Gator Vet Tails | September 2023


Dr. Jenny Groover

Fetch Specialty and Emergency Veterinary Centers | Brandon, FL

Dr. Jenny Groover

Dr. Groover is a board-certified Criticalist who received her DVM and completed her residency here at UF CVM! Unique opportunities, such as working with UF VETS Animal Rescue and Response Team, carved her career path into what it is today! She values the commitment and dedication of her support staff, knowing the burden they take on as an emergency critical care department. Our September feature has some amazing insight and advice for the veterinary community.

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

Your first year out is crucial in developing good practices. If you have the choice between a job that pays just a little less but gets you a vast amount of experience, versus one that pays great but offers little mentorship, choose the first. It is one year to set you up for a future of success.

What insight do you have for current DVM students?

Stay open-minded. I thought I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon and ended up in emergency and critical care. The beautiful part about veterinary medicine is there are so many routes to explore, and you can always change your mind, even 20 years out!

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

I will never forget partaking in the UF VETS Animal Technical Rescue and Disaster Response team. Rescuing a Pug named Cookie from a sink hole was a very rewarding moment. Through the UF VETS team, I learned how to both prepare for and respond to natural disasters. I also gained leadership and critical thinking, and teamwork skills, and got to know community life-savers dedicated to helping animals.

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

You will never make everyone happy. Focus on doing your best, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice, and just be honest. Emergency Critical Care inherently can be very emotional for both clients and staff. Try not to let the few negative clients overshadow the majority of incredibly thankful clients.

Is there anything in the veterinary field you would like to see change?

I would like to see us start paying our technicians and support staff more. Inflation and the spike in pet ownership since the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing veterinarian salaries and hospital income. Our technicians and support staff are the backbone that allows us to care for animals and it is time we start caring more for them. 

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I was able to build Fetch’s first Emergency Critical Care (ECC) specialty service from scratch. It has been challenging yet so rewarding to start a specialty service at a busy emergency and specialty hospital. We are now one of few places in the country that offers mechanical ventilation, therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), and dialysis. My ECC service helps support the hospital and the local community, providing true intensive critical care. I now have a wall of “really good save” photos of patients that would not have had such a good outcome had it not been for our ECC team.

What is the most interesting/unique case that you have worked on?

Recently, we had a case of a dog with severe multi drug resistant pneumonia (even resistant to meropenem!), oxygen toxicity, barotrauma, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), was post-op splenectomy, required a tracheostomy tube, and had a very unusual presentation of myasthenia gravis. This dog required mechanical ventilation and the odds were stacked against him. My favorite thing to do is challenge and beat the odds. This dog made a full recovery and is now doing excellently at home.

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

During my internship year I mentored veterinary students; as a resident I mentored both veterinary students and interns, and now as a criticalist I can mentor emergency veterinarians and nurses. Mentorship does not just mean being there for their victories, but most importantly being there for when things aren’t going well. One of my biggest challenges was learning how to create psychological safety to be able to provide constructive criticism. I didn’t expect that my mentorship would extend to the referring vet community but that has been incredibly rewarding building those partnerships and working together to provide excellent continuity of care. I still frequently reach out to my residency mentors from UF and am thankful for their continued support.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love hanging out with my “Golden Girls” – my close friend group which consists of our Fetch radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, and ophthalmologist. We have frequent pool days, board game nights, and go out to nice restaurants. My Jack Russel Terrier puppy also keeps me very busy – she loves to play fetch swimming in the pool! I love the beach, kayaking, skiing and scuba diving trips.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I can waterski with no hands and name all the presidents in less than 30 seconds!

How many and what type of pets do you have?

I have one Jack Russel Terrier pup. I grew up with dogs but they were always large dog breeds. This is my first little dog. It is fun bringing her everywhere with me and she is one feisty girl! I did not imagine it would take me 2 years to potty train her, but she is one crazy quirky sweet girl! Thank goodness for the dog daycare that is right next to work so she can run her energy out each day while I am at work.