Spotlight Series: Dr. Gillian Duca Cora

Over the first 18 weeks of the new year, we will be conducting one on one interviews with each of our veterinarians in an effort to help you get to know all of them better! In addition to the interview, they will be posting pictures on our facebook account during their week to share some behind the scenes images of their day to day. We hope you enjoy following along!

Up this week is Gillian Duca Cora, DVM. Dr. Duca Cora is currently with our practice completing her internship. While she loves all aspects of equine veterinary medicine, her main interests are sports medicine, rehabilitation, podiatry, complex dentistry and integrative medicine. In her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors whenever possible.

Q: What colleges/universities did you attend? When someone asks “where did you go to school?” what do you tell them?
A: I received my BS as a Biology major and Equine Studies minor at Bridgewater College, a small liberal arts college in Virginia. I earned my doctorate from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts and finished my clinical year at Oklahoma State University. While Caribbean schools sometime get a bad name in the press, I chose to go there over several state schools and have never regretted my decision to do so. Having the beach as your front yard and the culture you get to immerse yourself in, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you never forget.

Q: Do you remember a specific moment when you decided you wanted to be an equine vet?
A: I actually switched very late in my schooling to the equine track of veterinary medicine.  My original plan was to go into small animal medicine, which would then give me the time and money to continue riding horses. In my final year of school rotating through clinics, I realized that my love for working with these amazing animals was too great to not have this be my everyday life. I still love dogs and cats of course, but spending all day under fluorescent lighting and indoors was not a life I could imagine. My only regret is not having a horse to ride at the moment!

Q: Something most people don’t know about me…
A: I had to take almost two years off in the middle of vet school after sustaining a traumatic brain injury following a car accident while I was on winter holiday.

Q: What is the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished?
A: Re-entering vet school after being off for two years and starting where I left off was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I had to essentially relearn my first four semesters while learning the information from the current semester. I still deal with many of the residual effects of a traumatic brain injury but am lucky to have a great support system both at home and at work.  

Q: Tell me about the animals you own now.
A: I currently have an 8 year old puggle, Jude, who has been through everything with me, including living with me in the Caribbean. I also have two cats: Lafayette, a 7 year old who I rescued while at vet school on St Kitts and Zoe, a 16 year old I got for one of my birthdays in high school.

Q: What’s a good book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
A: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It is well written and a fun read (it’s also due to become a major motion picture soon). It takes place in a future dystopian America where people spend more time in a virtual reality universe than in the present due to a number of factors that have made the “real world” less than appealing to live in.

Q: I am obsessed with…
A: Taylor Swift (no joke). I don’t even like country music in general but have loved everything she’s put out from the beginning of her career until now. No apologies 🙂

Q: Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
A: Iceland. Hands down one of the coolest places I have ever been. I recommend everyone go there if they get a chance. The landscape and scenery are beautiful. The people are amazingly friendly and welcoming. I’m already looking forward to my next trip back.


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