Erika Novak, DVM

Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Class of 2014
Small animal rotating internship at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists

Why Emergency Medicine:
I find it a great privilege to help owners and their pets in their greatest time of need. Preserving the strong bond between animal and human as well as comforting owners and explaining disease processes is humbling. I also enjoy learning. What specialty allows you to learn about everything and all species besides emergency?!

Get to know me

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be:
I would want to create and manipulate electricity – a power that could be used for good in many ways. I could be a human-defibrillator and revive arrested hearts. I never would have to worry about an uncharged phone or appliance. Plus, our VEG hospital would never need to worry about a generator in a power outage!

What are you happiest doing when you’re not working:
One of our amazing technicians is a silks master, so you will find me upside down in one of her classes. More likely I will be running after my four year old twins, playing dino puppet theater, or making any art and craft related to dinosaurs. We also love traveling as a family. Our next stop is the Ghan (train across Australia)!

What has been the most rewarding part of your career?
Being able to meet so many incredible people from technicians to receptionists to VQers to customers to wildlife rehabbers and rescues. I have also had the privilege to help a variety of species including Asiatic black bears, Chinese leopard cats, civets, kangaroos, water dragons, opposums, parrots, hawks, etc as well as dogs, cats, and exotics. Veterinary medicine is always evolving and I am so fortunate to call VEG, a place that encourages learning and helping every human and animal, my home.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:
As emergency veterinarians, we are accustomed to jump in and help with a critical pet. We cannot forget it is just as important to jump in and be present for the owner too. We see some owners on the worst day of their life and we always need to be compassionate, understanding and patient.

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