Interview: How to be a Veterinarian with Robert Hilsenroth
Robert Hilsenroth is the Executive Director of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and has been an advocate of zoo veterinarians, sort of like a Zoo Vet Champion.
Below is a summary of our interview:
“If you can’t make both ends meet, make one end cheese” which means don’t take yourself too seriously.
Robert was born in Bethesda, MD and loved animals as a kid. He was that kid who took care of the neighborhood animals – birds, dogs, and squirrels. He went to Oklahoma and worked part time on a ranch. When he graduated from Veterinarian school in Georgia, he moved to Colorado where he loved the mountains. Then he started to bug a TV station to allow Robert to come on the show as a Pet Health expert. After being there for 13 years, he retired and came back to the east coast. In 2004, shortly after returning, the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians wanted Robert to apply for a job with them. At first, Robert said no, but now he’s so blessed to have 1,000 members worldwide who are dedicated and passionate to the Association.
There had been several times Robert had thought he was doing the wrong thing, and maybe he needs to do something different because living in Denver, CO was harder than most think it would be. A lot of doctors and lawyers were living there in the mountains, too.
Back when he was on the TV station, he had asked an artist to draw a close up of the back end of a dog to explain why they rub on the carpet. In the newspaper the following day, the television critic ripped Robert apart saying he knew nothing about public TV consumption. Rob called his producer assuming he’ll have to pick up his stuff, and she said “everyone and their brother are going to tune in next week” so it turned around for Robert.
Robert’s work now
Robert is part of an association of members with like minded interests. Currently, they’re putting together a continuing education conference every year and it’s a full week of lectures and hands on experience work with animals.
What’s Exciting Robert Now
The American Association of Zoo Veterinarians actually just started a program called the Wild Animal Health Fund in order to raise money nationally for the sole benefit of zoo animals in wildlife.
We lost audio for the rest. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you enjoyed what you learned in the interview.