Hello there, I'm Dr. Jessica Hirsch! I'm so glad you found my site! I’m a born and raised Virginian, and graduated from Virginia Tech in 2018 with two Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal & Poultry Sciences and Psychology. I relocated to Massachusetts for veterinary school and successfully completed my DVM at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2023. Now, I currently practice as a small animal veterinarian completing a rotating internship in Northern Virginia with plans to pursue a career in emergency & critical care afterwards. My other professional interests include small animal behavior, small animal surgery, and nutrition!
In March 2020, I hit the pause button on vet school and took a medical leave of absence due to chronic illnesses. In July of 2020, I had a cranio-spinal fusion from my skull to C2 as a result of Cranio-Cervical Instability, as well as a cranial decompression to treat my Chiari Malformation. I returned to vet school in January 2021 with a renewed passion for veterinary medicine and a whole new disabled perspective. I've continued to require multiple additional surgeries but have been able to stay in school throughout my treatments. What I thought was the most devastating thing to ever happen to me, turned out to be the greatest blessing of my career so far.
As a self-described disability activist, I previously served as the Disability Justice Liaison for my school's Veterinary Council on Diversity, a position I established on the council in 2019. I aim to raise awareness and advocate for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities in veterinary medicine. I hope sharing my story will comfort other aspiring veterinarians and veterinary technicians in knowing they are not alone; it is possible to tackle veterinary school with chronic illnesses and disabilities, and there is no shame in taking a medical leave when needed.
Most importantly, I want to highlight to our entire community that there is a place in veterinary medicine for people with disabilities and chronic illness, and you shouldn't be deterred from chasing your dream!
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