The Rewarding Career Path From a Study Technician to a Clinical Veterinarian

As a biology major, Tai had always planned on being a medical doctor, but when she reached her senior year in college she decided to explore other professions.

“My family had always told me, ‘you will be a doctor,’ and I didn’t think twice about it. But when I was finishing my undergraduate degree, I realized I wanted to figure out another way to make a difference with my career.”

After graduating, Tai explored positions in a variety of areas, including a volunteer position with the local humane society. At the shelter, she met another volunteer who was in a program to become a veterinary technician, and who encouraged her to learn more about the line of work.

“I enjoy working with animals, and a career in the veterinary field seemed like something that I could be excited about getting up for every morning,” Tai shared.

Starting a career with Covance, the drug development company of LabCorp

As she was completing her veterinary technology program, Tai needed to decide where, such as an animal hospital, research laboratory, animal shelter or private veterinary center, she wanted to work in the industry. Her program invited different guest speakers across the veterinary technology community to share their roles with the students.

“Hearing the guest speaker from a local research laboratory made me interested in learning more about the research side of the vet tech role. It seemed like a natural fit to work with animals and apply my scientific background from my undergraduate studies,” said Tai.

“When I became a licensed vet tech, a position for a study technician at Covance was available. I applied and was hired. Even though I had a 90-minute commute each way, I literally loved every single moment of the job.”

Recognizing the value of animal welfare

Although Tai had been inspired by the research technician who visited her vet tech program, she still wasn’t entirely sure what she would be doing as a study technician.

“I think the reason a lot of people don’t go into laboratory animal medicine is because they are not sure what it is about. I think people will find it’s much different than they expected,” said Tai. “When I started, I only had a vague idea about animal research and what it meant, but Covance provided me with a lot of on-the-job training.”

Tai also learned how study techs can help ensure that animal welfare remains a top priority.

“One day while we were running a study, a fellow study tech noticed an issue with a mouse. We called the veterinarian and he was there in less than five minutes to evaluate the mouse and make sure it got the care it needed. I saw first-hand how the animals were treated humanely and with respect, and valued the importance of my role as the voice for these animals.”

Growing her career and recognizing her impact on healthcare

Inspired by her work as a study tech, Tai decided to continue her education in the field. She left Covance and enrolled in a veterinary medicine program, earning her degree as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). During her studies, she and her husband adopted two red-footed tortoises after being a volunteer coordinator for the tortoises on campus. “We fell in love with the tortoises,” she laughed. “They have unique personalities, believe it or not.”

After completing both an internship and a residency program in laboratory animal medicine, she rejoined Covance, this time as a Clinical Veterinarian.

“I came back seven years later, and saw that some of the same people are still at Covance, including the veterinarian that had made such a positive impression on me,” she said. “I was so excited to be working with some of the same staff.”

Beyond working with familiar faces, Tai is motivated by her role in improving laboratory animal medicine.

“Good research comes from happy, healthy animals. I take pride in advocating for our animals and making a positive impact in their lives,” explained Tai. “Whether I am helping refine procedures to improve animal welfare, ensuring animals have the right enrichment in their environments, or simply changing cages, I enjoy the process of caring for our animals. Ultimately, I see how the care we provide for our animals results in valuable data that helps ground-breaking drugs come to life for both humans and animals alike.”

Learn more about our study tech opportunities here.

Closing the Knowledge Gap with Real-World Evidence (RWE) Studies: The Importance of Starting Early

Successfully demonstrating product safety and efficacy in a randomized clinical trial is a monumental event, but it doesn’t always translate to market access and uptake one it’s launched. Since clinical trials are limited to a controlled sub-set of patients, observations recorded in the clinical trial setting can vary from what actually occurs in clinical practice. That’s where real-world evidence (RWE) can help pharmaceutical companies to inform development planning and also to demonstrate a product’s comparative effectiveness, safety and value from the viewpoints of various stakeholders, including regulators, payers, prescribers and patients.

