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ARING by Sara Carney

Dr. Stacy Eckman: Primary Care, Emergency Care, and All-around Care The CVM’s Primary Care Service provides routine medical care, including regular evaluations, sick care, treatment of minor emergencies, and senior care. It is a core service of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) and focuses on providing the best and most well-rounded care for pets along with practical experience for our fourth-year veterinary students. The Emergency and Critical Care Service is a fully functional service with the capabilities of the entire hospital and has a veterinarian and support staff in the hospital to receive patients 24 hours a day. The service provides ongoing care for critically ill or injured pets, as well as those recovering from surgery. The emergency service also provides immediate initial evaluation, stabilization, and treatment for ill or injured pets. From people to animals, clients to patients, and colleagues to students, Dr. Stacy Eckman touches the lives of many through her work at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM). To many she is a doctor, a teacher, and a mentor. She currently works as a clinical assistant professor in both small animal primary care and emergency services at the Small Animal Hospital. There, Eckman splits her time between routine care and emergency medicine, depending on where she is needed. “In primary care, we try to make it as close to a regular, general practice as would be found outside of the university. We do a lot of routine wellness and healthcare, as well as acute injury and illness,” she said. “In the ER, it’s whatever comes in the door.” In addition to balancing her attention between the distinctive worlds of primary care and the ER, Eckman also teaches veterinary students and interns in clinical and classroom settings. This level of multitasking can be a challenge, but it is something in which Eckman excels. In fact, she flourishes at this level of multitasking. Her versatility makes her an asset as both a veterinarian and a professor.

Life Before the CVM Before Eckman plunged into the world of veterinary academia, she was no different than many aspiring veterinarians. She loved animals and dreamt of one day being able to help them by becoming a veterinarian. “I have a similar story to everybody else,” she said. “When I was a little kid, I loved cats and dogs. In particular, I loved cows.” 12 •

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Dr. Stacy Eckman Growing up, Eckman wanted to be a large animal veterinarian specializing in cattle. Sadly, she was discouraged from pursuing her dream. She said, “I thought I always wanted to be a veterinarian, and I went to career day in high school and the veterinarian there said, ‘It’s terrible. It’s all this work, and it’s math and science. It’s a terrible profession,’” she said. “I thought, ‘Wow, maybe I should do something else.’” Eckman took that conversation to heart. Dissuaded from her dream of becoming a veterinarian, she eventually attended Texas A&M University as a civil engineering major. However, her dreams would not die so easily. During a trip to her hometown, Eckman was helping a friend with her show steer when she realized that working with animals was what she really loved. “I just thought, ‘This is what I want to do,’” she said. When she got back to Texas A&M, Eckman headed to the CVM and met with Dr. William “Bill” Banks to discuss changing majors to biomedical sciences. “He sat me down and talked to me about what my goals were, and he said, ‘I think we can help you.’” An Aggie through and through, Eckman ended up attending veterinary school at the CVM. “I drink the KoolAid for sure,” she joked, while wearing Aggie maroon scrubs. “Since I was growing up and going through veterinary school, I was going to own my own practice in small-town America, and that’s what I was going to do the rest of my life,” Eckman said. “The reality of it is, the more time that I spend teaching, the more I really enjoy the other side of medicine, or the other side of what academia has to offer. So, it’s definitely been a trajectory that I never envisioned, but it has evolved into the plan.”

CVM Today - Winter 2017  
CVM Today - Winter 2017  

A semi-annual publication for the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical...