Our Vets: Combining the best of both – Science and Veterinary Medicine
You may be a cat person or a dog person. You could prefer Holsteins over Jersey cattle. You might consider your pet a best friend or a member of the family. Regardless of how we may differ, there is one thing all animal lovers can agree on and that is the great work carried out by veterinarians.
Follow Bayer4Animals on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to learn what inspired some of our veterinarians to dedicate their lives to making a difference in the lives of animals and the people who love them.
Eduardo Pontes is a scouting manager for dairy innovation in Monheim, Germany. In this role, he connects with key opinion leaders from the industry and academia worldwide. Eduardo grew up in a small town located within the Brazilian “Pantanal” which is one of the world’s largest floodable wetlands and also right in the center of the largest beef cattle areas in South America. Afterwards he studied veterinary medicine at the Universidad de Sao Paulo. Dogs, cats, turtles, fish and birds are just some of the different animal he has made a part of his family in the past. His family also operates a cattle farm in Brazil. During vacations or weekends, his siblings, cousins and Eduardo were involved in milking cows, caring for calves and foals, feeding the animals and fixing fences.
Eduardo, with so many career options in the world, how did you land on becoming a veterinarian?
I have always had a great curiosity and passion towards nature, and particularly animals. I grew up in a small rural town in the mid-west of Brazil, surrounded by abundant wildlife and pasture-based cattle farms, with a house full of pets. Dealing with and caring for animals has always really been part of who I am. As a teenager, sciences and biology were my favorite subjects at school, so very early it became clear to me that I would become either a scientist or a veterinarian – at that point I had no idea I could actually be both!
When I looked for career advice before starting college, I was amazed by the variety of areas in which a vet can work and I thought I would hardly ever be bored as a vet. So honestly, I could never really picture myself pursuing any other career.
So, you are a scientist and a vet. How does that work?
Although I am not working as a clinician today, I still consider my work as part of the broad veterinary profession. In a few words, my current activities include identifying and evaluating new molecules with potential to become innovative medicines for animals. An education background in veterinary science and clinical experience are essential prerequisites for performing this role.
My job is to make sure that innovative solutions to some of the most important unmet needs in the animal health industry become available to veterinarians around the world. I have the privilege to be part of the team who ultimately creates new and better medicines that will help vets provide the best care possible to their patients, improving not only the quality of life and well-being of animals, but also the lives of all the people who love them and rely on them for their living.
You said you received some good advice before entering vet school. What advice would you give to aspiring vets?
I would recommend talking to vets from different backgrounds and specialties, asking about their routines, their challenges and their advice. It’s also a great idea to visit vet schools and hospitals to get a sense of what the veterinary practice can look like.
Veterinary medicine is a very gratifying but also very demanding profession. A fair dose of resilience, dedication and emotional intelligence will be required from those who choose this career path. During every day routine, vets need to hear and understand the ‘complaints’ of patients that can’t express how they feel in words. Vets will need to bear the inevitable bites, scratches and kicks from frightened or stressed animals because we often see them when they are unwell. And even more painful is the emotional strength required from vets facing an animal patient with a terminal or incurable disease.
But believe me, there’s really no better feeling than treating an elder dog with arthritis and watching it being able to play fetch again, or helping a cow deliver a newborn calf! I guess this is what moves all vets after all.
What makes you proud to work for Bayer?
Bayer shares my values and my passion for animals. At Bayer, I am encouraged to challenge the status quo and always try a better way of doing things. Every day I deal with a different challenge and I get to learn from brilliant scientists what the newest innovations in veterinary medicine are going to be. People here have a strong sense of responsibility for the health and well-being of animals that goes well beyond their job descriptions. It’s just great to be surrounded by people who care.
Thank you, Eduardo and all the best!
We raise a hand, a paw, a hoof, and a fin to the amazing vets in our lives that passionately care for the health and well-being of animals.