Telemedicine Focal Point: Frederic David, DEDV, MVetMed, DipECVDI

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. 

Frederic David, DEDV, MVetMed, DipECVDI

Role at IDEXX Telemedicine: Consultant

Undergraduate Studies: Lycee Lakanal, near Paris, France

Vet School: Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, France

Residency: Royal Veterinary College, London, UK

Additional Experience:  Before my residency, I did an imaging internship at Ross University in the Caribbean. After my residency, I was a faculty at the University of Minnesota for 4 years. Then I joined IDEXX Telemedicine Consultants.

Why did you choose a career as a Veterinary Radiologist? As I was initially planning on being an equine orthopedic surgeon, I realized my favorite part was imaging. I also realized that I found the diversity of small animal radiology much more interesting.

Passions/interests: I practice a niche, but growing martial art called HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts). Basically fighting with longswords, and other medieval / renaissance weapons. Otherwise, my wife and I enjoy travelling and discovering the world.

Inspirational insights for new Radiologists entering the workforce:  There are a lot of opportunities to find the job that suits you. From teleradiology, to academia, also including working at a referral center or mobile ultrasound. Clinical, research, teaching or any combination of these… and it’s okay to change path.

What is your favorite thing about Veterinary Radiology?  I think this is a great thing at the current stage of veterinary imaging that we do not have to be as specialized as human radiologists. A while ago, I was talking with a human radiologist who only reads knee MRIs all day, and I would rather have a greater variety of cases.

Do you have a favorite imaging modality and why? It is an interesting question! I used to be very interested in MRI, especially when I was doing research. I even took some courses to learn how to program our MRI scanner, but that would have been a full-time job on its own… so I did not really use it. For clinical work, I have gone full circle. During my residency I thought ultrasound, and then CT and MRI were the most interesting things. Now I find that radiographs are the most interesting. To me, radiographs remain the more challenging interpretation clinically and require the most thinking.

What do you enjoy about your position with IDEXX? Most importantly the flexibility. I can travel and live in different places throughout the world and I am still able to keep doing the same job.

What tips would you like to share with Radiologists interested in Telemedicine?  Honestly, I find that interpreting skills and the thought process are more complex than in a referral or academic center. In teleradiology, there are all sorts of cases and settings (from referral centers to the vets in very remote location) and more things to think about in terms of what can be done, and also the consequence of how I interpret things. Not everybody can follow up with a CT or biopsies easily, and thinking of other options is both interesting and challenging.

Tips on how to prepare for and then finally take boards: Start working on it from day 1 of the residency. Don’t panic, a lot of the board exam itself is about keeping mentally relaxed and efficient. The knowledge and skills acquired during the residency are more like a general culture that should allow you to pass boards. Also, in the practical, not all cases are super complicated. If there is panosteitis, don’t come up with improbable differentials.

Are there telemedicine myths you’d like to bust? It’s not boring or dull. You don’t get just boring fractures or enteritis. I have definitely seen cases in teleradiology that I had not seen before.

Do you have suggestions for those planning to work at home? Keep your office space (and time) isolated, with minimal distractions, if you want to be efficient.

What other information would you like to highlight about our team? With IDEXX Telemedicine Consultants, you are not alone, and there are always people available to discuss cases and provide help and advice.

Tell us what your perfect day looks like: Some work, some time to relax outside with some good weather and some HEMA practice.

Tell us about the animal companions in your life: We just got a small dog, named Ahsoka. She is small but full of energy, personality and creativity. She travels everywhere with us and is starting to go around the world!

Contact me if you’d like to learn more about the world of IDEXX Telemedicine Consultants:

Angela-Skidmore@idexx.com

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