Q: What have you done professionally since leaving the Wildlife Center?
Dr. Miranda: I completed a three-year residency in zoological medicine at UC Davis, with a focus on zoological companion animals. After that, I was hired as an assistant professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I was there for two years, and then moved back to my home state of Colorado to be an assistant professor at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in their Avian, Exotics, and Zoological Medicine and Surgery service.
Q: What’s your current position/organization?
Dr. Miranda: I am an assistant professor at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Q: What do you do in your current job with regard to wildlife?
Dr. Miranda: We provide veterinary care to birds of prey at the Rocky Mountain Raptor Center, which is located in Fort Collins.
I also worked with the Giraffe Conservation Fund and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on Operation Twiga III, a conservation program translocating giraffes in Uganda. My involvement with this project was as a supportive investigator, where I collected samples to evaluate the causative agent of Giraffe Skin Disease. This disease affects giraffe in Uganda and Tanzania.
Q: How did your experience at the Wildlife Center of Virginia help you prepare for or influence your career?
Dr. Miranda: Before my fellowship at the Wildlife Center, I had come to the Center as a veterinary student. From the moment I walked in the doors, I knew it was somewhere that I wanted to come back to. It solidified my goals regarding my career path, which involved working with wildlife. During my internship, I made the decision that I wanted to become board-certified in zoological medicine, and the fellowship was exactly the experience that I needed to move forward toward that path.
Q: Based on your life and professional experiences, what advice would you give students or young professionals interested in wildlife medicine, conservation medicine, or wildlife rehabilitation?
Dr. Miranda: For students who are interested in pursuing a career that involves board certification in zoological medicine (which could include general zoo/captive wildlife, free-ranging wildlife, aquatic animals, or zoological companion animals), I would tell them to work hard. Work hard in holding on to that dream, because there will be many people who will tell you that you can’t do it and there are no careers out there for you. Work hard in making contacts, including those that will tell you about the “not so fun” parts of their job. Work hard in your studies, because ultimately the reason you are doing it is to serve and care for your patients better. Work hard to be happy, because ultimately this career is a way of life, so if you are going to do it every day, you’d better like it.