After earning her DVM from MSU in 2014, Dr. Katie Davis Mauro recently returned to her alma mater to join the faculty as an assistant professor of Emergency and Critical Care, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences. Mauro’s clinical, research, and scholarly interests include the application of extracorporeal therapies to critical care patients, kidney injury and intoxications, critical care nephrology and urology, sepsis, and mechanical ventilation. She has a strong passion for teaching and mentoring students and residents.
What initially drew you to veterinary medicine?
I was initially drawn to veterinary medicine through high school volunteer work. Almost immediately, I loved the challenge of veterinary medicine. Although I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, I went into undergrad and veterinary school hoping to pursue a career in large animal (swine) medicine.
How did your career path lead you back to MSU?
After graduation, I completed a rotating small animal internship and residency in Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) at the University of Pennsylvania. During my residency, I developed a strong interest in acute kidney injury and extracorporeal therapies. After my residency, I completed a fellowship in extracorporeal therapies at North Carolina State University. Then I accepted a position at UPenn as an assistant professor of Clinical Extracorporeal Therapies. I was excited to come to MSU for many reasons. I love extracorporeal therapies, but I wanted a position that allows me to use all aspects of my ECC training. The members of the ECC service at MSU (both faculty and nurses) were a huge part of what inspired me to pursue ECC. Being part of that team was and is exciting to me. As a bonus, coming back to MSU brought me much closer to family.
Crazy for ECC
In veterinary school, Mauro wasn’t immediately sold on a career in Emergency Care. “My good friend Nicole dragged me kicking and screaming to a Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society meeting. I told her firmly that only a crazy person would pursue a life in ECC. Ultimately, I went for the free pizza and fell in love with ECC over a case presentation on Gastric Dilatation Volvulus!”
Can you give a little information on what extracorporeal therapy encompasses and why you are passionate about that area of medicine?
Extracorporeal therapy (ECT) is just a fancy medical term for treatments that process a patient's blood outside of their body. This includes hemodialysis, hemoperfusion, therapeutic plasma exchange, and other apheresis techniques. I was originally drawn to ECT because I loved managing acute kidney injury cases as a resident.
What is something you’ve learned from vet school that you still use today?
Veterinary medicine relies on every member of the team. Sometimes you get to do the exciting things, sometimes you get to clean out a dirty cage. Every single job is an important piece of patient care. No one is above picking up poop.
Do you have any advice for current veterinary students?
Veterinary medicine is a challenging but incredibly rewarding career. As you move through veterinary school, invest in yourself so you can set yourself up for a sustainable career. Do this by studying hard, seeking clinical experience, and listening to your mentors. Almost as important, prioritize some time away from veterinary medicine every day. It could mean going outside, connecting with friends or family, exercising, watching a good show or funny TikTok videos, whatever your thing is. No one can be a veterinarian all the time.
What are some of your hobbies outside of veterinary medicine?
Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, preferably outside. We are in the process of moving to a farmhouse on some land that will need a lot of love. I'm excited to fill it up with animals and put our own touch on the house. Otherwise, I love to bike, bake, cook, and travel.
What is your favorite way to celebrate being a Spartan?
This is a tough one to answer! I think the best way to celebrate being a Spartan is a 58-degree, fall tailgate with good food and good people.