Q&A with Dr. Priti Karnik | Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Q: You are a Ross Vet Alumni – what was your experience like when you were a student?
A: I was a student in the late 1990’s, the island and campus were like another island entirely compared to what you see today. I was immersed in the island life, and the comradery that I had with my classmates and faculty was an experience I will never forget. I learned so much from my time in St. Kitts, and from my professors and I hope to bring a little of that with me now as a teacher.
Q: What work (outside of Ross Vet) have you done since?
A: Prior to coming to Ross Vet in 2011, I was in private, specialty practice as a small animal surgeon. I always worked with interns, so had a level of clinical teaching and my day to day was meeting with clients and doing surgery. I worked in NY and San Diego before 2011 and then when I left Ross Vet in 2014 and went back to private practice, I was in the Washington DC metro area and helped to start up the surgical department at a new emergency and specialty hospital in the area.
Q: You came back as a faculty member – what brought you back?
In 2011, I was in sunny San Diego, working at a great referral practice. I was contacted by a faculty member that told me that Ross Vet was looking for a small animal surgeon to help teach surgery. I did not think I wanted to leave private practice, but I came down to the island for the West Indies Conference and met with all the other surgery professors and gave a lecture to the surgery class. I remembered how much I loved St. Kitts and even as a student, I knew that I wanted to come back someday and teach. So, 2011 was my someday.
Q: What brought you back to us a second time?
A: I left in 2014 to go back to private practice. I really enjoyed teaching but wanted to get back to doing surgery. I helped to start up a surgical department in a large emergency and specialty hospital and was kept very busy with the surgical caseload and emergency surgical cases.
I love doing surgery and the connection I have with my clients and patients, but after three and a half years back in practice, I realized how much I missed teaching. I was fortunate enough to work with some of my previous students, they were now my colleagues and I was so proud of the doctors they had become. Knowing that I had a small part in helping them to become the amazing doctors that they were, was very gratifying and I knew that I wanted to continue to be an educator.
Q: What do you enjoy about teaching at Ross Vet?
A: What I love about teaching here is that I am fully dedicated to teaching. I am doing some research and get to do some surgery in the Ross University Veterinary Clinic, but my full time job is to teach and that is a rarity in academia. Ross Vet is the only place I wanted to teach because of the dedication to teaching. My goal is to make sure that each student learns the important aspects of small animal surgery and to be able to wow the clinicians at our affiliated schools and the Ross Vet student does just that.