There may be times when a veterinary student envies the medical-school crowd.
When you’re studying humans, after all, you only have to learn one species. And the vets?
“Their patients have everything from feathers to fur to scales,” said Lisa Tanzer, producer of the new “Vet School” series, which is based at Cornell. “They … are learning multiple body systems, in the same four years that a medical student goes to school. This is cable’s first attempt to tackle the subject since Michigan State University was the site of Animal Planet’s “Vet School Confidential” in 2001. .”
Consider Dan Cimino. With little Charlie (an eight-week-old kitten) burrowed in his lap, he was talking about Bradley, who is much bigger. “He was just the friendliest camel you’ve ever met. He, like, kind of nibbles on your face a little bit.”
There’s a huge contrast between a kitten and a camel …. and a visual contrast between tiny Charlie and Cimino, a former linebacker who was All-State in high school and a starter at Ithaca College, both in upstate New York. There’s also a contrast in the Cornell students featured in “Vet School.”
Hannah Brodlie grew up in Brooklyn, a camel-free area. “We have dogs and cats,” she said. “One time, we had Edgar the pig; he walked on a leash. And that’s it.”
By comparison, Cristina Bustamante grew up in Colombia and is surprised by her Cornell colleagues.
“Some of my classmates are from New York and had never touched a cow,” she said. “Where I come from, there are cows on the side of the road …. What they find exotic, my neighbors have as pets.”
The students’ world would soon expand. Brodlie found herself dealing with farm animals (“not really in my realm of expertise”) and visiting an alpaca place, where the owner also has that pet camel.
“When I saw Bradley, I had to give him a de-wormer shot,” said Aziza Glass, who grew up near Houston. “So that was awesome.”
Eventually, some will narrow it down. Cimino originally wanted to focus on surgery, but now is going for neurology; Glass, by comparison, has now graduated and is Dr. Glass, a general practitioner. “I really liked that relationship that you get from being a GP.”
After all, the GP’s are the ones who fuel some of cable’s more popular shows, let by one taped near Mount Pleasant.
“I should watch more, because when I talk to clients, they will say, ‘Oh, did you see that “Dr. Pol” episode?’” Cimino said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I saw that.’” Like, I don’t have time for TV.”
And when Bustamante does have time, she’s not watching that. “I don’t want to come home and watch more vet things. I want to watch a crime scene or something.”
“Vet School,” 10 p.m. Saturdays, NatGeo Wild, starting Sept. 19