with chibita

Your position: 2015-2016 intern

Favorite part of your job? Getting to cuddle with all kinds of doggies and kitties! I especially love the old, cranky ones.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I grew up in India and moved to the U.S. in 2004, when I met my husband. I have always loved animals, but it was not till after I moved to the U.S. that I was exposed to really high-quality veterinary medicine. I did research at UCSF for a while before deciding to pursue my one true passion in life and was very happy when I got accepted to the DVM program at UC Davis. I could not be happier with my decision and love every day at work! I hope to someday go back to India to work with the stray animals there and bring back my knowledge and skills to attempt to make their lives a little better.

Viru Gopisetty

What do you most want to gain from your internship at SFVS? I want to learn as much as I can from all the wonderful clinicians at SFVS and really grow as a veterinarian. I truly believe in a holistic approach to animal health care and hope to incorporate that in my day-to-day practice. I am especially interested in the care of geriatric animals and their quality of life.

A patient you’ll never forget? A very sweet miniature schnauzer from my senior year at vet school. He was the best patient I’ve had; he always greeted me with kisses every morning even though he was a very sick boy. Sadly he is no longer with us, but he will always be in my thoughts.

Exciting new developments you’d like to share with pet parents? I have been working with a few veterinarians in the rapidly growing field of physical rehabilitation for dogs. My own dog does rehab every week for her arthritis. I am amazed at the results and would like to put it out there that there are several options for dogs in pain from chronic arthritis other than just pain medications. Some of the modalities I have worked with are cold laser therapy, underwater treadmill, at-home muscle strengthening exercises and acupuncture. I believe that these modalities help to improve the quality of life of senior pets, and it would be great if pet owners could incorporate some of these modalities into the care of their animals.

Any animal companions of your own? A wonderful old lady golden retriever. She is the love of my life (other than my husband of course!).

What do you enjoy doing outside work? I love gardening — I have a little organic garden on my patio. Someday I want to be able to grow my own food and have a little farm with donkeys, goats and of course lots of dogs and cats (all rescues!).

Favorite animal-related activity in the Bay Area? Going to the beach with my dog and hiking in the Marin Headlands.

What book is on your nightstand? Margaret Atwood’s Stone Mattress

Favorite TV show? I am a big fan of British murder mysteries on Netflix!

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Learn a little more about the veterinarians and staff at VCA SFVS in our staff spotlight series!

Name: Andrew Espitia, DVM

Your position: 2015-2016 intern

dr. espitia with sookie

dr. espitia with sookie

Favorite part of your job? Procedures! I love having the chance to work with my hands to repair wounds, place sutures, and search for foxtails.

"On the internal medicine service, we use scopes to visualize and take biopsies of different parts of the GI tract!" -- Dr. Espitia

“On the internal medicine service, we use scopes to visualize and take biopsies of different parts of the GI tract!” — Dr. Espitia

Hometown: Fremont, California

Education: undergrad — UC Berkeley, major: molecular & cell biology with honors; vet school — UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Work background: I worked in SF as a veterinary assistant at the SF SPCA for several years before heading to veterinary school. I also spent some time working in research labs for alcohol addiction in humans.

I actually decided to work in the veterinary field during undergraduate school when a dorm floor-mate and I were discussing careers. We decided to become veterinarians on a whim! That floor-mate since became a human nurse, but I stuck to the plan and I’m so happy with where I am now!

What do you most want to gain from your internship at SFVS? Confidence with my medicine to provide the best and most practical care for my patients and their owners.

What does your work day entail? It varies with what service I’m on: It can range from seeing stacked ER cases to helping with surgeries to going out to the community to provide basic veterinary care for pets of the homeless.

Your work-related super power? I wish I could make several copies of myself so I could be in multiple places at once — that would be amazing!

Any animal companions of your own? I have an 8-year-old female spayed border collie at home who loves to sit around and watch YouTube with me! We’re a definite match.

What do you enjoy doing outside work? I enjoy working out — I make it a point to frequent the gym every day I have an hour or two free. I’m a big video game nerd and love playing when I get a chance. I also enjoy listening to Korean pop music.

What book is on your nightstand? I’m really bad at keeping up with books — I’m addicted to YouTube!

What’s in your music rotation right now? All Korean pop music

 

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Introducing the “Veterinary 8,” our largest intern class ever. We’ve been thinking we “should’ve had a V8” for a while now (haha) … and we are so happy they have arrived! The V8 interns look forward to working with clients, patients and members of the Bay Area veterinary community during their time here. Read a little about the new interns below:

 


 

dr. espitia with sookie

dr. espitia with sookie

1-Dr. Andrew Espitia graduated with his DVM from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. Before vet school, he was a research assistant in various labs at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, and also worked as a veterinary assistant in general and emergency practice for two and a half years at the SF SPCA. Dr. Espitia was vice president of his class at UC Davis and involved with the Feline Medicine Club, Canine Medicine Club and SVECCS. He is interested in emergency medicine and looks forward to working in the fast-paced environment at VCA SFVS. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys exercising at the gym, spending time with his couch potato border collie, and shopping for new and exciting bow ties.

