Insight Interview Vx002 - Dr Carolyn O'brien

Discussion in 'Veterinary News' started by Admin, Sep 2, 2016.

By Admin on Sep 2, 2016 at 11:40 AM
  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

    The following interview was conducted with:
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    Dr Carolyn O'Brien, BVSc(Hons) MVetClinStud FANZCVS
    Registered Specialist in Feline Medicine
    Melbourne Cat Referrals

    1: What is your day job and what does it involve?

    I have many jobs that take variable priority from week to week. I am a feline medicine specialist, doing clinical work on some days of the week (in my own practice, Lort Smith and The Cat Clinic, Hobart). I am finishing a PhD in mycobacterial diseases through the University of Melbourne and I am the senior tutor of the Feline Distance Education course and also part-time online learning consultant for the Centre for Veterinary Education, University of Sydney.

    2: How did you come to work in this role?

    My interest in feline medicine came about when I got my two Burmese cats (who are both now 19 years old). My interest in adult learning and professional development has evolved through my role as a Distance Education tutor. I also developed a passion for research via my mentor and Masters/residency supervisor, @Richard Malik.

    3: What has been your best experiences as a vet?

    Making a wider contribution to the profession as an educator/mentor for other vets in the field of feline medicine.

    4: What has been your worst experience as a vet?

    The feeling of helplessness when a cat has such advanced disease that palliation/euthanasia is the only viable option.

    5: What gets you up in the morning?

    My kids!

    6: What keeps you up at night?

    My cats (one of them is deaf and likes to call out during the night!!)

    7: Do you suffer from any chronic diseases that impact your work as a veterinarian and if so, how do you manage them?

    No.

    8: Have there been any regrets in your life?

    No. I'm now happy with the choices I've made. When I was younger I wished I had chosen to go into the medical profession, but I now realize that every profession has its problems/limitations and you've got to make the best of this situation you are in.

    9: What have been your most proud moments?

    The birth of my two children and passing my Fellowship exams.

    13497852_586339791544709_3262197902485154818_o.jpg
    Drs Andrea Harvey, Carolyn O'Brien, Susan Little and Cath Briscoe at the 2016 CVE Feline Conference, Melbourne.

    10: What has been your hardest struggles?

    Trying to complete my PhD with two children born 15 months apart!

    11: What has been your most defining moment in life?

    Becoming a parent has definitely made me a more resilient and empathetic person.

    12: Who do you thank the most in your life?

    My family.

    13: If you had your time again, would you chose veterinary science as a career?

    Yes, I think so. There are many things I wish were different, but I derive a huge amount of satisfaction, especially in my teaching role.

    14: If you could go back five years and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

    You don't have to get everything done at once.

    15: Have there been any moments when you thought you didn't belong in the profession?

    When I was a relatively new graduate I worked in a practice that allowed a lot of sexual discrimination towards myself and other younger female staff members by the clients and some members of the team. I found that a demoralizing experience.

    16: What advice would you give to an undergraduate/new graduate just starting their career?

    Try to find your own 'special interest' niche and be on the look-out for a great mentor.

    17: Who or what inspired you to become a veterinarian?

    I don't know, I can't remember a time when I didn't aspire to being a vet.

    18: What is your pet peev about being a vet?

    The perception by the public that we overcharge.

    19: How does your religious beliefs (if any) equate with your veterinary work?

    I am not religious.

    20: If there was one thing you could imagine that would improve the veterinary profession, what is it?

    A public awareness campaign towards the financial impact of owning a pet. I think many owners are simply unaware of the likely costs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016

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Discussion in 'Veterinary News' started by Admin, Sep 2, 2016.

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