This podcast concept was actually my initial idea when I first started thinking about creating some type of online resource for present and future uncommon veterinarians, but I quickly realized I would also need a regular website to provide back-up and other types of content related to the podcast.
My First Guest: Dr. Jonathan Epstein
I decided early on that for my inaugural episode I would try to go for a big name and also someone who had been an inspiration to me personally. Dr. Jonathan Epstein from the EcoHealth Alliance fit the bill perfectly, and he was gracious to accept my request for an interview.
Dr. Epstein is a world-traveling wildlife veterinarian and infectious disease researcher based in New York City. Like me, he is a graduate of Tufts University’s combined DVM/MPH program, and he was also the first vet student there to graduate with a certificate in International Veterinary Medicine.
He’s been a key player in the epidemiological investigations of several exciting emerging infectious diseases, including Nipah virus, the SARS outbreak, and Ebola virus.
I really admire the way he has been able to create a career that integrates field work with wildlife in exotic locations all over the world, hardcore science published in everything from Emerging Infectious Diseases to Science, and a universally compelling story that has been covered by the National Geographic Channel, 60 Minutes, the BBC, the New York Times, and many other media outlets.
Links We Mentioned
Dr. Epstein discussed several resources during our conversation.
The Adventures in Veterinary Medicine Program at Tufts University provides potential vet school applicants of all levels with a uniquely broad exposure to the wide world of veterinary medicine.
The EcoHealthNet Research Exchange and Workshop are summer programs funded through the EcoHealth Alliance that provide hands-on infectious disease research training for graduate students from any background, including veterinary students.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Program gives uncommon veterinarians like Dr. Epstein a way to pay off student loans in exchange for a number of years doing research in the public health field.
Finally, Dr. Epstein discussed the importance of networking and putting yourself out there in order to be successful in his field. You can read more about this idea on my posts about attending a zoo and wildlife medicine conference and a veterinary epidemiology conference in Australia.
What You Will Learn in This Episode
- how Dr. Epstein got hired for a job that involves living in New York City, traveling all over the world, and tracking down wildlife sources of zoonotic infectious diseases
- why Dr. Epstein’s undergraduate study abroad program in Australia was so vital to his future educational goals and career path
- how to pay off your veterinary school student loans without joining the military (like I did)
- what you need to do as a practicing small animal vet to successfully transition into the public heath or research fields
- and much more!
So here’s what you’ve all been waiting for. You can watch a video of our conversation here, or continue to scroll to the bottom of this post for just the audio podcast itself. At this point I am focusing more on the audio podcast, so check that version out if you want to experience my best efforts with some GarageBand editing, original music from my brother Jonathan, and my best radio personality voice!
You can also download the podcast directly from the iTunes store. This makes it easy to get on your phone or other mobile device for multitasking while driving, working out, taking the dogs out for a walk, etc.
I would love it if you would head into iTunes itself to give it a rating and a little review, as that will help others find it more easily when they search for veterinary-related podcasts.
And finally, The Uncommon Veterinarian Podcast, Episode 001. Thanks for listening, and please share the link to this post with anyone who might be interested. Let me know what you think in the comments!