 


 

dr. gopisetty with chibita

dr. gopisetty with chibita

2-Dr. Viru (Viranjini) Gopisetty is a 2015 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Originally from India, she moved the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004 and worked as a research coordinator at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine before she decided to go back to school to earn her DVM. She volunteered at the SF SPCA and the SF Children’s Zoo before vet school. Dr. Gopisetty is passionate about geriatric medicine and shelter medicine, and she hopes to work internationally in the future. In her free time, Viru loves organic gardening, cooking, watching independent movies, and going to the beach with her husband, Sri, and their wonderful golden retriever, Sasha.

 


 

dr. johnston with sid

dr. johnston with sid

3-Dr. Claire Johnston grew up in Humboldt County and attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she received her B.S. in animal science in 2011. She graduated from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2015 and is excited to continue her studies at VCA SFVS and pursue her interest in internal medicine. Not only does Dr. Johnston enjoy small-animal medicine, but she also loves working with cows and horses. In her free time, Claire enjoys baking (particularly cupcakes), hiking and traveling, and she is currently working on acquiring her scuba certification.

 


 

dr. johnston with henry

dr. johnston with henry

4-Dr. Jayson Johnston was born on the sunny island of Guam and grew up in the overcast city of Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington in 2011, where he studied biology and aquatic and fishery sciences. Next was veterinary school, which took him to the greater LA area, where he graduated from Western University of Health Sciences in 2015 with his DVM. Dr. Johnston is interested in internal medicine, ophthalmology, pain management and exotics. Outside the hospital, Jayson enjoys camping, cooking, flipping large rocks in tide pools, cutting his sandwiches diagonally and, most importantly, Sunday Funday.

 


 

dr. rogers with mojito

dr. rogers with mojito

5-Dr. Erika Rogers was born and raised in Lima, Peru, where she obtained her veterinary degree in 2007. She moved to San Francisco in 2008 to continue her education with a focus on small-animal medicine. She was a veterinary technician for a few local practices in the city while working on validating her license through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (AAVSB PAVE). In the unique position of being a practicing veterinarian in Peru, Dr. Rogers only needed to complete one year at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine to obtain her DVM license in the United States. Dr. Rogers has a professional interest in internal medicine, cardiology, dentistry and dermatology, and looks forward to studying these topics while at VCA SFVS. In her free time, Erika enjoys helping her husband develop and promote his start-up company, as well as hiking, wine tasting, and lounging at home with her cat, Jasper, and dog, Mojito.

 


 

dr. silverman with rufus

dr. silverman with rufus

6-Dr. Lauren Silverman is a 2015 graduate of Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine. Originally from Mountain View, she received her B.S. from Cal Poly Pomona with a major in animal science. Dr. Silverman is excited to be back in the Bay Area and to have the opportunity to enjoy and explore the beautiful city of San Francisco. She is thrilled to spend her first year out of school at VCA SFVS to pursue her interests in internal medicine, dermatology and neurology. In her free time, Lauren enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, biking around the city, and admiring the beautiful view of San Francisco from Bernal Heights with her 6-year-old mutt, Rufus.

 


 

dr. wallace with ziggy

dr. wallace with ziggy

7-Dr. Sarah Wallace was born and raised in the great state of New Hampshire (“Live Free or Die”). She attended Lafayette College (“Cur Non?”) in Easton, Pennsylvania, to attain her B.S. in biology. In May 2015, she graduated from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine. In her free time, Sarah enjoys playing with her blind flame point Siamese cat named Sonar, quilting and reading. Sarah can’t cook to save her life but loves Mexican food. Sometimes her dreams are set to the theme song from the show Twin Peaks, and, someday, she would like to ride a bike down US-1 from Maine to Florida if she can find a comfortable enough bike seat.

 


 

dr. wong with tiramisu

dr. wong with tiramisu

8-Dr. Jessica Wong was born and raised in beautiful San Francisco. She attended UC Santa Cruz, where she received her B.S. in neuroscience and behavior. She got her start with animals while volunteering at the local zoo and shelters before heading down to LA for veterinary school at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Wong is excited to continue her studies at VCA SFVS and pursue her interests in emergency medicine, shelter medicine and exotic companion animal medicine. In her free time, she loves cooking, baking and trying new foods with friends. She also enjoys hiking with her furry friend, Tiramisu, or relaxing at home with her ball python, Egg Tart.

