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Posts Tagged ‘staff spotlight’

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

Name: Melissa Bucknoff, DVM

Your position: Criticalist

dr. bucknoff with a courageous feline friend

dr. bucknoff with a courageous feline friend

When did you join VCA SFVS? October 2014

Favorite part of your job? I love working with people who love animals.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised on the East Coast, and I’m enjoying exploring SF, my new home. I love to travel and read. An afternoon on the beach with my dogs and a book is my favorite place to be.

What does your work day entail? My days are spent working with critically ill patients that are hospitalized at SFVS, as well as those that come in through the ER. (Learn more about emergency/critical care at SFVS.)

I’m also here to support sicker patients that undergo anesthetic procedures; I assist with pre- and post-procedure monitoring and care. I work closely with the other specialists at SFVS in a collaborative manner to provide the optimal diagnostic and treatment plans for our patients. The days can be unpredictable, which means there is never a dull moment, and always more to learn!

The patient you’ll never forget? The patients I never forget are the ones that teach lessons you can’t find in books and have changed the way I approach the next patient that may have a similar problem. These patients teach me things I can’t hear with just my stethoscope. Often, these are the same patients that have beaten the odds and have a good outcome.

Favorite patient success story? One of the most memorable cases I’ve managed since I’ve been at SFVS was a young cat, who had a string stuck under her tongue. That string had torn through several segments of intestine, causing her to have a grim prognosis and require intensive management for almost two weeks in the hospital. Against the odds, she went on to make a complete recovery, which is a testament to what the right amount of dedication from owners and medical caregivers can accomplish. On paper, this cat shouldn’t have survived. This case also brought every one of her doctors, nurses and support staff together as a team.

Your work-related super power? I’m told I am able to maintain focus in a crisis, and I do enjoy multitasking in the midst of a busy work environment. But I don’t wear a cape or anything 😉

Any animal companions of your own? Tessa, the one-eyed Shih Tzu, and Tramp, my Carolina hound dog mix. Having pets makes us better caregivers because we have all been on the other side of the medicine at some point.

tessa and tramp!

tessa and tramp!

What do you enjoy doing outside work? I love going to the beach with my dogs and reading rock biographies. I also enjoy attending both veterinary and human medical conferences to network and keep up with emerging research and technology. There is so much we have in common with our human medical counterparts, and it is an exciting time for this type of collaboration. (Read more about the One Health initiative.)

kisses!

kisses!

What are you currently reading? Wild Tales, a biography on Graham Nash

What’s in your music rotation right now? I like a variety of music … classic rock, British rock, folk rock and Broadway show stoppers, whatever the mood calls for.

Favorite TV show? The Mindy Project (which I feel may be loosely based on my life); The West Wing, a classic favorite. I saw the Puppy Bowl this year, which is apparently a Super Bowl for dogs, but instead of footballs they take squeaky toys into the end zone!

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

Name: Naomi Mansfield

Your position and department: Service coordinator for the surgery department

When did you join VCA SFVS? January 2007

Favorite part of your job? My favorite part of my job is getting to cuddle with adorable dogs and cats all day, and getting to decorate their casts.

naomi with a guide dogs puppy who came in for an orthopedic exam

naomi with a guide dogs puppy who came in for an orthopedic exam

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I grew up in Arizona. We always had a lot of animals growing up. When I was very young we had a farm, and when we gave up our farm we still had 11 animals around the house — dogs, chinchillas, birds, a rabbit, a hamster and a ferret. I have always loved animals more than anything and knew from a very young age that I wanted to work with them.

Aside from my passion for animals, I love to draw. I spend most of my free time using the program MS Paint to create what I call Bitcats, in which I draw the beloved pets of my friends interacting in whimsical environments. They can be seen at http://www.bitcats.tumblr.com/

What does your work day entail? Most of my job revolves around preparing people for what to expect before, during and after a pet’s surgery. I create all of the instructions for at-home care and act as the go-to person for any questions that pet parents have during the process.

The patient you’ll never forget? Mojo, a very sweet boxer who comes in to see us

Favorite patient success story? There is a dog name Maya that was going to have to have an amputation due to a very large wound on her leg. Dr. Phil Watt was amazingly able to repair the wound with a skin graft, and after extensive bandaging to protect the wound, it completely healed and she did not have to have an amputation!

Your work-related super power? Bandage art. I love creating little cartoons on the casts of dogs and cats who have surgery.

Alice

naomi created this cast for a kitty named alice! (“oh my ears and whiskers …”)

 

more "naomi originals," shared by dr. hammer

more “naomi originals,” shared by dr. hammer

Any animal companions of your own? I have an 8-year-old grey cat named Banjo that I’ve had since he was a kitten. He is very sassy and always wears a little bandana around his neck.

What do you enjoy doing outside work? Drawing and spending time with my wonderful friends. I also volunteer with the penguins at the Academy of Sciences.

What are you currently reading? The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

What’s in your music rotation right now? I really love old Jamaican ska and rocksteady.

Favorite TV show? Once Upon A Time

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Learn a little more about the veterinarians and staff at VCA SFVS in our staff spotlight series! This week we feature emergency veterinarian Elyse Hammer, DVM

Name: Elyse Hammer, DVM

Position: Staff doctor on the emergency service as well as intern program director

dr. hammer with dave, one of the er tech's cats

dr. hammer with dave, one of the er tech’s cats

When did you join VCA SFVS? I joined VCA SFVS first as an intern in 2011 and developed such a love for emergency medicine that I stayed on as a staff doctor immediately following my internship here. 

