Introducing Tufts New Residents and Interns

This entry is article 1 of 6 in the September 2013 issue

“We work closely with the Veterinary Teaching Hospitals to find the right balance between clinical service and academic pursuits.“ – Dr. Nick Frank (Professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine and Chair, Department of Clinical Sciences)

Dr. Virginia Rentko, medical director of Tufts Veterinary Teaching Hospitals at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine welcomes new house officers for the 2013-2014 academic years. She notes that the relationship between the house officers and the institution is mutually beneficial:

“When the interns arrive at our veterinary teaching hospitals they are new graduates from veterinary school and have limited experience. We provide a structured learning environment where they can learn clinical skills under the guidance of board-certified clinicians.

The internship lasts one year; during this time interns are exposed to multiple specialties. If an intern is intrigued by a specialty encountered during a rotation, he or she may pursue a residency in that specialty during three additional years.”

Dr. Lilian Cornejo, Director of the Small Animal Internships, explains that the internships are very competitive: “We get very good graduates with bright futures.” She adds that while serving their internships, interns will, “see so much and have the chance to work with many specialists. This opportunity provides an accelerated growth rate professionally.”

Dr. Cornejo points out that while some recent veterinary graduates choose to do an internship with an eye toward then pursuing a residency in a specialty, others opt for an extra year of preparation and mentoring prior to pursuing private practice.  In addition, she notes that while internships used to be general or spent rotating through several different specialties, interns can now focus their internship on a particular area if they choose to do so, such as surgery, and that completing an internship in a specialty can strengthen an intern’s future application to a residency program.

Dr. Nicholas Frank, Professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine and Chair, Department of Clinical Sciences describes the skills that house officers acquire during their tenure:

“Our interns are expected to teach students, attend seminars, contribute to rounds, and give presentations. Our residents must develop into effective educators and researchers during their three-year programs.  This professional development is supported by our Residents’ Enhanced Veterinary Education and Academic Learning (REVEAL) program, which enhances the academic experience.   The academic parts of our internship and residency programs are managed by the Department of Clinical Sciences and we work closely with the teaching hospitals to find the right balance between clinical service and academic pursuits.  The Department and hospitals depend upon one another; interns and residents could not conduct clinical research without patients and we would not be able to train our students if we did not have the hospitals.  From the other perspective, it would be impossible for our hospitals to provide the same excellent level of care without the dedication and commitment of our house officers.”

Dr. Rentko specifies that residents practice public speaking skills to further prepare them for giving presentations throughout their careers. Grand Rounds are held every Friday and residents are called on to present at that time. Residents also undergo sophisticated communication training to prepare them to communicate effectively with pet owners and referring veterinarians. She adds, “They learn the soft skills needed to work as a clinician as part of their professionalism training, including a series of seminars addressing such topics as how to interact with others when it’s very busy and the pressure is high, how to manage a team, how to interview someone, and how to perform well as an interviewee.”

The hospital faculty and staff welcome the new house officers and look forward to working with them over the course of the coming year.

New Incoming House Officers, 2013-2014


Small Animal Rotating Interns
Phillip Allen, DVM
Nahvid Etedali, DVM
Erika Fauth, DVM
Katie Forsman, DVM
Lauren Krone, DVM, MS
Michael Nystrom, DVM

Emergency and Critical Care Intern II
Tovah Dorsey, DVM
Justin Lamb, DVM

Large Animal Internal Medicine with The Massachusetts Equine Clinic
Kimberly Guyer, DVM
Stephanie Olchowski, VMD

Large Animal Surgery
Kimberly Pescosolido, DVM


Alison Allukian, DVM
Scott Taylor, BVSc

Ana Crane, DVM
Jennifer Mahon, DVM

Lisa Bourazak, DVM

Kursten Roderick, DVM

Clinical Nutrition
Lily Johnson, DVM Dermatology
Abigail Maskalonoka, DVM, RN

Diagnostic Imaging
Scott Gregorich, DVM, MS
Kathryn Wulster, VMD

Laura Harvey, DVM

Small Animal Medical Oncology
Felicia Lew, DVM

Small Animal Surgery
Abigail Mariano, VMD

Small Animal Medicine
Evence Daure, DEDV
Lesli Kibler, DVM

Large Animal Medicine
Melissa Restifo, DVM

Large Animal Surgery
Amanda Bergren, DVM

Wildlife and Conservation Medicine
Cristin Kelley, DVM

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