This article discusses the role of RWE, the different information needs among stakeholders and potential solutions for meeting their evolving requirements.

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Meet Me in 5: Growing Responsibilities and Careers in Mechelen, Belgium

Our “Meet Me in 5” series covers 5 people, topics or questions to illustrate how our business nurtures exceptional people, provides an energizing purpose and enables extraordinary potential in its employees’ careers.

In this article, we spoke to Ilse Mathieu, Site Lead European Operations Center – Associate Director, EMEA Distribution, based in Mechelen, Belgium. She discussed how the Covance Mechelen site is ramping up to become a major kit production facility to supply clinical trial kits across Europe, the Middle East and Africa – and what this high-profile project means for career growth opportunities in Mechelen.

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New REACH Nanomaterial Requirements: What You Need to Do

The New EU Nanotechnology Regulation

On December 3, 2018, the European Commission (EC) adopted Regulation 2018/1881, amending the existing , amending the existing Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, to directly address nanoparticles. The nanotechnology regulation applies to any substance that might be, or might contain, a nanomaterial (e.g., powder), whether or not it has been manufactured as a nanotechnology. Crucially the revised nanoparticle regulation applies to both new and registered substances and all dossiers will need to be updated with the necessary data.

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What You Need to Know About Neonicotinoids and The EU

Photo of a bee

Introduction

Neonicotinoids were developed to find safer, more effective alternatives to chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids, so, ironically, some neonicotinoids are now banned in the EU because of their toxicity to bees and other pollinators, as well as to a wider group of species.

The agricultural and environmental consequences of neonicotinoid use and the recent EU regulatory restriction have made neonicotinoids one of the most controversial areas of science and policy.

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Step Inside Mechelen: A Day in the Life of a Regional Study Coordinator’s Project Management Role

Elien is a Senior Regional Study Coordinator (RSC), which is an associate project manager role, housed in our growing Mechelen, Belgium office for Covance Central Laboratory Services (CLS). She shared a glimpse inside a typical day as a Regional Study Coordinator, a role that manages local laboratory operations within our global project management department.

8:30-9:30 | I start each day by going through my inbox and calendar and making my to-do list.

Because we are working with a global team, we receive many emails overnight. My first task of the day is to clean out emails from previous days and organize others by priority so only action items are left – that way I can easily view my top priorities. Then I review my calendar and prepare for meetings.

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Covance Shanghai Strengthens Safety Pharmacology Capabilities for In-House IND Packages to Serve Asia Clients

Covance Shanghai is pleased to announce an expansion of its general toxicology capabilities to include safety pharmacology studies, allowing our Asia-Pacific clients to more easily complete their IND requirements for CFDA regulations.

What are the new safety pharmacology offerings?

The general tox team in Shanghai is now capable of running cardiovascular safety studies with dogs, using DSI PhysioTel Digital L11 telemeters to monitor drug elicited effects on electrocardiograms and hemodynamic parameters, heart rate and blood pressure. They are also able to run neurological and respiratory studies in rat models.

Team members from Shanghai were trained in these experimental procedures by experienced safety pharm specialists from the Covance Madison site. After several months of personnel training, beginning in June 2018, validation studies at the Shanghai site were completed in early  2019.

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#CovancePotential: A DREAMer’s Journey to Improve Health and Lives

Earning doctorate degrees in veterinary medicine and veterinary pathology are significant accomplishments, but they are underscored by the seemingly insurmountable challenges Dr. Alejandro Larios Mora has faced in his journey to date.

Alejandro wasn’t the student anyone pegged to be a doctor. In fact, he failed kindergarten – and by fifth grade the self-proclaimed troublemaker was only allowed to attend class with a parent escort.

“As a child, it’s very difficult to see past your surroundings if you live in a bad area. You think that’s as good as it gets,” Alejandro said. “That’s why it is important to have mentors – to show you something different, something better.” 

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