Tell us a bit about your educational and professional background.

After graduation, in 2010 I obtained the veterinary diploma at the Veterinary University of Timisoara, Romania. In 2012 I completed a Master in hygiene and epidemiology at the same University, obtaining the Master of Science diploma. I was happy to spend the first 5 years of my veterinary career in the first opinion practice, in my hometown Constanta, Romania. During those years I also worked at an animal shelter, called Save the dogs and other animals, which gave me the chance to rescue and help numerous stray Romanian dogs and cats. In 2016 I started the 1-year rotating internship at the Veterinary Institute of Novara, Italy, and after an externship performed in a busy veterinary hospital in UK, I began the 4-years Small Animals Internal Medicine Residency program at the same Veterinary Institute in Novara, Italy. The residency program was approved by the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine-Companion Animals (ECVIM-CA) and ended in 2022. In the last years I was delighted to be a speaker at various national and international veterinary congresses and conferences, but also the author and co-author of some veterinary articles.

What made you become a vet? And what was your motivation to complete an extensive internal medicine specialization?

Since my childhood in Romania, I always liked to stay around the animals and specially to look after the ill and injured cats and dogs rescued from the streets of my hometown. Therefore, becoming a vet was one of my dreams. The dream of being able to help as much as I could these little souls that cannot speak but who are able to make you understand that they need your assistance. As a vet you keep learning all your life, to improve your skills to always be ready to offer the best care to your patients. Thus, the motivation to complete an extensive internal medicine specialization was led by the wish of being prepared enough to manage even the complex pathologies that unfortunately are also seen in small animals. The quality of their life is one of my priorities.  

Any specific areas of internal medicine that you are especially interested in?

I’m interested in interventional endoscopy and fortunately, nowadays we have access to advanced equipment which give us the chance to diagnose and to treat even the more challenging diseases of our pets. Moreover, infectious diseases of both dogs and cats and hepatology are as well my areas of interest.

What’s the weirdest animal you have ever treated?

As a veterinary internist I am used to treating dogs and cats, but I remember that during my first year of residency I treated a chicken with a retained egg. All went well and Mary, the chicken, returned home with her owner. That same year I also treated a hedgehog rescued from one of the UK highways and I named him Romeo. He is now enjoying life in a huge farm in UK together with other rescued hedgehogs. It is always nice to still receive news about these little ones.

How do you spend your time off work?

I love nature and I really enjoy hiking with my dog Gloria, but it is not a secret that sometimes I choose kayaking or SUP and during rainy days an interesting book and a good tea. Moreover, volunteering actions are always included in my time off program, thus I’m sure that also in Stockholm, in the near future, I will continue to dedicate time to an animal shelter.

Why did you choose to become a part of AWAKE?

AWAKE is more than a veterinary hospital, it is a modern veterinary referral centre, well equipped, where the collaboration of its professional team is essential for optimal patient management. Working together with a professional, supportive, and positive team, in a new and futuristic hospital made me want to be part of this wonderful group. Moreover, the AWAKE Outreach program and the focus of the team on animals’ well-being contributed significantly to my decision of becoming one of the AWAKE-team.

Any final punchlines?

Yes, as an advice…Be careful what you are thinking of because your pet might find out shortly! Just kidding now, but who knows what our furry kids will show us, and particularly to the scientist, soon! Check this out: Schünemann B., Keller J., Rakoczy H. et al. Dogs distinguish human intentional and unintentional action.2021, Scientific Reports, 11, 14967.

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