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.
Don’t have time for a full three week course? Check out Pet Medicine, our one week introductory program, here!
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.
In past years, students visited, Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, one of the top-ranked veterinary medicine schools in the country. Tufts medical students and veterinarians explained what classes students need to take 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.
Southwick’s Zoo: Students took a private, behind-the-scenes tour lead by veterinarians who specialize in the treatment of zoo animals. They practiced tranquilizing methods (see photo). They visited the operating room, identified skeletal structures, and examined x-rays.
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 interacted with veterinary specialists. They also visited The Flow Dog, BluePearl’s Dog Therapy Clinic to learn about animal rehabilitation.
NOTE: COVID will impact field trips. We cannot guarantee any given field trip will run as in past years or at all.
Laura Champagne, CVT
Laura Champagne is a lead veterinary surgical/anesthesia nurse at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Waltham, MA since 2016. She graduated from Mount Ida College as a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT). She is applying for her Veterinary Technician Specialty (VTS) certification in Anesthesia & Analgesia for 2022. She is the Advisory Board Chair for Minuteman Vocational High Schools Animal Science program. She enjoys traveling to support wildlife and conservation efforts, such as the Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue out of Oaxaca, Mexico. Her passion involves combining veterinary medicine and educating middle and high school students about the different opportunities in the field to work as animal lovers.
Erin McGowan, DVM, DACVECC
Dr. McGowan received her BA in Chemistry from Colby College and her DVM from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in both Today’s Veterinary Practice & Biochimie. Dr. McGowan currently works at the Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Waltham, MA in Critical Care. She interned at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey and performed her residency at Penn.
Dr. Joseph Zarin, DVM
Dr. Zarin received his DVM from the University of California, Davis.
He went on to complete a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Georgia. He then completed an emergency and critical care internship at a veterinary referral hospital north of Boston.
William Snell, DVM, DACVS-SA
Dr.Snell currently works as the Medical Director of Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Charlestown. Dr. Snell is a veterinary surgeon. He received his DVM from Ross University. His veterinary work experience started with a clinical rotation at the University of Pennsylvania. 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.
Dr. Liz Schlupf, DVM
Dr. Liz Schlupf is currently the lead instructor of Veterinary Science at MontyTech, a vocational high school in Fitchburg, MA, where she helped to found the program. Previously she has practiced equine, small ruminant and companion animal medicine, leading up to a stint as the Director of Veterinary Services for the Humane Society for Greater Nashua. Outside of school, she can be found traveling or walking with her kids and dogs.
Dr. Alexis Zallas
Dr. Zallas received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. She completed a small animal rotating medicine and surgery internship at VCA Shoreline and VCA Norwalk Veterinary Referral and Emergency Centers inCT. She has been working as an emergency doctor at BluePearl in Waltham since 2018.
Dr. Leslie Schwarz, MS, DVM, DACVR
Dr. Schwarz is a veterinary radiologist. She works primarily at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Waltham MA and has an adjunct faculty position in the radiology department at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary medicine. Dr. Schwarz began her career with a BS and MS degree in Animal Science from Cook College, Rutgers University in NJ. She received her veterinary degree from the University of Missouri, interned at Angell Memorial Animal hospital in Boston and completed a radiology residency at Tufts University.
Dr. Jonattan Arango, DVM, DACVS-SA
Dr. Arango received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. He went on to complete an internship in Small Animal Medicine & Surgery at the Veterinary Medical Center at the Ohio State University, and an additional internship in Small Animal Surgery at the Hollywood Animal Hospital in Florida. He spent his Small Animal Surgery residency at the Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. Outside of work, Dr. Arango enjoys all things outdoors with his wife, Kristen, and their four dogs, Siena, Luna, Mason, and Eddie, while their cat, Amadeus, holds down the fort at home.
Dr. Molly Allen, DVM, DACVAA
Dr. Allen is a veterinary anesthesiologist at BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospital in Waltham and Charlestown, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor degree in Biochemistry at Smith College and her veterinary degree at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an equine internship in Australia then practiced as an equine veterinarian for two more years, followed by a three-year residency in veterinary anesthesia and pain management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Dr. Allen is passionate about local and regional anesthesia, balanced and multimodal techniques to minimize systemic opioid use, and anesthesia for high-risk and critical patients.
Dr. Liz Wiley
Dr. Wiley received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2018. She spent a year undergoing a rotating internship at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. She is a cardiology resident at Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Dr. Carrie Cavett, DVM, DACVIM
Dr. Cavett received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. She completed a small animal internal medicine and surgery internship at Oklahoma State University. She then went on to obtain her Master of Science degree in Veterinary Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois, where she completed a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine. Interested in all aspects of internal medicine, Dr. Carrie Cavett particularly enjoys treating immune-mediated and infectious diseases.
*2021 Student Comments*
‘The program exercises my mind and teaches me so much. My teacher is encouraging, and an incredibly seasoned vet. I love the fact that she is so supportive and knowledgeable.’
“The projects are fun and hands-on, and the teachers were amazing.’
‘I personally loved all the different types of specialists we met. I had no idea there were so many different branches a veterinarian can go into. The program only further confirmed who I want to be and what I want to do in life. The visit to the pet hospital was especially educational. Dr. Riggs made me seriously consider being a neurologist or a neurosurgeon with the cases she let us analyze and prognosticate.’
‘The Vet Medicine program was truly such an incredible experience I learned so much on how to read x-rays, detect pain and treat the animal when injured. The field trips to Blue Pearl Animal Hospital and Southwick Zoo were incredibly informative and such a blast. I am so grateful to have had this amazing opportunity. It definitely made me realize that this is exactly the profession I want to do. Definitely an experience I will never forget!’
‘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 also loved how much hands-on experience we got and the field trips were great.’
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