10 Questions for Dr. Rob Garro
1. How old were you when you decided to become a veterinarian?
Like many people, I have always liked and been fascinated by animals and as a kid I thought I wanted to do “something with animals”. While deciding what major to choose, I decided against veterinary medicine due to the amount of schooling ahead of me. I did not decide that I would make the leap until my third year of undergrad in accountancy.
2. What is the best part of your job?
The people. In the end it really does not have as much to do with the animals as the bond owners have with their pets.
3. What’s the most interesting case you’ve ever had?
Pet owners’ hopes should include never making that list. Early on I saw a dog with blastomycosis that has really changed the way I approach that disease. He always comes to mind when I’m asked about interesting cases. “Hunter” that some of you have read about is trying to top him; I hope he does not do so.
4. What’s the most difficult part of your job?
Seeing patients deal with pain or infection that could be avoided or treated.
5. Why become a vet when you could have just as easily gone into human medicine and made more money?
Honestly, the thought never even crossed my mind back then. Never had the desire to, never thought it would make me happy. And there are a lot of jobs that would have made more financial sense.
6. We know that you have to like animals for this job but what are the other unique requirements?
Not one pet has come thru the door without a person, so being able to work with people is important.
And understanding that learning does not stop after vet school – when I think I know enough, it will be in everyone’s best interest that I retire.
7. How has veterinary medicine changed since your parent’s time?
We know more about nutrition, prevention against infections and parasitic infestation, obesity, dental care, behavior and behavioral enrichment; pets sleep in bed, not in the barn; animals are living much longer; we can do diagnostics and procedures that are similar to what is done in human medicine; what hasn’t changed?
8. Even though both jobs require the same amount of education; how does veterinary medicine differ from human medicine beyond the obvious question of species?
One of the biggest differences is the availability of specialists and the desire to see specialists. Another is how much insurance has changed the way human docs practice, from the number of patients they see and the amount of time spent with patients, to what procedures will be done, when, and by whom.
9. What do you think the new horizons for veterinary medicine will be?
It is not a new horizon, but the use of pet health insurance is likely to rise. If some of the dollar issues can be removed from owners’ decision making processes, there will be the option for better and more advanced care.
Compliance is a major issue in human and veterinary medicine – anything that can be done to make “taking your medicine” easier and to reduce “forgetting” or “being late” with doses will be a welcome advance.
10. If someone gave you a magic wand and you could go back and do it over again, would you still become a vet?
Yes, I think so. I would definitely do some things differently, but in all veterinary medicine is a very satisfying profession.