Meet Dr. Matt Marinkovich – Our seventeenth Biannual Particular Species Symposium Keynote Speaker! – WildLIFE


The Zoo and Wildlife Society (ZAWS) on the Cornell College Faculty of Veterinary Medication is so excited to welcome Dr. Matt Marinkovich because the keynote speaker for the 17th biannual Particular Species Symposium, the aim for which is to foster college students’ instructional expertise associated to non-traditional species by means of a collection of lectures and hands-on labs led by consultants within the fields of wildlife, exotics, zoo, and conservation drugs. Dr. Marinkovich obtained his veterinary diploma from Cornell College Faculty of Veterinary Medication in 2014, and as soon as held a place on the ZAWS E-board planning the very same symposium the place he’ll now give his keynote deal with, “From LH2 to the San Diego Zoo: Classes from a Journey into Zoo Medication.”

One of many many elements Dr. Marinkovich valued about his training at Cornell College was the depth and breadth. He acknowledged some college students’ want to specialize and slender their training to non-traditional species however confirmed that a lot extra can come from a various training. In actual fact, Dr. Marinkovich confessed that he nonetheless steadily integrates information that he gained throughout his fourth-year giant animal inner drugs rotation into his therapy plans on the San Diego Zoo. “A various training not solely provides ample alternatives to realize good doctoring expertise, however it permits one the chance to fall in love with a area of examine that maybe was by no means thought of previous to vet college.” Afterall, in zoological drugs, he states, “all the pieces is relevant.”

Protecting an open thoughts has at all times been necessary to Dr. Marinkovich as a result of, “you might develop into enamored by one thing you by no means knew you’ll.” In actual fact, Dr. Marinkovich was a pure historical past main in undergrad, and it was not till he obtained a job as a veterinary assistant that he fell in love with drugs. When requested about what motivated him to pursue a profession in veterinary drugs, Dr. Marinkovich remembered being blown away by all of the problem-solving veterinarians get to do every day. He additionally latched onto the concept veterinary drugs wouldn’t solely allow him to assist animals, however the individuals who work together with them as properly. From learning zoonotic illness, to counseling house owners by means of a scientific case, Dr. Marinkovich loved how a lot veterinary drugs would permit him to assist human and animal welfare.

Though Dr. Marinkovich stored his choices open all through vet college, he at all times had a particular curiosity for non-domestic species. He particularly had a ardour for wildlife and conservation and following a chance to spend a summer season with a pathologist at SeaWorld, he knew that zoological drugs was the profession for him. The extra publicity to unique species that Dr. Marinkovich received, the extra he realized he loved the problem of developing with inventive options to handle their well being. Dr. Marinkovich additionally admired zoological drugs as a scholar as a result of he acknowledged that it will provide an opportunity to stimulate a ardour for conservation amongst his neighborhood whereas nonetheless managing persistent illness, in addition to high-pace, high-intensity scientific instances.

Whereas Dr. Marinkovich finally obtained his dream job working as a Scientific Veterinarian on the San Diego Zoo, a spot the place his grandparents took him since he might stroll, he needs to be clear that his highway to success was not a straight shot. He didn’t match with a zoo residency the primary time he utilized, which he acknowledged as a part of his triumph. As a substitute of turning into discouraged, Dr. Marinkovich considered this as a chance, one which he took to finish two internships on the Animal Medical Heart, the world’s largest non-profit animal hospital. By way of his rotating small animal internship, Dr. Marinkovich gained scientific expertise and consumer communication expertise that he nonetheless makes use of right this moment. Nonetheless, it was not till his second internship in emergency and demanding care drugs that Dr. Marinkovich was pushed out of his consolation zone, the place he admittedly realized and grew essentially the most, and gained confidence in himself as a veterinarian. By way of this high-pressure expertise, together with his ft to the hearth, Dr. Marinkovich realized that he had what it will take to be a zoological veterinarian.

