Sarah van Rijn
I always aim for the highest
"I grew up with pets, not on a farm. That's why I opted for companion animals during Veterinary School. I want to become a diplomate in small animal surgery and work as a small animal surgeon. I like the contact with clients and their animals.
"Bachelor students often say they want to be a veterinarian, because they prefer working with animals rather than humans. That's a totally wrong perception of the job. As a vet, you have to deal with humans a lot. People often underestimate the involvement of animal owners, their pets mean everything to them and they spend a lot of money to get them cured.
Tumors in dogs
"My PhD research focused on corticotroph pituitary adenomas in dogs. These benign tumors, causing Cushing's disease, occur in all breeds but mostly in elderly dogs. Every year one or two dogs out of a thousand get these tumors. They can be treated with medication or surgery, but in 25% of the dogs the tumors return after some time. Why we don't know yet.
"I like the combination of surgery and research. I'm ambitious and always aim for the highest. Completing my PhD was quite an achievement, but I want to expand my knowledge and stay challenged. I would easily get bored if I could not learn something new every day. I already had this eagerness as a child.
"The University Clinic for Companion Animal Health is a very inspiring work environment. I'm surrounded by smart people and love working with all the different specialties together. As a surgeon you can fix things and really cure patients. It requires knowledge of anatomy, pathology and disease processes. You also have to make rapid decisions in sometimes stressful moments. Small animal surgeon is the perfect job for me."