Gator Vet Tails | January 2024

co-owner & Veterinarian

Chase McCall

San Pablo Animal Hospital | Jacksonville, FL

McCall GVT

As both a business owner and veterinarian, Dr. McCall sets the bar for the standard of care his patients receive at San Pablo Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, FL. Dr. McCall credits UF CVM and his mentors for establishing the solid knowledge base and interpersonal skills he relies on every day. When Dr. McCall is not in the clinical setting, he is enjoying the outdoors with his wife and five (yes, five) dogs!

What insight do you have for current DVM students?

I would encourage veterinary students not to lose track of enjoying life. Vet school is incredibly difficult, and it is easy to get caught up in the rigors of the class load, exams, and clinics. However, it is also one of the most incredible periods in their lives – mine included. I formed long-lasting friendships with many of my classmates (I even married one of them). We spent countless hours learning about veterinary medicine together – even listening to Creed in the dentistry lab, running stadiums, exercising at Southwest Rec, and playing intramural sports. It is important to remember that vet school is about more than medicine – it is about forging relationships with people you will remain in contact with for the rest of your life.

How did UF CVM prepare you to embark into “the real world” and start your DVM career?

The clinical rotations at UF were imperative to my success in my current practice. Clinics allowed me to apply all the knowledge I had gained in lectures and follow through with the development of cases and treatments in real-time. Clinics also showed me that not every disease process or outcome followed the textbooks and helped me learn to think on my feet to diagnose and care appropriately for patients.

What is one of your fondest memories from your time at UF CVM?

One of my fondest memories of vet school was my very first appointment of clinics. I was on Primary Care and Dentistry, and my patient was an 8-week-old Golden Retriever puppy named Rhett. Rhett belonged to Dr. Pam Ginn, who was the Associate Dean at the time. Dr. Ginn was an incredible resource and a great mentor to me throughout vet school and getting to care for her new puppy was a fun experience. Today I follow Rhett on Instagram and keep up with his Field Trial adventures. It’s so fun to stay in touch with my first patient ever.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I am my own boss. This allows me great flexibility in my schedule and allows me to practice my best medicine (not necessarily based on specific SOPs crafted by corporations). I also love the community in which I practice. I enjoy seeing my patients and clients when I am out walking my own dogs or running errands. Touching base with clients in these situations makes me feel more connected to the community and it’s rewarding to see patients thriving “in the real world” outside of the office.

What is the best advice you have received during your career so far?

The best advice I have received thus far is to have realistic expectations for clients and patients. Not every person can afford the gold standard of care or to visit a specialist, and that is ok. It is important that you, as a general practitioner, try your best to help the patient within the confines of each particular case, whether that be due to cost or owner compliance or something else.

What does mentorship look like for you at this point in your career?

I have been blessed with two great mentors since graduating from vet school – one being my father. They have offered guidance in developing my surgical skills, treating patients, and dealing with clients (often the most difficult part of a veterinarian’s job). As a veterinarian, you will never know everything in every textbook, so it is important to realize that it is ok to ask people for their opinion on how to manage cases or help interpret a radiograph. I still ask questions and now my mentors even ask me my opinion on cases. I feel like through their confidence, I have developed more skills to build on the foundation I received from UF CVM.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy outdoor activities. I play tennis in several leagues in Jacksonville, and I also enjoy exercising and walking my dogs with my beautiful wife.

How many and what type of pets do you have?

My wife and I have five dogs, three of which we have rescued as owner surrenders. We have Lilly, a twelve-year-old Labrador with epilepsy; Archie, a four-year-old Golden Retriever with Addison’s Disease, Scout, a three-year-old Golden doodle with a liver shunt and portal vein hypoplasia; Arya, a one-year-old husky mix who suffered a traumatic brain injury, and Annie, a ten-month-old golden retriever who appears to be perfectly healthy. They definitely keep us busy!