We here at Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic love our vets. No seriously, we really love our vets. And we know you do as well. So to show our love for these amazing ladies, we thought we would make this month’s blog all about them. Without further ado, here are the wonderful, wild, white-coated women of Winding Hill!
Our medical director, Dr. Patricia Gabig, has been practicing since 1993. She completed her undergraduate in medical technology at Bloomsburg State College and spent 2 years in Italy studying veterinary medicine. She received her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. It’s thanks to swimming and her overnight weekend shift at the William Pepper Stat Lab that she survived it all! Currently she has two cats, Murfe and Fiona, and likes to relax by reading, biking, swimming, and painting. According to Dr. Gabig, the most unusual pet that she’s gotten to work with was a python with a prolapsed rectum.
Dr. Anne Barnhart also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and has been out in the field for 30 years. The thing that kept her sane through vet school was doing obedience and show classes with her Russian Wolfhound. While in school, Dr. Barnhart says that coolest thing she was able to do was to work with the ferrets at Marshal Farms in New York. There she learned about their needs and habits and also how to spay, neuter, and descent them. Currently, she likes to read, knit, travel, and care for her 2 Tunis sheep, 3 Finn sheep, 14 chickens (4 Rhode Island Reds, 5 Easter Eggers, 4 Barred Rocks, and 1 Dominique) 1 rooster, and 2 cats, and take walks with her dog, Barend.
Dr. Edwards did her undergraduate at West Virginia University and attended veterinary school at THE Ohio State University. While at OSU, she said that one of the coolest things she got to see was the Budweiser Clydesdales, who always stayed overnight at the teaching hospital when they were passing through town. Aside from getting to visit with the amazing Clydesdales, she said that her pets and her husband are what got her through vet school. Currently, she lives in a beautiful farmhouse with her husband, 6 cats, and some soon-to-arrive honeybees. To relax she enjoys gardening, reading, and canning homegrown food.
Next up is Dr. Catherine Davis, who tells me that she’s been practicing for over 20 years but won’t give us anything more specific in case it dates her. She’s another graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and relied on her friends and pets to get her through. She says that her favorite part of vet school was all of it. Nowadays she spends her time hanging out with family and friends, running, and caring for her pets (2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 kids, and husband!). The most unusual animal that she has gotten to work with was a sugar glider that had to have a tumor removed from it’s eyeball.
While born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Elizabeth Dailey is a PA girl through and through. She did her undergrad at Dickinson College and then moved on to Drexel University to get her masters in Microbiology/Immunology. From there she attended vet school at, you guessed it, the University of Pennsylvania. While there, she was fortunate to have the opportunity to anesthetize a tiger for an ultrasound! These days, though, she can be found reading, skiing, cycling, and walking her dogs. At the moment she has a hound mix, a cat, and fish, but very soon she’ll be welcoming a Doberman puppy into the family.
The newest veterinarian to join the Winding Hill family is Dr. Tracy Venier. She graduated Ross University in 2012 and along with her diploma she brought back a coconut retriever named Blackie. You can read the story of their adventures in January’s blog post. Going to school on a tropical island definitely had its advantages (besides the sun, surf, and sand). While on St. Kitts she was able to work with the local green vervet monkeys! While she may not have any monkeys, she currently shares her life with her cat, Mia, and her two horses, Valentino and Pearl Snaps. When not out riding her horses, Dr. Venier enjoys decorating and looking for antiques.
As varied as our veterinarians are, I think it was interesting that every single one of them knew that they wanted to be a vet since they were young girls. It appears that they were all smitten with the profession from a young age and haven’t ever stopped loving it! Below are two questions that they answered for me and that I thought merited being printed in their own words:
What is your favorite part of being a veterinarian?
Dr. Edwards: The clients – being able to help them understand and care for their pets.
Dr. Gabig: I like to figure out tough cases, but the downside is that you have limited time to do it.
Dr. Barnhart: Seeing the clients and their interactions with their pets, knowing how important the pet connection is to our health. I also enjoy solving mysteries to find an answer if possible for a pet’s illness.
Dr. Davis: The interaction with people and their pets.
Dr. Dailey: The animals, the owners, and the sense of camaraderie with the staff.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to enter the veterinary profession?
Dr. Venier: Be prepared to work hard and to also be in debt.
Dr. Dailey: Do it! Keep at it. Persevere. It’s a great profession.
Dr. Edwards: Get lots of experience before applying so that you are familiar with the field of veterinary medicine and the types of job options – it’s a big financial investment.
Dr. Barnhart: Try to volunteer or work in the area you think you want to enter (zoo medicine, large animal, etc.) because you are going to spend at least 8 years in school after high school and a significant amount of money to pay for your education.
Dr. Gabig: Don’t just think of small animal practice as all you can do. There are many opportunities to do other things regarding research, pharmaceuticals, engineering, food supply, and even being an astronaut.
Dr. Davis: Work at a vet clinic first to see what it’s really like.