Favorite part of your job? Coming in every day with absolutely no idea what will come my way. I love the spontaneity of emergency medicine, having to think quickly and adapt to anything the day may bring. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am originally from Meadow Vista, a small Sierra foothills town in Northern California. I am one of those cliches – I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian from the earliest moment I can remember. I started working as a technician at a local GP practice at 16. From there I moved to Davis and spent eight years there for both my undergraduate and veterinary education. I originally planned to pursue a residency in internal medicine until I fell in love with all things ER and never looked back.

Favorite patient success story? One of my favorite patient success stories is Phyllo. Phyllo is a super-sweet domestic shorthair who was found by a friend after his owner suddenly passed away.

The Super-Sweet Phyllo

dr. hammer with the super-sweet phyllo

He was brought to us and treated for dehydration and mild kidney dysfunction after being without food and water for several days. During his stay with us, we incidentally found a bladder stone. As Phyllo didn’t currently have a family, we decided to cover his care, and one of our interns, with the help of staff doctors, performed a cystotomy surgery to remove his bladder stone. Phyllo made a full recovery and was adopted out to a new, loving forever home. 

What do you enjoy doing outside work? My favorite (and most therapeutic) thing to do is run run run as much as possible. I love traveling with my husband, Brett. We particularly love to explore California wine country and the Pacific Northwest in search of the best wines we can find. And of course I love spending time with my crazy rescue jungle cat Nube, who makes me laugh absolutely every day. 

The One and Only NUBE :)

the one and only NUBE 🙂

dr. hammer with one of her best friend's dogs

dr. hammer with one of her best friend’s dogs

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Learn a little more about the veterinarians and staff at VCA SFVS in our staff spotlight series! This week we feature Emily Young, VMD, a member of our current intern class. 

Name: Emily Young, VMD

Your position: Rotating intern

When did you join VCA SFVS? June 2014

Favorite part of your job? My favourite part of being a veterinarian is working with my animal patients and the humans who love them! I am awed every day by the wonderful relationships we establish with our pets and am grateful that I can help keep the four-legged partners in this relationship happy and healthy. My favourite part of working here at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists being able to work amongst so many incredibly knowledgeable and talented clinicians, RVTs and assistants and seeing how their dedicated teamwork benefits each of the cases seen at the hospital.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born in New York but grew up in Europe, primarily in England, until I started college. I attended Tufts University in Boston for my undergraduate degree and fell in love with that snowy city! I moved to Philadelphia for vet school at the University of Pennsylvania and then came out to California, which has proved to be just an absolutely amazing area of the country. Since moving here I have loved exploring the city (and particularly the food!) of San Francisco and the surrounding area.

What does your workday entail? As an intern my schedule varies depending on which service I am working at the time. However, most days start with rounds at 8am, where the case of each patient in the hospital is presented, discussed and transferred to the appropriate service. From there, we move on to examining each patient and coming up with a treatment plan for the day. The day ends after evening rounds at 6pm once all diagnostics have been performed and appointments concluded.

Your work-related super power? I truly believe in the power of a smile, particularly when something is not going as well as you would like!

Any animal companions of your own? My boyfriend and I recently said goodbye to our very handsome Saint Bernard, Walter. We miss The Big Guy very much but are looking forward to bringing a new pup into our home in the coming months!

dr. young and walter out on a walk near crystal springs reservoir

dr. young and walter out on a walk near crystal springs reservoir

What do you enjoy doing outside work? When I’m not at work I love to spend time exploring the food of San Francisco, hiking and doing ANYTHING at the beach!

Favorite pet-related activity in the Bay Area? Walking any and everywhere! A great spot is the Crystal Springs Reservoir down by San Mateo.

What are you currently reading? I usually have two books going at any one time…a more serious or historical one (currently: Lenin’s Tomb by David Remnick) and a lighter read (currently: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot).

Favorite TV show? My favourite TV show of all time has to be Friends. But more recently I have enjoyed watching Parenthood, The Walking Dead, Homeland and Downton Abbey.

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Learn a little more about the veterinarians and staff at VCA SFVS in our staff spotlight series! This week we feature Sonja Ebata, a registered veterinary technician and one of our technician supervisors.

Name: Sonja Ebata

Your position: technician supervisor, RVT

sonja with elphaba and usnavi

sonja with elphaba and usnavi

 

When did you join VCA SFVS? June 2005

Favorite part of your job? My favorite parts of my job are: providing the highest quality of medicine and care to our patients, building strong relationships with my co-workers, and of course getting to see adorable dogs and cats every day!

sonja (a unicorn -- it was halloween!) helping dr. craig maretzki perform an eye exam on mcduff in the ultrasound room

sonja (a unicorn — it was halloween!) helping dr. craig maretzki perform an eye exam on mcduff in the ultrasound room

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born in San Francisco. I moved to Oahu, Hawaii, when I was 11 years old. I knew I wanted to be in the veterinary field since I was in high school. One day, my cat brought me a bird that she caught. I was very upset because the bird was injured. My mother drove me and the bird to the closest veterinary hospital where they were able to care for the bird. The staff at the hospital were very kind and understanding. I was so grateful that they were there to help.

Any animal companions of your own? I have a Yorkie mix named Elphaba and a Chihuahua mix named Usnavi. Both are named after characters from musicals. Both dogs are rescues.

What do you enjoy doing outside work? Walking my dogs, reading, dancing, and exploring new restaurants in the Bay Area.

What are you currently reading? Allegiant by Veronica Roth

What’s in your music rotation right now? Beyoncé, Beyoncé and more Beyoncé!

Favorite TV show? Grey’s Anatomy and The Mindy Project

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