Gator Vet Tails | November 2023

Veterinarian, Small Animal Surgery Resident, & Graduate MS Student

Dr. Annellie Miller

UF Small Animal Hospital | Gainesville, FL

Annalie Miller

Many professionals accredit their initial interest in their specialty field to family or friends, but Dr. Miller credits her research interest to her foreign-body-obstruction-loving kitty, Otis. With the master’s research year of her small animal surgical residency under her belt, Dr. Miller is looking forward to exploring all sectors of the surgery specialty. A “Double Gator” and expert in the Gainesville city limits, Dr. Miller spends her free time enjoying the outdoors, doing things such as paddle boarding and floating down the springs.

What advice do you have for upcoming/new graduates just starting their careers?

Whether you go immediately into practice or start an internship, you won’t know everything. When you start making decisions on your own this can be very intimidating. After graduating, there is an exponential learning curve which can be disheartening, but know that this is normal and most everyone experiences this. It’s important to know your resources and who you can reach out to – whether this includes current job mentors, previous instructors, literature, etc.

What insight do you have for current DVM students?

Be a sponge! There is so much to learn from your classwork and clinical experiences that it will often seem like information overload, but just do your best to soak in as much information as possible. Studying to learn and retain information rather than studying to temporarily memorize information will help with your knowledge long-term. Also, approaching situations with a “ready to learn” approach, will often go a long way.

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

Some of my fondest memories include the relationships and experiences I made with my fellow classmates on clinics. I was able to learn more about various individuals that I had barely spoken to throughout the first 2 years of classes and made new connections/friendships.

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

It’s okay not to know everything. Just be honest with yourself and fill in the gaps of your knowledge when you can. You will continue to grow as you gain more experience and knowledge throughout your career. Just because you finished veterinary school doesn’t mean you stop learning and researching information. Be honest with your clients if there is something you are unsure about; transparency is best.

Do you have any career goals you are currently pursuing?

After veterinary school I completed a small animal rotating internship at Colorado State University and matched to the University of Florida for a 4-year small animal surgical residency. At this point in my training I am not set on strictly soft tissue or orthopedic surgery, but I am excited to learn and start my specialty training. Wherever I end up in my career, I would love to continue working in a hospital with students, interns, and/or residents because teaching is very important to me!

What is one of your fondest or meaningful experiences from your career so far?

UF’s surgical residency program often includes an additional year where the first year focuses on research responsibilities and teaching veterinary students. I have loved embracing this role where I can help current students grow into the new veterinarians they will become. As a previous UFCVM student, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and dedication of my UF resident and faculty mentors and I am honored to try and fill their shoes. I look forward to continuing the students’ instruction during clinical rotations as I transition into the clinical portion of my residency!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and cat! I also love puzzling, cooking, paddle boarding, floating in the springs, going to the beach, and watching my favorite TV shows.

How many and what type of pets do you have?

I have a cat named Otis that I adopted after my freshman year of college. He has been with me throughout all of my veterinary training and is very spoiled. Unfortunately, he loves to eat foreign material that he shouldn’t ingest, but he has been an inspiration for a lot of my research on feline small intestinal foreign body obstructions.