While studying in Grenada, the school of medicine and the school of veterinary medicine would team up to provide care for communities in the area and their pets which included cats, dogs, sheep, goats, and horses. This collaboration was referred to as One Health One Medicine, which emphasizes the importance of human and animal physicians working together to improve public and environmental health. At the community outreach examinations, pet education and vaccinations would be provided free of charge. Often this was the only opportunity for their pets to be examined and vaccinated.
My experience in Grenada inspired me to volunteer in Nicaragua. During my visit there, we were able to spay and neuter cats, dogs, and pigs, to reduce the already large population of stray animals. This provided me with important skills and experience while simultaneously allowing me to be a part of an organization that provides services to pets that would otherwise not have been able to receive them.
During my time in Grenada and Nicaragua, I also witnessed the effects of pets not having the benefits of flea and tick prevention. Fleas and ticks do not only cause itchiness, but they also transmit diseases and other parasites that can affect your pet internally.
I have also travelled to South Africa, where I spent time helping build new enclosures for these exotic animals and assisting in releasing animals back into the wild.
I absolutely loved every moment I spent working in these countries; learning the different cultures, spending time with exotic animals and gaining the experience to help make me a better doctor.