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Our 2014-2015 intern class has arrived! We are excited to have them at VCA SFVS for their internships, and they look forward to meeting and working with clients, patients, and members of the Bay Area veterinary community during their time here.

2014-intern-collage

You can read a little more about our six new interns below:

Mori Afraz, DVM (top left)
Dr. Mori Afraz was raised in Palo Alto and graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014 after receiving a master’s in nutrition from San Jose State University. She plans to pursue a residency in dermatology and has additional interests in internal medicine and surgery. Mori enjoys road trips, sailing, great food trucks, and spending time with her husband, pug and pit bull in their home in San Francisco.

Erika Beck, DVM (top center)
Dr. Erika Beck graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a B.A. in Japanese and Chinese. In 2014, she earned her DVM and International Veterinary Medicine certification from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Her interests include surgery, pain management, exotics and conservation medicine. In her spare time, Erika enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, film festivals and traveling, especially to East Asia. She is excited to be in the Bay Area with her ginger cat, Bento.

Bailey Gage, DVM (top right)
Dr. Bailey Gage is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Kansas and her DVM from Kansas State University. She is excited to be on the West Coast and living in San Francisco with her dog, Norman, and cat, Randall. Her special interests include internal medicine and ophthalmology. In her spare time, Bailey likes spending time outdoors, cooking and trying new restaurants.

Koko Shishida, DVM (bottom left)
Dr. Koko Shishida is a 2010 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Since 2010, she’s been working as a general practitioner in Sacramento, the East Bay and the Peninsula. Originally from Santa Cruz, she received her B.A. from UC Santa Cruz with a double major in biology and feminist studies in 2006. She is thrilled to be returning to her studies at VCA SFVS and to pursue her interests in emergency medicine, internal medicine and dermatology. In her free time, Koko enjoys yoga, dance, weight lifting, and taking in the many sights, sounds and tastes of the Bay Area with her 11-year-old terrier mix, Kaiser.

Catherine Stevenson, VMD (bottom center)
Dr. Catherine Stevenson, originally from the suburbs of Boston, received her B.A. in biology from Boston University in 2010, and her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She loves running, traveling, being outdoors and exploring new cities. She just moved to San Francisco with her cat, Michu, who hails from Ecuador. After completing an internship at VCA SFVS, Catherine plans to work in general practice and emergency.

Emily Young, VMD (bottom right)
Dr. Emily Young spent her childhood overseas in Europe and Asia until returning to the U.S. to attend Tufts University, where she received a B.A. in psychology. She worked as a veterinary technician in the Boston area before heading down to Philadelphia for vet school at the University of Pennsylvania. At the hospital, she is interested in both small-animal internal medicine and emergency medicine. Emily enjoys hiking, camping, cooking, traveling and scuba diving in her free time. She is thrilled to be here on the West Coast with her sturdy companion, Walter the St. Bernard.

Related resource:

 

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Our 2013-2014 intern class has arrived! Here they are with one of our veterinary oncologists, Dr. Stephen Atwater. We’re excited to welcome them to the VCA SFVS team! Read more about the 2013-2014 intern class below.

2013-interns-dr-atwater

Left to right: Kristine Siao, Alice Bugman, Leilani Savitt, Kristen Danielson, Stephen Atwater, Cory Johnson, Emily Adamson, Allegra Roth

EMILY ADAMSON, DVM
Dr. Emily Adamson received her B.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007. She worked as a zoo and wildlife trainer and educator in L.A. for two years before returning to school. In 2013, Emily earned her DVM from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Special interests include surgery, neurology and exotic pets. In her free time, Emily enjoys running, hiking, snowboarding and traveling. She is happy to be living in SF with her dog, Bobsy, and cat, Ellie.

ALICE BUGMAN, DVM
Dr. Alice Bugman graduated from Stanford University in 1999 with an A.B. in English with honors and was a web developer for 10 years in New York City. She received her DVM from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013 with a focus on small-animal and aquatic-animal medicine. Her interests include surgery, anesthesia and fish medicine. Alice enjoys film and theater, hiking, traveling, running, scuba diving, and the culinary arts. She has a cat named Aurora and a little brown dog named Bogie.

KRISTEN DANIELSON, DVM
Dr. Kristen Danielson is originally from the Washington, D.C. area and moved to San Francisco with her goofy St. Bernard named Portia, who is also her favorite jogging buddy. Kristen studied business before vet school and really enjoys the social responsibility and leadership aspects of veterinary medicine. She loves traveling, especially to Southeast Asian countries. Kristen has tons of hobbies (running, finding live music, horseback riding, roller derby, yoga, reading … to name just a few). She is excited to get to know the Bay Area.

