Meet a Relief Vet – Dr. Jennifer Lopez
Ever wish you could have a dermatology brain nearby to pick?
Well, you, my friend, are in luck.
I know one such veterinarian – and she can be lured with Sour Patch Kids and coffee.
Derm aside, Dr. Jennifer Lopez also has an affinity for surgery and emergency care.
She knows the value that having relief support brings.
She knows the value of being that relief support.
Now, where to find those snacks…
Name your niche: large animal, small animal, pocket pets, and/or exotics?
ER, GP, and/or shelter?
GP, dermatology, surgery, and emergency care
Everyone has a story – what’s yours? What inspired you to become a veterinarian?
Born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida, I have always been a “Florida baby”. There was never a doubt that I would become a veterinarian, as I grew up caring for my family’s seven pet Rottweilers, blue and gold macaw, and various other animals that my family rescued.
What roles have you had within the veterinary profession?
I began my veterinary career as a technician at the University of Florida in the Dermatology department. I helped in both the clinical and research departments of dermatology, the ICU, and the blood donor ward. Opportunities allowed me to work closely with the dermatologist in charge of clinical trials with their in-house high IgE research beagles, where I was a part of developing the model for atopic dermatitis. My passion grew for clinical research and skin diseases, resulting in being published in several journals such as Veterinary Dermatology and American Veterinary Journal of Research.
While at St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grenada, The West Indies, I was able to stay active in community programs to educate the local Grenadians on pet care, parasite control, and preventive medicine, representing both Zoetis and VCA as a student ambassador.
After graduating, I began general practice in Miami, while also working towards and receiving my MBA in Multi-Sector Health Management. I then took a position with VCA as a medical director for a 24-hour, 12 doctor general practice and emergency hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.
I love to interact with clients and pets, which is why I recently left clinical practice to take on the position of Professional Services Veterinarian at Antech. This was an opportunity to continue to be a part of the veterinary community but also provide consultative services to practice owners and veterinary staff supporting goals of growth while promoting best medicine practices.
So, you’ve made the switch to relief practice. Why?
Despite the access to community involvement, I missed ‘getting my hands dirty’ and began to do relief during the weekend, holidays, and time off.
How do you feel that relief practice supports the veterinary profession as a whole?
I feel that being a relief veterinarian is a fantastic opportunity to establish great personal and professional relationships and collaborate with so many amazing teams.
Keeping it PG, what is your most memorable relief job?
I had a blast working in a clinic that does a lot of rescue and non-profit work. Who doesn’t love a mangey mutt! 🙂 Being able to provide a support system to organizations that are selfless reminds me of how we all as veterinarians want to save the world and are able to do it, one pet at a time.
What are your least favorite things about being a relief vet?
Leaving the friends and teammates at the end of the day. You might be back, but never soon enough when you find a great hospital.
Pathologically prepared or minimalist: what supplies or equipment do you bring with you on the job?
Lots of coffee, snacks, and also a bag or two of Sour Patch Kids. Sugar fuel is important!!
What advice would you give new relief vets? (Alternatively, what advice would you give someone who is thinking about being a relief vet?)
We are all nervous walking in the first day in a new practice. We all want to please everyone – that is our ‘veterinarian’ way. But know that you are appreciated and valued, and that the practice is happy to have you there even if you don’t know everything! No one knows it all.
What states are you licensed in and/or states you are working to obtain licensure within?
North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, & Texas
Aside from English, what language(s) do you speak?
I speak English and Spanish, but am great at Google translate, too with other languages.
What are your hobbies/passions outside of work?
Lopez fur babies include two French bulldogs – Roxy Razzle Dazzle and King Pickle, and a miniature red poodle, Clifford, who I call Poodle.
My hobbies include gardening, cooking, scuba diving, all water sports and traveling. And I thoroughly enjoy learning histories and cultures of the world, exposing myself to new languages and people. I cannot wait to get back to Africa for safari.
To learn more or to contact Dr. Jennifer Lopez, click here!