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iDream: Be a Veterinarian!
Dr. Emily Talkington

Introducing a brand new section of iTwixie! all about amazing career choices for YOU! We’re starting with an exciting one: Be a Veterinarian!

We talked to California-based veterinarian, Dr. Emily Talkington. Here she is with Hockey, her favorite orangutan at a sanctuary in Borneo, Indonesia. Read about why she wanted to be an animal doctor, and what it took for her to get her dream job.

Then tell us about another career YOU want to learn more about. Just use the comments section below. We might just feature your top career choice the next time around!

iTwixie: How did you get started?
Dr. Talkington: I decided to become a veterinarian so I could help those who cannot help themselves. I wanted to be an animal doctor ever since I was a little girl, and thought it would be really great to try and help animals feel better and to try and help save endangered species.

iTwixie: What kind of schooling and special training did you need?
Dr. Talkington: In junior high, I volunteered at the local animal shelter where I walked the dogs and helped socialize the cats. During high school, I volunteered at a zoo, cleaning habitats and preparing food for animals. During college, I worked in a dog and cat hospital as a nurse assisting the veterinarian. After graduating from a four-year college, I went to veterinary medical school for another four years. Then, I worked at the Bronx Zoo in New York City before eventually moving to California.

iTwixie: What is your favorite part of the job?
Dr. Talkington: Getting to work with wild animals such as chimpanzees, orangutans and lions, especially the babies as they are so trusting and loving. I find it very rewarding to help heal animals of their pain. I also recently got to work with Koko, the gorilla who uses sign language to communicate. It was so amazing to actually have a conversation with someone who is not human!

iTwixie: What is your least favorite part of the job?
Dr. Talkington: Not being able to save an animal, whether it be someone’s beloved pet dog or a baby orangutan.

iTwixie: How else are you able to use your training — and love for animals – to make the world better?
Dr. Talkington: I am very active in international conservation groups that campaign against rainforest destruction, the bush-meat industry and poaching. The rainforest is home to many species of animals such as orangutans and tigers that are becoming extinct due to human greed for their land or meat. I also volunteer in poor countries at animal orphanages where I use my medicine and surgery skills to help heal their wounds and rehabilitate them so they can hopefully be released back into the wild one day.

iTwixie: What advice would you give to girls who want to follow in your footsteps?
Dr. Talkington: My advice to you is to never, ever give up on your dreams! Even if you don’t think you are smart enough, good enough or brave enough! All is takes is the desire and hard work! Start volunteering at the local animal shelter, farm or zoo. Assist at a veterinary clinic!  And study hard!

Thanks, Dr. Talkington! Wow, you’re amazing!

Ok, girls! Now it’s YOUR turn! Got any comments about Dr. Talkington’s cool job?Also, what career do you want to learn more about? Jot your ideas, comments and questions right here!

  1. I think being a veterinarian would be cool! my little sister says its her dream job because she LOVES animals and nature!

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