CORY JOHNSON, DVM
Dr. Corynn Johnson, a Tulsa, Okla., native, attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University. She plans to pursue a residency in emergency and critical care following completion of her VCA SFVS internship. Cory has specific interests in trauma medicine, analgesia and anesthesia of critical patients. In her free time, she enjoys riding hunter/jumper and dressage horses, camping, attending music festivals, and hiking with her dog, Piper.

ALLEGRA ROTH, DVM
Dr. Allegra Roth was raised in a rural area outside Half Moon Bay, Calif. She obtained her bachelor’s degree at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in animal science and pre-veterinary medicine. Allegra graduated from Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, Calif., in 2013 and is particularly interested in internal medicine and oncology. During her spare time, Allegra is outside surfing, backpacking or skiing.

LEILANI SAVITT, DVM
Dr. Leilani Savitt received her B.S. in psychology and zoology with an emphasis in neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked as a veterinary assistant before returning to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, where she earned her DVM in 2013. She is interested in small-animal critical care, neurology/neurosurgery and internal medicine. In her spare time, Leilani enjoys cycling, traveling, volunteering, and spending time with her two cats, Kellie and Max.

KRISTINE SIAO, DVM
Dr. Kristine Siao was born and raised in San Francisco. She received her B.S. in biochemistry and cell biology at the University of California, San Diego. She went on to earn her M.S. in pharmacology and toxicology at UC Davis, and then graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Kristine has a special interest in anesthesia and pain management, small-animal internal medicine and shelter medicine. In her free time, she loves to explore SF’s dining scene, travel internationally and enjoy the great outdoors.

Learn about the VCA internship program: VCA Careers/Internship Program

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While we are happy to welcome our new class of interns, we are sad to see our graduating class go! What a great group – the VCA SFVS team and our patients and clients will certainly miss them. We thank Abby, Lindsay, Echo, Vanessa and Karen for all their hard work and wish them the very best in future endeavors.

Left to right, at the recent graduating intern picnic:

Abigail Stanger, DVM
Lindsay A. Manice, DVM
Echo Love, DVM
Vanessa Reeves, DVM
Karen Truong, DVM

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vca sfvs 2011-2012 interns (l to r: allison, sarah, kelby, elyse, sam, heidi)

Each summer, VCA SFVS welcomes a new intern class – graduates of top veterinary schools from around the country who want to pursue advanced postgraduate clinical training.

Our new intern class looks forward to meeting VCA SFVS clients and their pets, as well as working with our referring veterinarians! This year’s intern class includes:

Elyse Hammer, DVM
Elyse grew up in northern California. She started working as a vet tech in high school and got her bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of California at Davis in 2007, before being accepted to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She is especially interested in internal medicine and emergency. In her spare time, she enjoys running and spending time with her fiancé and cat, Nyla.

Heidi Holley, DVM
Heidi is originally from Colorado and Wyoming, but has lived in Germany, Boston and Wisconsin prior to moving to San Francisco. Heidi received her B.S. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2007. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. Heidi is especially interested in internal medicine, emergency medicine and neurology. She enjoys traveling, reading and hiking, as well as spending time with friends, family and her two cats, Felix and Liesy.

Sarah Hughes, DVM
Sarah grew up in Mount Prospect, Ill. She received a B.S. in animal science and her DVM from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Sarah is interested in pursuing a residency after completing her internship. In her free time, Sarah enjoys baking and cake decorating, knitting, reading, playing with her cat, and exploring San Francisco with her husband.

Samantha Keat, DVM
Sam was born and raised in central New Jersey. After high school, she took a year off to travel to Costa Rica and volunteer for the national park system doing turtle conservation work. She went to New York University, where she majored in Africana studies with a concentration in Swahili. She minored in chemistry and biology while she fulfilled her prerequisites for veterinary school. She graduated from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in May 2011. She is interested in exotic pet medicine, ophthalmology and oncology. Sam is looking forward to spending a year in San Francisco before moving back to the East Coast.

Allison Ong, DVM
Allison received her B.S. in animal sciences from the University of Hawaii in 2004. After working as a research assistant for several years, she decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and attended Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Originally born and raised in Honolulu, Allison ultimately wants to be a general practitioner and return to the island of Oahu. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking and exploring new places.

Kelby Simison, DVM
Kelby received a B.A. in chemistry from Mills College and an M.S. in polymer chemistry and engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi. She received her DVM from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Kelby’s goal is to become a general practitioner with interests in pain management, dentistry, dermatology, surgery and emergency medicine. When not at work, Kelby enjoys watching films, reading, dance and exploring San Francisco. She shares her space with her Chihuahua and teacup poodle, while her llamas, cats and Scottish deerhound live at her family’s country home.

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