On the last Sunday of every month, a historic church in Melbourne CBD is converted into a veterinary clinic to provide free health checks, vaccinations and medication for pets of people who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
This organisation is able to serve the community thanks to volunteers and public donations. Over the past year, I have been volunteering as a Veterinary Nurse, and I have experienced so much joy from the animals, and the people who visit or work at the clinic each month.
The work of Pets in the Park was recently acknowledged in an article in Crosslight News, which can be read here.
There have been many talented and intelligent women in science that have made significant impacts in the world from discovering the structure of DNA to teaching us about wildlife ecology. Despite all of this excellent work by women in the field of science, according to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field are 18%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%.
In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly declared February 11th as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
Below are some of the women that have inspired me to pursue a career in science:
I was first introduced to the work of Rosalind Franklin in my high school biology class. Rosalind Franklin was an amazing chemist and X-ray crystallographer who changed the way we thought about genetics and the molecular structure of our body. She had made astounding discoveries for DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite. Rosalind's perseverance in a male dominated work force inspired me growing up to pursue my passions in spite of any obstacles that I may face.
A pioneer in many ways; Alice Ball She was the first woman and first African American to receive a master's degree from the University of Hawaii, as well as the first female chemistry professor at the university. She is most remembered for developing an injectable oil extract that was the most effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s. Alice's accomplishments illustrate that nothing is impossible, it just hasn't been done yet.
Dian Fossey was an American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups in the mountains of Rwanda from 1966 until her death in 1985. Fossey obtained her PhD at Cambridge University and was recognized as the world's leading authority on the physiology and behavior of mountain gorillas, defining gorillas as being dignified, highly social, gentle giants, with individual personalities, and strong family relationships. Dian Fossey inspired me to become an advocate for animal welfare and the preservation of animal species.
When I was growing up, I had a keen interest in animals and the environment, but I was discouraged to find that women were underrepresented in the field of science, then I learned about the revolutionary work and life of Jane Goodall. Jane took an unconventional approach to studying chimpanzees in the mountains of Rwanda by immersing herself into their habitat, and she has now set a new standard for the study of apes in the wild. Her field work findings suggest that many behavoirs once thought to be exclusively human, such as the ability to make and use tools, may have been inherited from common ancestors that we shared with chimpanzees millions of years ago. Jane's accomplishments is a testament that every individual can make a difference in this world.
Mae C. Jemison
Mae C. is an astronaut and physician who, on June 4, 1987, became the first African-American woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program. On September 12, 1992, Jemison finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, becoming the first African-American woman in space. In recognition of her accomplishments, Jemison has received several awards and honorary doctorates. Mae has taught us all to not “let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world; it's your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”
Dr. Winny Dong is a Professor in Chemical and Materials Engineering and the Director of the McNair Scholars Program. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society including first-generation, low-income individuals, and members from racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in graduate programs. The McNair Scholars program provided me with the opportunity to develop the appropriate skillset for graduate studies as well as opened many other doors and opportunities for me. I am grateful for Winny as the director of the program for not only inspiring me as a women in science, but for welcoming me into the McNair Scholars Program.
Alessandra is a graduate from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor's degree in Nursing, and a surgical nurse at City of Hope Cancer Treatment and Cancer Research Hospital. While there is a tremendous amount of science in a nurse's daily activities, there is also the necessity to have strong communication skills and empathy. Alessandra embodies this definition of a nurse; she is known as the "nice nurse" on her floor whom all of the patients want to have. She is also my older sister and best friend. Growing up she encouraged me to follow her footsteps in the pursuit of career in science while supporting me in my individual passions and endeavours.
