Wednesday, September 28, 2022
HomeWildlifeDr. Zachary Dvornicky-Raymond (BS ’15, DVM ’19) – WildLIFE

Dr. Zachary Dvornicky-Raymond (BS ’15, DVM ’19) – WildLIFE


For Dr. Zachary Dvornicky-Raymond, a profession in conservation might have been an inevitability. An animal lover for so long as he can bear in mind, Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond remembers watching the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet as a baby and idolizing Steve Irwin. “As I grew up and was attending zoos and studying extra concerning the world, I got here to appreciate that the entire animals that I beloved and was so excited about had been disappearing. So I at all times knew I wished to determine a manner to assist them.” Whereas he was sure he wished to work in wildlife conservation as a baby, he wasn’t positive how. Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond notes that he at all times beloved the sciences, particularly biology, rising up. He then determined to go to school to pursue a serious in biology, figuring out that he would sometime apply it to conservation. Via some formative experiences in undergrad, together with a heartfelt dialogue with our personal Dr. Abou-Madi when he was a zookeeper intern, he realized that he might merge two main pursuits: medication and conservation. His arduous work paid off when he received a telephone name one wintry morning from Dr. Beth Bunting — he had been supplied a spot in Cornell Vet’s Class of 2019. To him, this was a dream come true; he accepted. 

Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond is especially grateful for the chance he needed to develop his pursuits throughout his eight years at Cornell. In vet faculty, a few of his favourite programs included Conservation Drugs, Captive Wildlife Administration, and a variety of huge animal and manufacturing programs. He calls these home animal programs “simply as vital in your improvement as a zoological veterinarian” as extra overtly zoo-related programs. Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond served as Vice President of the Zoo and Wildlife Society, throughout which era he co-developed the WildLIFE Weblog. He was additionally Vice President of the Theriogenology Membership throughout his time as a scholar and took on alternatives to proceed growing his analysis expertise, together with an Increasing Horizons challenge in Namibia working with the Cheetah Conservation Fund. “We’re sitting on a gold mine at Cornell,” he says of the Increasing Horizons Program. “The chance to go overseas as a vet scholar and have company in a challenge and work on one thing fully novel to you is an expertise that’s fully price it, whether or not or not you need to work overseas.”

Zoo/wildlife-related experiences apart, Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond additionally emphasizes “leaning into issues that aren’t essentially simply {of professional} curiosity, however that additionally communicate to the guts.” This spirit of exploration must also, in his opinion, inform externship choices. “Do one thing that you just undoubtedly need to do and do one thing considerably associated to it that you just’re undecided about.” For Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond, this included an externship at a standard zoological establishment, the Brookfield Zoo, and a preceptorship at White Oak Conservation Heart. Via these experiences, Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond got here to like inhabitants medication and the semi-free ranging wildlife mannequin. School additionally play an integral function within the self-discovery course of. “In the end individuals are college at Cornell for a purpose. They need to be there they usually need to be there. You realize they labored arduous to get there they usually need to assist. They need to nurture.” School at Cornell performed an integral function in serving to him select his subsequent steps after receiving his DVM. 

 After commencement, Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond accomplished a small animal rotating internship at VCA West Los Angeles to “acquire confidence and competence in my medical expertise.” He’s fast to emphasise the numerous potential pathways to a profession in conservation medication, together with internships in massive animal and equine medication. After finishing his first internship, Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond went on to Colorado State College to finish a zoological medication and surgical procedure specialty internship, all whereas the pandemic was turning the veterinary neighborhood and the world at massive the other way up. “Studying how you can extrapolate data and studying how you can work in fully novel eventualities had been the largest issues that I took away from that.” From there, Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond felt referred to as to return to his love for population-based medication, and located Fossil Rim Wildlife Heart to be the perfect subsequent vacation spot. His present function because the David E. Wildlt Fellow in Zoological Drugs there provides him an abundance of alternatives. “This place is superb, and with the ability to take all of that medication that I realized prior to now two years and now apply it in a unique setting with new challenges is de facto personally fulfilling. And I’m beginning to get a greater appreciation for what it means to be a veterinarian because it pertains to conservation, which is de facto cool.”

Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond continues to be charting the course he desires to comply with when his time at Fossil Rim ends, however for him the unsure, ever-evolving nature of conservation is a part of what makes the work so particular. Whereas he’s a fan of umbrella and keystone species and is especially drawn to his favourite animal, the tiger, he’s thrilled by the numerous methods to assist save wild locations and species. “There’s a lot to grasp, to study, and to strive. I’ve the veterinary medication half down, however that isn’t the end-all-be-all in relation to saving animals. Conservation is about folks. And in order that’s the facet of One Well being that I haven’t spent as a lot time with. I’ve received a fairly good deal with on one-third of it, however there’s two-thirds left and I would like to have the ability to work with a transdisciplinary group and proceed to develop. I don’t know the place I’m going to be in a 12 months and that makes me nervous, however I do know the place I need to be. And so long as I preserve my eye on the North Star, I feel it will likely be okay. This world is altering very quickly and individuals are beginning to concentrate to One Well being and the well being of our ecosystems, so I’m hopeful that that interprets into a necessity. You possibly can solely stay hopeful, and I encourage you to remain hopeful.”

Whereas the years since his commencement have been action-packed, it wasn’t way back that Dr. Dvornicky-Raymond was in our footwear, and he’s desperate to share his recommendation for present vet college students. First, preserve an open thoughts. “Being a standard zoo vet at a zoo is one pathway. There are such a lot of alternative ways that you may have an effect on the pure world and on wildlife conservation that aren’t simply being a zoo vet. So don’t be discouraged by people who say there aren’t any jobs in zoological medication. These folks have a really slim sight. They’re not considering large enough.” The present state of the world, he says, requires novel options to issues, and he believes that there’s a place for everybody and their distinctive abilities on this sphere. “Don’t really feel like you must go all-or-nothing, so long as you’re doing one thing. In case you care about it, discover some method to get entangled.” For his parting recommendation, he’s prepared to veer into sentimental territory. “Observe your coronary heart. I do know I sound like a Disney character proper now. You’re going to listen to quite a lot of naysayers and also you’re going to come across quite a lot of challenges, however do not forget that on the finish of those challenges is a lifetime of no matter you select to do. And you must just be sure you are fulfilled in doing that. There are methods that every particular person differs that may information you to the place you’re purported to be. So comply with your coronary heart and don’t let folks let you know what to do.” 


Colleen Sorge, Class of 2024, is initially from Lengthy Island, NY. She graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science and a minor in English from Cornell College. She typically finds herself lacking her humanities programs in vet faculty and is thrilled she will be able to mix her passions for writing and for veterinary medication because the WildLIFE Weblog Editor.

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