Hi everyone, my name is Eastman Welsford and I am so excited to be participating in this year’s Externship Blog Project. I was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Oakville, Ontario just outside Toronto. While Oakville is a suburb I always had a fascination and deep interest for animals large and small. I can remember dragging my parents hours from home to go horseback riding, visit Springridge Farm’s cows and sheep, and then race back home just in time to feed our family dog, budgie, ferret, hamster, gecko, and fish! Needless to say it was pretty clear I was destined for a career with animals.
I developed a keen interest in the life sciences throughout high school which led me to study biology and anthropology at McGill University. Through my studies and extracurricular activities, I gained exposure to working with livestock and learned about Canada’s exciting agricultural industries. McGill’s Macdonald Campus provided me with the opportunity to work on the university farm and see first-hand how fortunate we are as Canadians to have a thriving agriculture sector that supplies our population with food and nutrients. Watching veterinarians work, I realized that caring for livestock was a perfect way to contribute to both improving agricultural efficiency, sustainability, and welfare amongst production animals in Canada. And so I decided to pursue veterinary medicine!
Throughout veterinary school I have tried to be as involved as possible by taking advantage of almost every possible opportunity. As my interest in food animal medicine grew, so did my desire to communicate this information to others. When I heard about the OVC’s Externship Blog Project I thought it would be a perfect way to share my experience with others, give the public a chance to see what life is like as a veterinary student, and inform society on the role that veterinarians play in ensuring a safe and sustainable food supply. Since my externship is taking me all the way to New Zealand, I thought it would also be a unique experience for others to witness.
I decided to complete my eight-week externship in New Zealand because I wanted to get a different perspective on veterinary medicine outside what is typical in North America. Many countries in the world do things very differently and maintain thriving agricultural industries, this fascinates me and motivated me to search for a clinic far from home in order to gain new insights which I can bring back to Ontario and Canada. Levin and Horowhenua Veterinary Centre in the town of Levin has graciously accepted me as their extern! With a focus on dairy cattle, the clinic sees a wide variety of production and companion animals from cattle, sheep, and goats to horses, dogs, and cats. With few referral centre options in the area, the clinic also has 24/7 emergency services available in order to offer all their patients a high standard of care at anytime of the day or night.
I am very excited to be participating in this year’s Externship Blog Project! I plant to upload blogs and videos every week throughout my externship – I am looking forward to sharing in this adventure with you!