Telemedicine Focal Point: Sofija Liles DVM, MS, DACVR

This series highlights members of IDEXX Telemedicine Consultants as they discuss their individual career paths, passions and provide words of wisdom for fellow Veterinary Radiologists planning their careers.

Sofija Liles DVM, MS, DACVR

Role at IDEXX Telemedicine: Teleradiologist and Team Lead

Undergraduate Studies: Duke University             Vet School: Auburn University

Residency: North Carolina State University

Share a memory from your residency: Having to do KCC (known clinical conference) every Friday morning at 8 am was very stressful and intimidating. Dr. Thrall decided to try and lighten things up for the residents so he had a T-shirt made for all the residents with a skull and cross bones on it that said KCC. I still have the T-shirt and although we did get a good laugh from the shirt, I am not sure the stress actually went away.

Additional Experience:  I have worked in telemedicine since I finished my residency but I do mobile sonography in my local community as well.

Additional Education/Training: Sonora Veterinary Specialists Small Animal Rotating Internship

Why did you choose a career as a Veterinary Radiologist? I really loved the idea of helping all of the specialists and general practitioners with a wide range of cases and using different modalities. I had a hard time deciding which specialty I liked the most in vet school and by choosing Radiology I am able to be part of all the specialties.

Passions/interests: I really enjoying being outdoors, skiing, hiking, biking, and traveling. It is particularly fun now that our girls are old enough to join my husband and me.

Inspirational insights for new Radiologists entering the workforce:  Radiology is a fantastic career choice with endless opportunities. I am thankful every day that I chose to do a radiology residency.

What is your favorite thing about Veterinary Radiology?  Helping so many animal and owners from so many different places.

Do you have a favorite imaging modality and why? Radiographs. I feel like we still can get so much information from such a fast, accessible, and relatively inexpensive modality to help a very large number of patients.

What do you enjoy about your position with IDEXX? I love being part of a large group of radiologists on the cutting edge of telemedicine.

What tips would you like to share with Radiologists interested in Telemedicine? 

Give it a try! It has been the best career decision I have ever made. It has allowed me to balance a full-time career and being a mom.

Tips on how to prepare for and then finally take boards: For oral boards, practice, practice, practice. It is just getting over the fear of speaking in front of people. Most of the cases are things you know, but you just need to stay calm enough to put everything into words in a meaningful way.

Are there telemedicine myths you’d like to bust? That you are out there alone with no one else to help you. I can send out images to our entire group on a case that has me stumped and I will get 5-6 responses in a matter of minutes. It is amazing!

Do you have suggestions for those planning to work at home? Have a designated home office where you can concentrate.

What other information would you like to highlight about our team? We have a very helpful cohesive group that is always willing to help one another on cases and give input. It has been a pleasure to work with so many talented and wonderful people of the years.

Share a memory of a life event and how it has shaped you today? As a child I always said I wanted to be a veterinarian but over time that idea faded and I decided I wanted to be a physician. I was disenchanted with human medicine very early on during undergrad. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after graduation. I remember doing a summer session at Duke’s marine lab and walking down the beach with a fellow classmate. We ran into a beautiful English Setter and my friend and I both admired the dog. My friend then told me that he was applying to vet school the next year and I told him that had been my childhood dream. He asked me why I had changed my mind and in the end convinced me that I should become a veterinarian. We ended up going to vet school together and I still thank him for leading me in the right direction at the right time. I often wonder what would have happened had there not been that dog on the beach that day.

Tell us what your perfect day looks like: Spending a day with my kids and husband traveling to any new destination and being the great outdoors.

Tell us about the animal companions in your life: Peanut the pug that likes to eat, sleep and cuddle and Maple the dachshund mix that might be the happiest dog on earth and is always up for a walk.

If you’d like to learn more about Telemedicine with IDEXX,  email us today!


Leave a Reply