Dr. Louise Murray
Dr. Louise Murray saves animals every day! As a veterinarian and Director of Medicine of the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, she helps pets stay healthy by performing check-ups and medical tests, and teaching future veterinarians and kids who want to work with animals. She also wrote a book called Vet Confidential that gives pet parents tons of helpful hints about taking good care of their furry friends.
What do you do every day in your job?
Lots of different stuff! I have appointments, some with sick animals and some with animals who just need a check-up or vaccinations. I perform medical procedures that help us figure out why an animal is ill, and spend time teaching veterinary students and new veterinarians.
How did you get involved in helping animals?
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to take care of animals! We had a lot of pets when I was growing up, and my parents encouraged me in my love of animals. My grandfather was a doctor who loved animals, and my mom would stop the car to help box turtles get out of the road.
What skills and education do you need to be a veterinarian?
After you graduate from college, you need to attend veterinary school, which usually takes four years. Then you can complete a one-year internship to get more training or if you want to be a veterinary specialistlike a dermatologist, ophthalmologist or veterinary surgeonyou can complete a residency program for an additional three years.
What’s the best part of your job?
I love meeting all the different animalsthey all have unique personalities! It's also wonderful to get to know all the people who bring their pets to see me. Pets are truly part of the family, and it feels really good to see how happy everyone is when their pet feels better.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
It's really tough when we realize that we can't make an animal bettersome of them have health problems we can't fix. But often we can make the animal more comfortable. For example, if the pet has any pain, we can give him medicine to relieve it and make sure he doesn't suffer.
Do you have any advice for kids who want to be veterinarians when they get older?
Work hard in school so you can learn as much as possible. If there are subjects you find more difficult, don't give upask your parents or a school counselor for extra help. Get as much experience with animals as you canyou may be able to volunteer at a local shelter or veterinarian's office. Read about animals! The more you read about them, the more you’ll understand about their health and behavior.
Do you have any pets at home? What are their names?
I have the two best cats in the whole world. Their names are Dov and Siena. I adopted them both from animal shelters. They are orange and white and completely spoiled.