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Emily Ertola Knight, DVM

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Education

I completed my undergraduate degree right here in San Diego at the University of California, San Diego in Animal Physiology & Neuroscience. I then went on to earn my degree in veterinary medicine & surgery at the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, Scotland. The R(D)SVS is an American accredited university, which allowed me to return to San Diego and start practicing right away, with no additional requirements for licensure. If given the choice to study abroad for my vet degree, again, I would choose it every time!

What do you like most about your job?

I love getting the chance to discuss preventative health, answer client questions, and educate clients so that they feel included and proactive in their pet’s healthcare. I know I’m making a greater difference in my patient’s life when I can help prevent them from developing a serious illness or chronic disease versus treating it once it’s developed, and if I can help their family understand why these things matter and what to be aware of when looking for signs of illness, it’s a lasting impact for that pet’s health and longevity. Everybody’s happier, in the long run: the pet, their family, and me!

Why did you decide to work with animals?

My parents like to tell the story of how I always wanted to be a doctor when I grew up, and would play with the Fisher-Price Medical Kit so many had as a kid, fixing their “boo-boo’s” and “listening” to their heart with the toy stethoscope. Growing up, I spent a lot of summers in activities that involved animals because I loved them so much (and was always begging my parents for a dog…I think this was how they were able to postpone it until they thought I would take care of it on my own). Activities ranged from SPCA summer camps socializing their cats for adoption and dogs in their Hearing Dog program, to horseback riding lessons, to spending time with my cousins caring for their 4H animals. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school I was always really good at math and science so medicine always seemed like a natural choice, but it wasn’t until high school that I realized I could combine my interest in medicine and animals and become a veterinarian. I decided and knew I wanted to go to vet school in high school, and before I knew what I would major in for my undergraduate degree.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to relax and spend time outside with my husband and our fur babies, Riley (a tripod black Lab mix) and Niko (a black Domestic Shorthair cat). I’m trying to pick up vegetable gardening but it’s my first season so we’ll see how that goes, otherwise connecting with nature in our backyard, or Balboa Park, or on a hike and just enjoying the sunshine of San Diego. I love to people watch. I also like to spend time enjoying the many delicious restaurants and bars with friends, or hosting dinner parties and experimenting with different recipes. I love to bake, read, do arts & crafts, play piano, travel. I enjoy pretty much anything that involves spending quality time with friends or family.