Excitingly, and with persistence, Dr. Marinkovich matched with the UC Davis San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Sea World Zoo Residency, an intense 3-year program providing scientific competency in unique, zoo, aquatic, and wildlife drugs. Throughout his first yr, he spent numerous time on the Sacramento Zoo and the Marine Mammal Heart the place he received to review lactate clearance in stranded pinnipeds. His second yr was spent with among the 12,000 uncommon and endangered species residing inside the 100-acre wildlife park on the San Diego Zoo, in addition to the big selection of aquatic animals cared for by SeaWorld. Throughout his third and remaining yr, he used his cultivated information to supply progressive, state-of-the-art look after the magnificent animals on the San Diego Safari Park, together with elephants, rhinos, and cheetahs.

After finishing his residency, Dr. Marinkovich was happy to remain on the San Diego Zoo working as a aid veterinarian. Then, a lot to his delight, he was provided a full-time place on the San Diego Zoo, the place he expects to remain for all times. Some could marvel how somebody could possibly be so keen to remain in the identical work setting for therefore lengthy, however no day is ever the identical for Dr. Marinkovich on the San Diego Zoo. There are nonetheless instances when he’s offered with a brand new downside or a brand new species, providing a chance to be taught one thing new each day. The fixed mental stimulation provided by the San Diego Zoo is complemented by the wonderful staff of veterinarians who work there. When requested what he most enjoys about his job, Dr. Marinkovich talked about the inspiring group of veterinary professionals that he will get to work with each day who assist each other’s progress and wellbeing. Moreover, he appreciates how interdisciplinary and collaborative the efforts of the San Diego Zoo are, recalling a time when the veterinary staff labored intently with human docs to resolve an advanced renal abscess on an older beloved orangutan.


One other facet of the San Diego Zoo that Dr. Marinkovich drastically appreciates is the myriad alternatives to become involved with conservation initiatives. He has been everywhere in the world, investing time and vitality in the direction of making it a extra sustainable place to stay, for each people and animals. The San Diego Zoo has 8 completely different conservation hubs situated all through the world that share obligations akin to illness investigation, biodiversity banking, and restoration ecology. In an uplifting effort by means of a captive breeding and launch program designed by the San Diego Zoo, Dr. Marinkovich and his staff are serving to save the San Clemente loggerhead shrike, an endangered passerine chook. Dr. Marinkovich tells readers to remain tuned for extra thrilling conservation tales provided throughout his keynote deal with on the Particular Species Symposium!

Dr. Marinkovich is thrilled to come back again to Cornell College and appears ahead to seeing the way it has modified since graduating in 2014. He’s actually trying ahead to reconnecting together with his vet college mentors, particularly Dr. Noha Abou-Madi and Dr. Karen Kerns, who each play such an necessary position within the lives of scholars taken with pursuing zoological drugs. However, maybe most notably, Dr. Marinkovich is keen to work together with vet college students who share his drive to make a distinction on the earth by means of the lens of veterinary drugs. It was not that way back that Dr. Marinkovich was an aspiring zoo vet like many people, so he acknowledges the stress and arduous work that goes into actualizing that dream. By way of his lecture, he hopes to convey pleasure, ambition, and peace of thoughts, being an enormous proponent for psychological well being in veterinary drugs. I felt so impressed by Dr. Marinkovich in simply the brief whereas I received to spend interviewing him for the WildLIFE Weblog, an interplay I take into account myself fortunate to have had. You’ll want to register for the 17th biannual Particular Species Symposium so to relish in his journey in the direction of turning into a Scientific Veterinarian on the San Diego Zoo, a narrative that can fill you with admiration, motivation, and awe.



Maison Scheuer is the 2022-2023 WildLIFE Weblog Editor and a proud member of Cornell ZAWS. Her passions lie on the intersection of veterinary drugs and wildlife conservation. She likes to journey and has hung out in Canada, Thailand, Alabama, Belize, and Honduras the place she studied Columbian floor squirrels, elephant conservation, wildlife rehabilitation, and veterinary drugs. Although significantly taken with One Well being and international medicine, she has additionally found a love for small animal drugs by means of her expertise working as a veterinary technician at a full-service exotics and small animal personal apply.


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