Meet Bill Orrico, V23/MG23 (MPH)

School: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Degrees: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health

Home: Wherever my significant other and animals are

Why was Cummings the right place for you?

Before veterinary school, I worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society out of the Bronx Zoo, and that sparked my interest in pursuing veterinary medicine. I planned to focus on conservation medicine, along with international medicine—especially in the tropics—and, of all the programs I was considering, Cummings seemed best positioned to encourage exploration of topics outside of small- and large-animal practice.

That’s proven to be true: at Cummings, I’ve had many opportunities to explore my interests. One particularly great project involved traveling to rural Ecuador to do bat pathogen work. I spent seven weeks trapping bats every night and sampling the bacteria and viruses that they host.

What did you learn during your time at Tufts that surprised you?

Despite my initial focus on international and conservation medicine, Cummings helped me develop a love of clinical, companion-animal medicine. I wasn’t expecting that. I’ll be moving on soon to a small-animal rotating internship to explore clinical medicine further.

Also, earning a dual degree in the public health program allowed me to see all the different career paths a veterinarian can take. There’s policy, food safety, food supply chain issues, policy work. You can use the skills you develop in veterinary school outside of the hospital, and it was awesome to see all the possibilities.

One adjective that describes you?

Curious. I’m always interested in learning, always looking for the next new opportunity.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I hope I’ll be pursuing whatever makes me happiest at the time, sparks my interest, and feeds my love of learning and knowledge.

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