Dr. Ashley Dunn is originally from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. While she grew up with lots of pets, she didn’t discover veterinary medicine until a life changing experience after her freshman year of college. She has a bachelor’s in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and she attended the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating vet school in 2011, she practiced general small animal medicine in Lexington, Kentucky for a year before moving to New Hampshire. In 2013, she made the transition to full time emergency medicine and in 2015 was promoted to Medical Director of the emergency hospital. As far as her personal life, she was married and had her first child while in vet school. Her second child was born in 2013, coinciding with her job transition to ER. She divorced in 2016 and has shared parenting. This journey has been another challenging aspect of her life that she’s only recently feeling “settled” into.
During the interview, we discuss:
- How her experience in helping care for 250 cats and 18 dogs rescued in the infamous hoarding case dubbed the “May Day Cat Rescue” (May 1, 2003) inspired Dr. Dunn to become a veterinarian
- The week-long Adventures in Veterinary Medicine College Program at Tufts Dr. Dunn recommends to future vet students
- The importance of finding a hospital with a good teaching culture to get your animal experience
- How she managed being a busy veterinary student despite having her first child while she was in vet school
- The potential drawbacks of being a left-handed vet student
- The transition shock of beginning her career as a GP veterinarian
- The safety issues involved with being on-call that future female vets should keep in mind
- Transitioning to overnight ER work when her second child came along
- How she left her husband despite having two young children and how she balances her busy medical career as a single mother
- Her responsibilities as Medical Director
- Why she believes doctors should present their own estimates
- Her advice to future GPs from an ER vet’s perspective
- The importance of being non-judgmental
Following is a list of the books Dr. Dunn recommends for future veterinarians:
- Saunders Handbook of Veterinary Drugs
- Emergency Procedures for the Small Animal Veterinarian by Plunkett
- Atlas of Interpretative Radiographic Anatomy and Anatomic Variants in the Dog and Cat
- Clinical Veterinary Advisor by Mosby
- Color Atlas of Clinical Anatomy of the Dog and Cat by JS Boyd
- Manual of Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery by Tobias
Follow this link to watch a video of the interview on YouTube.
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