Top 13 Uncommon Veterinary Stories from 2013

Happy New Year, everyone!

becca-garber-2013-year-in-review-8I thought it would be fun to do a quick round-up of the most popular stories I shared over social media in 2013. It was so inspiring to browse back through all the photos, articles, videos, blog posts, and job advertisements from the last twelve months.

So without further adieu, here they are, in descending order from least to most popular.


Garber ACVPM Results sharing copyGreat news! I passed the ACVPM specialty board exam! Read this new post on the blog for all the information you need about studying for and passing the exam yourself.


becca-garber-mount-etna-erupting-april27One perk of being a veterinarian in the Army: watching an active volcano erupt out your kitchen window! This is happening right now here in Sicily. [And has happened many times since over the course of the last year!]


Uncommon Veterinarian Podcast 300It’s finally here! I’m excited to announce the launch of The Uncommon Veterinarian Podcast. Listen to my interview with wildlife veterinarian and infectious disease researcher Dr. Jonathan Epstein, and keep an eye out for regular bi-weekly episodes!


Kruger-veterinary-lion-carAre you looking for wildlife veterinary training in South Africa that won’t break the bank? Read all about my vet student internship in Kruger National Park in this new post on the blog! I spent a few hundred dollars total for two of the most exciting weeks of my life.


widemodern_vetloans_10302013250x166This new article from U.S. News & World Report discusses several federal and state loan repayment programs for veterinarians!


neurosurgery-for-bears_66160_990x742Great story from National Geographic about wildlife surgeon Romain Pizzi’s groundbreaking work in Laos! After you read the article, check out his personal website here.


Leroy-Williams-Dinomt-AfghanistanOne of the bomb-sniffing military dogs under my care was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan last year. I’ve been waiting for the right time to share his story, and that time has finally arrived.

Check out this new post on the blog to learn the back story on my recently published New York Times article about Dinomt’s death.


equine-teeth-floating-RAVS-New MexicoI’ll be writing about my awesome experiences on three RAVS trips sometime soon, but you should all check them out now to start planning! This was on the Zuni reservation in New Mexico.


giant-anteater-veterinary-examWhy is it that I love giant anteaters so much? Learn how you can become an anteater anesthesia expert at the National Zoo here.


Mike-Cranfield-Gorilla-Doctors-field-anesthesiaAhh, this is totally my dream job! Unfortunately I’m not quite there with the minimum qualifications… yet. Any of you able to move to Rwanda in December to start working as a veterinarian with the Gorilla Doctors? $5000/month + room/board, vehicle, & benefits: not bad!

The actual job listing for this is now expired, and Dr. Jan Ramer has returned as the Regional Veterinary Manager after previously holding the position from 2009 – 2011.

Check out my interview with director Mike Cranfield here.


Chelsea-Anderson-baby-elephantDid you know that Veterinarians Without Borders (both U.S. and Canadian versions) accept volunteer veterinarians and students to assist with their life-changing work all over the world?

Read about Cornell student Chelsea Anderson’s experience in Liberia in this post on the blog.


Elliott-Garber-Mascot-Dog-AmputationHere’s a highlight from my Army career so far. This was one of the dogs I took care of during my assignment in Egypt. She was hit by a car and suffered a brachial plexus avulsion injury, which resulted in the amputation. It was my first solo amputation, but she did great and became a very happy tripod!

And coming it at #1:

NEJM figureCheck out this figure from a new essay in the New England Journal of Medicine titled, “Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market?”

As you can see, our profession doesn’t look so good.

Don’t let this get you too depressed, though: the job market for us uncommon veterinarians is a whole lot better!

So there it is! The top 13 stories I shared in 2013.

Now that Facebook is seriously restricting the number of “fans” who actually see each story, I’ve been considering doing a weekly wrap-up of my daily posts here on the blog.

Is that something you would be interested in?

Any other suggestions on better ways to spread the word?

7 Responses to “Top 13 Uncommon Veterinary Stories from 2013”

  1. Cerina Sickman January 4, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    I think a weekly wrap-up of your posts on your blog would be a great idea ^^ And congratulations on passing your exam!

    • Elliott January 7, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

      Thanks for the input, Cerina! I’ll see if I can start doing that…

  2. Mariah February 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Congrats on your exam. How many months or years did you study for the exam? Did you start when you were in vet school or did the Army encourage you to study and pass the board? In an average week or month how much time is spent in research in the Vet Corps and is it mostly of food supply animals or zoonoses or is it a very wide variety of topics? I also commented on your Uncommon veterinarian post. Thanks for all your help! I love your articles blogs and podcasts; they are so helpful!

    • Elliott April 3, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

      I only really started studying seriously for the board exam a few months before taking it. However, I was learning the material all through my graduate studies in veterinary medicine and public health! In the Veterinary Corps, you will usually only be doing research if you are in a research-type position at one of the big research institutes (WRAIR, USAMRIID, etc). This usually would come after you’ve done 3-5 years of regular assignments, and then you choose to specialize as a pathologist, lab animal medicine vet, or PhD researcher.

  3. Marin Veterinarian February 28, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

    I always love hearing stories about dogs in the army. It is so incredible to me how strong the bond is between the soldiers and their dogs.

    • Elliott April 3, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

      Yes, it’s definitely an honor to work with these teams every day!


  1. Top 13 Uncommon Veterinary Stories from 2013 - ... - January 3, 2014

    […] Happy New Year, everyone! I thought it would be fun to do a quick round-up of the most popular stories I shared over social media in 2013.  […]

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