One of the coolest things about the veterinary field, I think, is that there is so much cross-over between public health and human medicine. Not only are veterinarians involved in maintaining the health of pets, livestock, and other working animals, but veterinarians also have the opportunity to impact human health. I was particularly struck by this while attending a lecture by Dr. Bouley, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology and an employee of Stanford University’s pathology department.
Dr. Bouley’s lunch talk, entitled “Alternative Careers in Veterinary Pathology,” was as much an explanation of what a veterinary pathologist does as it was a step-by-step tracing of her career and journey to working at a human medical school. Dr. Bouley showed us beautiful pictures of the campus and her pathology laboratory, and she explained that not only did she serve as a consultant (by interpreting tissue sections sent in by other scientists), but she also trained researchers at Stanford how to properly perform necropsies to obtain good tissue samples. She also educates researchers on the importance of top-notch animal welfare—scientific results aren’t as accurate if the animals studied aren’t at the peak of health. Dr. Bouley also detailed her work as an undergraduate lecturer, and how teaching students to prepare tissue samples and differentiate between cell types inspired many to pursue research.
Working in the medical school at Stanford University, Dr. Bouley is unique in her role as a veterinarian uniting pathology, animal welfare, and student/researcher education to impact human medicine breakthroughs.