Each July brings a bittersweet transition to the Wildlife Medical Clinic, as we say goodbye to our ZooMed house officers. While the WMC is staffed by volunteer veterinary and undergraduate students, this care is supported by the veterinarians in the ZooMed Service of the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This includes the three ZooMed house officers, each a veterinarian in their own right, who have elected additional training in pursuit of becoming specialists in the American College of Zoological Medicine. Our skilled house officers include one intern and two resident veterinarians. These veterinarians assist our students in all aspects of animal care – from demonstrating safe ways to hold an animal, developing appropriate diet plans, discussing patient concerns and care, and pursuing treatments, our house officers are available every step of the way. More than providing medical care, these doctors demonstrate patience, empathy, and perseverance. They help set the energy in the WMC and form incredible bonds with our students each year. We are so incredibly grateful for all of the hard work, passion, and care these veterinarians have contributed to our program and wish them each the greatness they deserve as they move on to their next opportunities.
Dr. Kelsey Trumpp was our ZooMed specialty intern from 2020-2021. She took on this challenge with gusto and an ever-present smile on her face. In addition to caring for more than 1,200 wildlife patients during her internship, Dr. Trumpp was the primary author of two research projects and assisted in the training of veterinary students throughout the curriculum. Dr. Trumpp was a phenomenal asset to our team and we are so excited for her next opportunity at the University of Georgia, where she will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Comparative Biomedical Sciences (zoological medicine) concurrent with a four year residency program in Zoological Medicine.
Dr. Anthony Cerreta was our first-year resident in the Illinois Zoo and Aquatic Animal Residency from 2020-2021. Dr. Cerreta was a calming, dedicated presence in the hospital, always going above and beyond in helping clients, patients, and students. He brought a passion for the care of reptiles, eagerly took on opportunities to create protocols or provide teaching rounds for the WMC, and was always willing to lend a hand. We aren’t quite sure how Dr. Cerreta managed it all, as he balanced coursework for his Master’s degree alongside his clinical responsibilities and research interests, but we are glad for all that he contributed. Dr. Cerreta will spend the final two years of his residency at the Brookfield Zoo and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL.
Dr. Joanna Webb was our inaugural Illinois Zoo Companion Animal Resident from 2018-2021. During her three years with our program, Dr. Webb cared for thousands of animals, fostered relationships with numerous clients, and trained hundreds of veterinarians. She also completed her Master’s of Science degree and successfully defended her thesis entitled “Optimizing the pharmacodynamics and evaluating echocardiographic effects of alfaxalone sedation in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) and prairie rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridus)”. Over the last three years, Dr. Webb completed four first author publications for peer review, presented her work at multiple scientific meetings, and has credentialed for the American College of Zoological Medicine board examination! Dr. Webb’s passion for teaching, keen mind, and compassionate care have been an asset to our program and will undoubtedly continue to serve her well as she transitions to her next opportunity in Pennsylvania, where she will be starting a Zoological Medicine service at a busy referral hospital outside of Philadelphia.
Written by Dr. Sam Sander, WMC Director