The passion of equine medicine specialists

Teresa Burns, DVM, PhD, MS, DACVIM, discusses equine medicine and what she would tell veterinarian students who are interested in this path

Editors note: Dr Burns will no longer be in attendance at the Fetch dvm360® conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Equine veterinarians have seen a shortage amongst their staff and are regularly trying to find ways to bring more aspiring veterinarian students into the field.1 The Fetch dvm360® Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, offers multiple lectures on equine medicine, including equine endocrinology, pain management, and ophthalmology, that may help pique interest.

One of the equine presenters at Fetch, Teresa Burns, DVM, PhD, MS, DACVIM, an associate professor in equine internal medicine at The Ohio State University, recently discussed with dvm360® her experience practicing equine medicine. “We take care of all the inner workings of sick horses daily. We get to teach students, help clients and horses, and interact with the next generation of veterinary practitioners in the process of our day-to-day work,” she said.

Burns received her bachelor of science and doctor of veterinary medicine degrees from Iowa State University’s colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine, respectively. She completed her internship in equine field service, a residency in equine internal medicine, and doctor of philosophy training at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

“I was always kind of a horsey kid when I was growing up. I always wanted a horse, [but] my parents never indulged me, [so I] never had my own,” she said. “It wasn’t until the second year of vet school that I had a class with an equine internal medicine specialist at Iowa State…He really inspired my career, so I took a quick right and decided I wanted to do what he did .”

From getting her own inspiration while at school, Burns shared her advice for veterinarian students who are looking to find their specific career path, as well as the benefits equine medicine can offer. “What I would tell someone who is interested in equine medicine is, ‘Come hang out with us for a little bit. Hang out with someone who is in this profession and ask questions. Take it all in and try it on, see how it might fit. We need people who are enthusiastic and passionate,’” Burns said. “The industry itself is experiencing a course correction, so people who want to get into [equine medicine] are going to be able to write the rules.”

The equine lectures Burns will be presenting at the 2022 Fetch dvm360® Conference include “Diagnostic Testing for Common Equine Endocrine Disorders” and “Management of Equine Endocrine Disease: Nutrition and Pharmacotherapy.” Burns expressed that endocrine health for horses “has a huge influence on horses, all the way from before they’re born to their last day. It influences their response to their diet; they’re constantly experiencing influences that can affect their endocrine system.”

Reference

AAEP addresses equine veterinary shortage. dvm360®. July 12, 2022. Accessed July 25, 2022. https://www.dvm360. com/view/aaep-addresses-equine-veterinary-shortage