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News & Press: Member Spotlights

New arrival - 2nd ECZM/ACZM Resident (ZHM) in Copenhagen

Friday 12 August 2016   (0 Comments)
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I started the residency program at Copenhagen zoo just three months ago. The residency is supervised by Mads Bertelsen, and it is the first program in Europe to be accredited by the European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM Zoo Health Management) as well as by the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM). I’m excited to participate in this program and make the most of the opportunities offered to me, especially as there are still only limited numbers of training programs in Europe.

Always passionate about wildlife and conservation, I studied Conservation Medicine at the Veterinary University of Vienna. Then my passion drove me to France, where I worked in a mixed veterinary clinic including some work at Thoiry Zoo, for three years. For the last two years I worked as a full time zoo vet. Zoo veterinary work is fascinating, particularly regarding the widely varied species, diseases, management and nutritional issues that you can encounter. I have quickly realized that the more you work, see and learn, the more you understand how little you know. That is why I applied for the residency position, to get the most knowledge possible in a field which is expanding so rapidly.

The Copenhagen Zoo has a varied collection of 240 species. Daily work consists of clinical examinations (both clinical and preventative) which often require anesthesia. Pathological exams are performed in-house and I’m particularly looking forward to gaining new insights as I am trained in histopathology, which is something I have not done much of before. There are already lots of opportunities to be involved with research, both at the Copenhagen Zoo and with collaborating institutions.

My learning curve has been steep right from the beginning, but the veterinary team has helped me a lot to settle into the new environment. Alongside my zoo medicine and pathology training, I am also learning Danish. Despite being a lot of extra work in addition to the residency, it will be invaluable in helping me to communicate with my new colleagues. I am very lucky to have Kathryn Perrin by my side, helping me with the new tasks and explaining how the zoo and the veterinary department function. Kathryn is the “old” resident who will finish her residency in a few months. Her next challenge is to prepare for the ECZM and ACZM board exams, to gain “Diplomate-status” and therefore become a recognized specialist. I feel fortunate to have this help, as previous ECZM residents in this, and other programs, have not had a senior resident to guide them.

All in all I am very much looking forward to the rest of my time as a resident at Copenhagen Zoo, it will be a very exciting time for sure.

Eva Maria Greunz

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