Meet a Relief Vet – Dr. Dave Hunt
Just add water, and you will likely find Dr. Dave Hunt. Remote? Sure. Extreme temperatures? Absolutely! From Wyoming to Utah, Alaska to Montana and Idaho, and the Caribbean to his latest adventure in Hawaii, this dedicated veterinarian has found the perfect work/life balance. Dogs, cats, raptors, dart guns and stallions fill his time in between fishing, skiing, and scuba. Help him expand his relief adventures in The Aloha State!
What inspired you to become a veterinarian?
I knew I wanted to become a veterinarian ever since second grade. I have always loved animals.
What states are you licensed in and/or states you are working to obtain licensure within?
Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and working to obtain licensure in Hawaii
What roles have you had within the veterinary profession? How about outside of this industry?
I have lived as an associate, a solo practice owner on a remote Alaskan island for 26 years, a raptor center veterinarian, an Iditarod sled dog veterinarian, a Caribbean island associate, a mobile veterinarian, and chairman of the Alaska State Board of Veterinary Examiners!
What made you switch to relief practice?
After 26 years of solo veterinary work, I switched to relief work.
What are your favorite things about being a relief vet?
I love the flexibility that being a relief vet allows you.
What are your least favorite things about being a relief vet?
There are those more in-depth cases that you treat, but you don’t get to follow up with the long-term treatment and progress.
How do you feel that relief practice supports the veterinary profession as a whole?
Relief practice is very supportive – especially to the solo practitioners and remote practices.
What supplies or equipment do you bring with you on the job?
That depends on how remote!
What do you look for in practice when deciding to cover shifts for them?
I seek out practices that mirror my passion for high-quality veterinary medicine.
Have you picked up any unique practice tips while being a relief vet? These could be related to medicine, workflow, practice organization, or anything really.
Of course! I am always picking up new tips and tricks. I’ve learned new anesthetic protocols, computer systems, and continue to learn about all the different ways veterinarians practice.
What is your most memorable relief job?
That is easy! I was fortunate enough to fly into remote Alaska and use a dart gun to tranquilize stallions and castrate them.
What advice would you give new relief vets? (Alternatively, what advice would you give someone who is thinking about being a relief vet?)
It is important to mirror the value of the clinic you are working at. Be flexible.
How has the global pandemic affected your relief practice?
Well, I moved my family to Molokai, Hawaii, and hope to be doing relief work here soon.
What are your hobbies/passions outside of work?
All things water: fly fishing, skiing, and scuba diving.
To learn more or contact Dr. Dave Hunt click here.