AAV Member Since:
What was the first bird job you ever had?
The first job I had working with birds was at a mom-and-pop pet store near my hometown. They hand raised parrots and offered boarding services for all kinds of exotic animals. This was where I became acquainted with and fell in love with birds. I was taught how to trim nails and wings (of which I have since learned many different techniques!) and how to hand feed the babies, monitoring and recording their weight throughout the day. I have since been fortunate to get to know many of the other incredible families that make up the wonderful class of Aves!
Most memorable AAV experience or contribution
The most memorable AAV experience was starting up the first AAV student chapter at my school, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. I was a first year vet student and someone asked if I was interested in starting an AAV student chapter at the vet school. I had learned about AAV when I was in high school and first looking at what it takes to become a bird vet. I was ecstatic to do anything bird related, let alone help start the first AAV chapter at our school, especially so early in my vet school career! It was a lot of hard work and planning, but later that year we got the club up and running. There were only a handful of us in each class who wanted to work on birds, but we found each other! Our school's teaching hospital didn't see birds (or any exotics) and as a result we didn't get many opportunities during our curriculum to learn about feathered things. This made any avian education we could receive invaluable to us. Since then, we have had the honor of hosting many incredible speakers who freely gave their time to visit and educate us through weekend lectures and labs. We were able to learn and practice many clinical skills during these meetings that will be sure to benefit us in our future careers. The AAV community is full of so many compassionate, generous, and highly skilled veterinarians. I am honored to be learning from the best!
What is your favorite avian species and why?
There's just something about macaws that I can't help but love. They are loud and kooky, can be difficult and sassy, but are also so silly and playful. I currently have a 22 year old severe macaw named Wiley who has taught me so much about what it takes to be a good bird parent (parront?) and I am learning new things every day! I also have a blue-crowned conure named Petrie, and 2 green-cheeked conures, Navi and Kiwi. I am certainly partial to all of these species!
Best benefits of AAV membership?
The networking opportunities are probably some of the most valuable benefits of AAV membership. I have met and learned from so many wonderful veterinarians in AAV. These examples range from finding speakers for our student chapter meetings to connecting with AAV members for externship opportunities during my clinical year of school. I would not be where I am today without the help of so many wonderful, kind, and compassionate AAV members. I look forward to continuing on as a member after graduation!
If you had not chosen your present career, what would you be doing?
I would most likely have gone to music school. I have been playing piano since I can remember and guitar for 18 years. I have learned bits and pieces on a handful of other instruments over the years (mandolin, harmonica, ukelele, violin and banjo) but my two favorites will always be piano and guitar. Years ago, my best friend and I used to play fairly regularly at a local cafe and it was some of the most fun I have ever had!
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