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Veterinary Medicine

Three-Week Summer Medicine Program

Featured in Veterinary Practice News, 2018   –   Read Here

In this program, students will cover veterinary surgery by performing mock surgeries and bone-settings, research common afflictions such as canine distemper and rabies. They will also explore various methods of diagnosis, including how to detect pain through physical examinations and how to analyze imaging from x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. Bill Snell, the Medical Director of Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Charlestown, MA, is a veterinary surgeon and has assembled an amazing team of fellow veterinarians to lead our program. Students visited his hospital last year, and we have amazing plans for the upcoming season!

This is a competitive admissions summer research program designed for teens.

Students visit the zoo in the Veterinary Medicine three-week summer medical program

Date: July 8th – July 26th
Bentley / Gann – Waltham, MA

Thanks to the generosity of the BluePearl Emergency Pet Hospital team and our additional instructors, students explored a variety of veterinary specialties. One day, a surgeon took students through the process of performing an organ transplant, and the next day a veterinarian with her own practice introduced students to veterinary oral health care. Class became more exotic when a zoo animal specialist introduced the zoonotic disease lesson, taking students step by step through the process of diagnosing severe illnesses and threats in non-human primates. 

Additional lessons included orthopedics, anesthesia, public health, ophthalmology, toxicology, emergency medicine, neurology, and many more. 

Students visit the Southwick's Zoo in the Veterinary Medicine three-week summer medical program
Students go to an examination room in the Veterinary Medicine three-week summer medical program

Field Trips

In past years, students have visited:

Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine: Students learned how to get on track to become a veterinarian while visiting one of the top-ranked veterinary medicine school in the country. Tufts medical students and veterinarians explained what classes students need to take in order to get into veterinary school, what a veterinary education entails, the specialties they’ll have to choose from, and much more. After this, Tufts faculty took our students on a tour of their world class facilities.

Field Trips (Continued)

BluePearl Emergency Pet Hospital: Dr. Snell took students to his own hospital in Waltham, MA. Students met Dr. Snell’s colleagues, examined the emergency room up close, learned about the day-to-day life of a veterinary surgeon, and had the unique opportunity to ask any questions they might have for certain veterinary specialists. They also visited The Flow Dog, BluePearl’s Dog Therapy Clinic to learn about animal rehabilitation.

Southwick’s Zoo: Students took a private, behind the scenes tour with veterinarians who specialize in the treatment of zoo animals. They visited the operating room, practiced tranquilizing methods, identified skeletal structures, examined x-rays, and were taken on a custom tour of the zoo.

Bill Snell teaches the Veterinary Medicine three-week program

William Snell, DVM, DACVS-SA

Lead Instructor

Dr. Snell currently works at the Medical Director of the new Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Charlestown. He received his BA in biology from Arcadia University and his DVM from Ross University in St. Kitts, West Indies. His veterinary work experience started with a clinical rotation at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Snell started as an intern with Blue Pearl and completed his residency with the partner hospital in Philadelphia. He later moved to the Waltham location where he practiced for three years as a surgeon. Dr. Snell’s specific interests include minimally invasive laparoscopic and thoracoscopic procedures, surgical oncology, and polytrauma cases. In 2015, his work was published in both the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association and The New Zealand Veterinary Journal. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Snell can be found running, biking, hiking, and spending time with his wife and two dogs, Tucker and Abby.

Erin Vet

Erin McGowan, DVM, DACVECC


The topics she is particularly interested in include pet trauma, coagulapathies, fluid therapy, sepsis, and systematic inflammatory response syndrome.

Dr. McGowan’s work has been published in both Today’s Veterinary Practice in 2015 and Biochimie in 2011. During her time in Philadelphia, Dr, McGowan volunteered close to 400 hours with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. Dr. McGowan currently works at the Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Waltham, MA in Critical Care. She first received her BA in chemistry from Colby College and later obtained her DVM from the University of Pennsylvania. She interned at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey and performed her residency at Penn before starting at Blue Pearl.

Matthew Vet

Matthew Cleveland, DVM, DACVS-SA


Dr. Cleveland currently works at the Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital as a surgeon.

He received his BA in chemistry and molecular biology from Dartmouth College and his DVM from St. George’s University in Wisconsin. Before Blue Pearl, Dr. Cleveland’s veterinary work experiences began at Texas A&M University on a clinical rotation and continued onto multiple animal hospitals in Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Boston. Dr. Cleveland is particularlly interested in juvenile canine orthopedic conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia, traumatic fractures, minimally invasive joint explore (anthroscopy), and surgical oncology. In 2016, his work was published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association.

Stephanie Vet

Stephanie Fisseki, DVM, DACVAA


Dr. Fisseki is a veterinary anesthesiologist and pain management specialist at the Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital at their Waltham, MA and Charlestown, MA locations.

She received her BS in Animal Science and her DVM from Cornell University. Later, she completed her residency at Kansas State University. Dr. Fisseki has worked as a veterinary primary care and emergency clinician before settling on anesthesiology. She is passionate about improving patient stability and tending to subtle pain indicators. The cases she finds most interesting include pheochromocytomas, endocrinopathies, and interventional radiology procedures.

Williams Vet

Clara Williams, DVM, MS, DACVO


Dr. Williams is a veterinary ophthalmologist at Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Waltham, MA.

She received her MS in Pathology and completed her residency in ophthalmology at the University of Georgia, Athens. She later received her DVM at the Universidad de Antioquia in Medillin, Colombia. Additionally, she completed her internship in Small Animal Medicine & Surgery at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Dr. Williams is most interested in bilateral cataract surgery because it gives her the opportunity to potentially restore full vision. Originally from Colombia, she often travels back to Colombia as well as Bolivia and the Dominican Republic to provide lectures on basic ophthalmology to faculty and students at local veterinary schools.

Riggs Vet

Bronwyn Riggs, VMD, DACVIM


Dr. Riggs is a veterinary neurologist at the Boston West Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Pet Hospital in Natick, MA.

She received her BS in biochemistry from Smith College and her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She then completed a rotating internship followed by a three year residency in neurology and neurosurgery at The Animal Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Rigg’s primary interests are in diagnostic MRI and identifying non-surgical options for complex neurological diseases. However, she also enjoys performing advanced neurological procedures.

Student Comments

‘My program was both very educational and fun. The instructor was amazing and made everything a whole lot more interesting and engaging. The lessons were well planned and taught us about all sorts of different niches of veterinary medicine. I learned so much and gained so much inspiration to be a veterinarian. A truly wonderful teacher. I also loved how much hands-on experience we got and the field trips were great.’

‘I loved everything we learned and the teacher! All the labs we performed helped me learn and I really learned so much from all the powerpoints…  I had a great teacher and I would not have wanted anyone else to teach us!!’

‘I loved watching the ER videos and going to the zoo. The powerpoints were fun but super informative. I had so much fun. Going to the Tuft Vet School was so much fun I loved going to the small and large animal hospitals. Our teacher was so awesome and she really inspired me. I thought her experience in a real ER was so helpful.’

Students pose at the Southwick's Zoo in the Veterinary Medicine three-week summer medical program

BioSTEM Award, 2018, J&J • Top Summer Science Program, 2011-2019, NY Times/ • Top Robotics Program, 2017, RoboLoco • Best Medicine Program, 2018, ParentMap • Top Biomedical Engineering, •
Top 101 Summer Camps & Programs, • Top Biomedical Engineering, 2017,

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