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Welcome to the CVM Family: Meet Sarah Ozawa

Sarah Ozawa
Sarah Ozawa, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine assistant clinical professor of avian and exotic medicine. Photo John Joyner/NC State Veterinary Medicine.

Sarah Ozawa, assistant clinical professor of avian and exotic medicine, has pursued her interest in veterinary medicine from coast to coast. 

After growing up in the Chicago area, she earned her DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed a rotating internship at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and then was a resident at the University of California, Davis, focused on zoo animals, exotic animals and wildlife. 

She traded the West Coast for the opposite side of the country when she assumed her current position at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine in August. She is currently studying for her board certification in zoological medicine.

What made you decide to get into this field?

I love so many aspects of veterinary medicine — internal medicine, surgery, research. Spending time in academia also fostered a love of teaching. And I’ve always loved exotics. They’re just way cooler animals.

What will you be doing in your new position?

I’ll be on clinics 70% of the time. I’ll also be doing some outreach, working with clubs and helping house officers with rotations. And I’ll be doing research. I’m interested in small animal critical care, especially rabbit cardiology.

Tell us something that someone would be surprised to know about you.

Despite what I do for animals, I can’t seem to keep a plant alive. I even had a cactus that died. I have a stuffed succulent plant, a toy, and that’s what I’ve kept alive the longest.

When you’re not on campus, where would we be likely to find you?

When I’m not studying for boards I actually like to get up early and work out. I’m serious about it. I’m an early morning person.

Do you have any pets?

It’s weird, but not currently. I had a rabbit, and I’m looking for another one. The rabbit I had was named Tater Tot and had brown and white spots. I hope to have another one soon. We spoiled Tater Tot, who had lots of personality and would follow us from room to room.

~Steve Volstad/NC State Veterinary Medicine