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Career Day - Veterinarian

Flashback: The year is 2009, I'm an 8th grade student heading into high school in the fall. It's a warm spring day in the classroom, and it's Career Day. The one day of the year where various adults with different careers enter the classroom to inspire us youth and highlight some of the fun parts about being an adult. During these presentations, some would try to warm up the classroom by asking students, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I can tell you what I said when I was asked: a whale trainer. Yep, you read that correctly. Deciding to work with marine mammals, most specifically orcas, was an easy answer for a young child dreaming of career possibilities. My family and I went to Seaworld in 2004, long before the days of the Blackfish exposé, and I left that experience fascinated by the orcas. Subsequently, I became obsessed. At the time, my favorite movie was Free Willy, I read dozens of books on orca whales, and watched a bunch of Youtube videos. I loved how they gracefully navigated the ocean waters, had strong family values, and worked synchronously together as a team when hunting.  They were my favorite animal.

Fast forward 15 years later, my career choice was not too far off! While I don't work with orcas [yet], I did fulfill a close second of working with marine mammals on an veterinary externship in Mexico, I did stick true to working with animals as a veterinarian. Every day I feel grateful to help pets and their families. I get to do so many things as a veterinarian, and just last week I had the opportunity to come full circle at the Frank Antonides School Career Day!

Dr. Matt Schiffman and his dog Ducky at Career Day
Veterinarian presentation at Career Day - Frank Antonides School

We had such a blast at Career Day. Ducky and I co-presented, each of us taking turns engaging and educating the students. Ducky and I are a pretty casual presenting team, as we encouraged the kids to join Ducky on the floor for pets while I went through some of the education requirements needed to become a veterinarian. From there we transitioned to an overview of my day and day and subsequently went through cool x-rays (including Ducky's hips). We "capped" it off by getting dressed for surgery, and performing one part of the physical exam - listening to the heart.

Dog chest x-ray during a veterinarian's presentation at career day.
X-Ray Review - Can you identify the organ I am pointing to?

Dog in surgery cap
Ducky all capped up and ready for surgery!

Students listening to a dog's heart during a Veterinarian's Career Day presentation.
After the presentation, students took turns listening to Ducky's heart.

It was such a wonderful day, and I left feeling so fulfilled. Having this opportunity is one of the highlights of my job as a veterinarian. We cannot wait to return for Career Day next year!

Veterinarian and dog sharing a kiss before a veterinarian's career day presentation.
A kiss for good luck! :D

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