Dr. Madeleine Tremblay and Dr. Virginie Boitout tell us what it’s like to be a doctor for animals
Doctors Madeleine Tremblay and Virginie Boitout are practicing vets at the International Center for Veterinary Services here in Beijing. Hailing from Canada and France respectively, the two animal doctors are probably more accustomed to dealing with herds of animals than herds of inquisitive school kids, but the agreeable pair happily came to Yew Chung International School to meet with a group of Year Four students. The young animal enthusiasts couldn’t wait to quiz the vets about their cool profession.
Sophie Burton, UK
”What animals have you helped to give birth?”
Dr. Madeleine Tremblay: Cows, horses, dogs, cats and humans – I helped my friends! I’ve helped birds, too, but that’s a little different because they lay eggs and don’t give birth to their babies directly.
Curt Knott, Germany/USA
”What is your favorite animal?”
MT: Do you know what a lemur is? It’s a primate found in Madagascar. I’d have to say they are my favorite animals. I don’t think any of you have one as a pet, do you?
Dr. Virginie Boitout: That’s a hard question because I like all animals. I like cats, dogs, elephants and especially dolphins.
Lauren Williams, Australia
”How many animals do you help in a day?”
VB: Usually ten per day. But it can get really busy and we can see even more than that. Also, if you have many complex cases, you may see fewer patients but you have to spend a longer time treating each patient.
Wiley Wadsworth, USA
”How long does it take for an animal to heal?”
VB: It depends how serious the animal is hurt. It’s like with people – if you are really, really ill then it can take weeks or even months to get better; animals are the same.
MT: We always try our best to help animals, but sometimes you just can’t help them get better and it’s very sad.
June Kim, Korea
”Did you want to be a vet when you were small?”
MT: I wanted to be a human doctor when I was small. I loved animals but I did not have the opportunity to have a veterinarian visit us in class, like you guys. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I wanted to be a vet. I love animals and the challenge of working with them. They bring me lots of joy and love. I can’t pass beside a suffering animal without feeling their hurt. So, being able to make them feel better or helping them heal from a bad disease is like a reward for me.
VB: Yes. I have loved animals since I was little and this was always what I wanted to do.
Samantha Kwek, Singapore
”Is it very difficult to become a vet?”
VB: Yes! You have to study very hard and work very hard at school.
MT: It takes a lot of hard work and many years of study. You have to have good results in your exams if you want to become a vet. You need to listen and be attentive to everything. In the US, you have to study for four years in school and do another four years training at a veterinary hospital. In different countries it can take a different amount of time, so you may need to look up how long it is in the country you want to study in. I’m not sure about China.
Victoria Lee, USA
”Have you ever deliberately hurt an animal?”
MT: We try never to hurt animals. I really hate animal cruelty. In my country, Canada, people often hunt animals and it makes me very angry.
VB: If you don’t like to hurt animals you should find people who also don’t like hunting and things like that. As vets, our job is to protect and heal animals, never to cause them pain on purpose. Animal cruelty is something we both hate.
International Center for Veterinary Services
Mon-Sat 9am-6pm (by appointment). 29 Liangmaqiao Lu, Anjialou, Chaoyang District (8456 1939) 北京新天地国际动物医院, 朝阳区安家楼亮马桥路29号 (肯特中心院子内)