March 21, 2008
Vet student Owen Fink loves figuring out how things work. During his time at UGA he has taught dog anatomy, researched the properties of fish DNA, traveled to Plum Island to study foreign animal diseases and helped to treat the pets of many Athenians. Owen has had a busy four years of vet school and he’s excited to continue his passion for science, animals and medicine as a veterinarian.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
University highlights, achievements and awards:
During the summer after my first year of vet school I got to do a research project with Richard Winn, an environmental toxicologist at UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry Resources. We used transgenic fish and mice to compare how the DNA of each species reacts to ultraviolet light exposure. I had the opportunity to present our findings at several scientific conferences. Another highlight was participating in the Smith-Kilborne Foreign Animal Disease Program. This program brings students from each veterinary college to spend a week at the Plum Island Disease Center, the U.S.D.A.’s laboratory for screening and researching foreign diseases that threaten U.S. animal industries. It was great to meet vet students from across the country and to get a behind-the-scenes look at such a high profile lab. Finally, though I’ve won some awards for academic success, the most meaningful recognition I’ve received has been the thank-you letters from owners of pets I’ve cared for in the vet hospital. Athenians love their pets like children and they are really appreciative for the personal attention that vet students provide.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
I chose to attend UGA because...
My wife and I moved to Athens because we heard great things about the town and about the UGA Vet School. I’ve loved my time here. Some of my favorite Athens memories will be listening to the great bands at AthFest, eating biscuits and gravy at Mama’s Boy and playing intramural softball on Georgia spring nights.
When I have free time, I like...
...to play music, bake bread and try to tame my dogs. My latest hobby is designing and sewing clothes. I’ve made shirts for myself and several dresses for my wife. Lately I’ve been working on a seersucker suit that I hope to finish before summer. I think what I like about sewing is the challenge of designing three-dimensional garments and figuring out how to make them out of two-dimensional fabric.
The craziest thing I've done is...
After undergrad, I moved to Galway City on the west coast of Ireland. I spent a year there working in restaurants and learning traditional Irish fiddle music from the great local musicians. It was a big challenge to move somewhere by myself and make a life from scratch but it ended up being a very rewarding experience.
My favorite professor is...
The clinical faculty at the vet school is excellent, and Marc Kent is one of the best. Dr. Kent is a veterinary neurologist. He has a great sense of humor and a real devotion to teaching students. Dr. Kent and I share a fascination with magnetic resonance imaging and we’ve had some fun discussions trying to understand the physics of this cool technology.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
...a gorilla who knows sign language. That would just be too cool.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
...learn to play the concertina. This is a little squeezebox instrument used in traditional Irish music. It’s absurdly hard to play but has a beautiful sound—sort of bubbly but also sad. If my life had a soundtrack, I would want it to be played on a concertina.
After graduation, I plan to...
I’ll be moving to Philadelphia to do a year of advanced clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania. After that I may try to become a specialist in small animal internal medicine or neurology. This means even more training, but I look forward to the continued learning. I love the scientific aspects of medicine and I hope to always be involved in cutting-edge areas of the field.