Martina is a an expert in Behavioral and Molecular Ecology, Social Systems, Sex-biased Dispersal, Bats and Wind Energy, and Bioacoustics. During the summer of 2014, I served as research mentor for Duke University and the Organization fro Tropical Studies at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica for which Martina was my research mentor. Our time together in the tropics was spent researching the social organization of the Proboscis Bat (Rhynchonycteris naso), as well as determining if the bats exhibit individual signatures in their echolocation calls, and performing playback experiments using these calls. We had our work on this project published in Royal Society. You can read our article titled "From resource to female defence: the impact of roosting ecology on a bat's mating strategy" on the Royal Society Open Science website for free. Martina taught me that while there will be obstacles, there will be mistakes, with hard work there are no limits.
The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has launched a "Don't break your vet" campaign to teach horse owners and handlers how to reduce injury risks that vets often face through a series of short tutorials.
These videos feature veterinarian and equine behaviourist Gemma Pearson.
High injury rate
According to a paper published in Equine Veterinary Education, equine vets have one of the highest injury risks of all civilian professions.
The most common injuries reported included bruising, fracture and laceration to the leg or the head which were primarily due to being a kicked with a hindlimb.
The following videos by BEVA empowers horse owners by providing them with simple techniques to prepare their horses to be quiet, relaxed, and safe for veterinary and other procedures.
The seven practical videos show clients how to prepare their horses for:
By Marlena Lopez & Dr. James Greenwood
On New Year’s Eve, people from all over the world will be celebrating the start of a new year and new resolutions with a festive display of fireworks. While the New Year’s Eve is one of the largest holidays in the world, the following days are some of the busiest of the year for animal shelters. Fireworks and other loud noises can cause animals to flee their homes before they are found many kilometres away disoriented and exhausted.
On New Year’s Eve, when it comes to your pets, remember P.A.T.S.!
I've applied for a scholarship to travel to Guatemala or Mexico to provide veterinary care to animals at the end of this year, and I am now on the short list!
I would greatly appreciate your vote on this website to help me win the scholarship.
You will have to connect through Facebook to verify that a real person is voting. You can vote once every 24 hours for the next two weeks!
Voting closes October 4th.
Thank you for all of your help!
September 14th is R U OK? Day.
The veterinary profession has higher suicide rates than the adult population and other health professions.
R U OK Day Day aims to make it easier for people to talk about what is bothering them and get the help they need.
There is often a discrepancy between how people feel on the inside and what they are presenting on the outside. By starting a conversation and commenting on the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that family member, friend or workmate open up.
If they say they are not ok, you can show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. If they are ok, that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.
For more information on the R U OK? movement, please visit their website by clicking here.
By Marlena Lopez & Dr. James Greenwood
On 4th of July, when it comes to your pets, remember P.A.T.S.!
Dr. James Greenwood is a small animal vet in SW England and the star of CBBC’s ‘The Pets Factor’. The Pets Factor is a TV show which follows 4 vets as they treat various animals. The documentary series is aimed at young teens to illustrate the responsibility of pet ownership in the next generation.
The Pet’s Factor airs on Tuesdays at 5.25pm on CBBC or on BBC iPlayer.
I've been practicing my suturing skills and found that PennVet has some wonderful 'how to' videos on their Instructional Technology You tube page (link here).
In the image above, I was practicing the Simple Continuous Suture Pattern (left) and the Ford Interlocking Suture Pattern (middle).
Suturing is an important skill to master in veterinary medicine, plus it is fun to learn so why not get as much practice as you can get now? The videos below demonstrate the suture patterns I have performed above and I have also added the link to other patterns that I have been practicing below.
Cushing & Connell Suture Patterns (link here)
Cruciate Suture Pattern (link here)
Horizontal Mattress Suture Pattern (link here)
Burying the Knot (link here)
This semester, I had to complete another Veterinary Oral Communications Exercise (VOCE) video for a class assignment. The aim of these exercises is to develop an appreciation of the importance of communication in veterinary practice and to practice verbal communication skills.
In this review, I aim to explain the rationale for the use of benazepril in the treatment of chronic renal failure in cats, and critically evaluate the evidence for its efficacy.
You can click on the link below to view an article on the Werribee Zoo's Website about my participation in this very special vet assignment.