Cleveland Equine Clinic (CEC) is a major equine practice in Northeast Ohio, in the country on the edge of the Cleveland Metro Area. Though it is in the country it is only 10 minutes away from the nearest towns that have everything you could need (like fast food and Target). The clinic itself is owned and run by Julie and Dr. Brett Berthold, and hosts an expanding group of eight clinicians and an annual intern. The practice sees everything from backyard ponies to competing racehorses in West Virginia. It is based out of a beautiful hospital that hosts a surgery suite, treatment rooms, a dedicated radiology room, ICU, and a very regularly used standing MRI. The clinic owns the house in front of it and uses it to house the current intern and any students that come to work; so, your commute to work is only the 50-yard walk through the front lawn. The house has newly finished details and plenty of space to share between three people. They also have an extra room above the clinic itself. Don't let the large and state-of-the-art facility intimidate you; the clinicians, techs, and staff are all very close and love to have fun.
As a "Equine Fellow" student I started my first few days as more of a shadow where I rode with different doctors and their regular techs. This allowed me to get the hang of how they do things and to ask a lot of questions. As soon as you are comfortable you can be offered to do things or ask to do them yourself. After a while I would go out with some of the doctors as their sole tech, and occasionally help host a pre-vet student shadow. Over the course of my time there I was able to palpate and evaluate numerous horses for lameness exams, clean/prep for blocks and joint injections, perform numerous physical exams, detect 2nd degree AV heart block and an arrythmia, draw blood, administer IV, IM, and oral medications, place IV catheters, perform half of a dental float, assist with and take lots of radiographs, perform shockwave treatment, try my hand multiple times at distal limb ultrasound, held horses during a few MRIs, and so much more. Since there was an intern, myself and the other student were only responsible for giving treatments or assisting with ER calls on the weekends and if needed. Most weekends we would go out in the morning with the back-up vet to help with reproductive related exams and breeding and then have the rest of the weekend off. I was able to go out on emergency a few times, usually if I was riding that day with the vet on call. I was able to see a choke, a couple colics, foot abscesses, and a few laceration repairs to name a few cases. The clinic serves a very large area inside and outside of Ohio. There usually is a lot of time spent driving between calls, when you are not working in the clinic. I logged the distances of calls from the clinic noting at the farthest, of the calls I went to, a 50-mile radius. Most of that time is spent finishing paperwork, talking about cases, eating lunch (or dinner), singing to the radio, or stopping for ice cream. I went into this fellowship with almost 20 years of horse experience, but not so much clinical horse experience. This was the perfect way for me to get an idea of what you can do in the equine field and gave me some really wonderful hands-on learning.