In one way or another, Dr. Brian Collins ’94 has been teaching Cornell veterinary students for years. On April 2, he made it official: he is the College’s newest Lecturer and will be working side-by-side with one of his long-time mentors, Dr. William Hornbuckle.
Collins comes to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals from Colonial Veterinary Hospital, where he worked with many Cornell veterinary students who were veterinary assistants at local veterinary practice. As the president of the board for Ithaca’s Shelter Outreach Services, he also worked with Cornell students. In his free time, he is a volunteer and part-time employee with the Tompkins County SPCA, where he also had the opportunity to help Cornell DVM candidates learn about shelter medicine.
“Watching students learn, and knowing that I had a hand in it, is very rewarding,” said Collins, who also enjoys running, hiking, biking, kayaking, and gardening. “Classroom learning is absolutely necessary, but the type of hands-on learning that I’ve been a part of triggers a different level of adrenaline–for me and for the students. The interactions and the learning are two-way. I’ve benefited a great deal from my work with students and look forward to more and more regular interactions.”
In his official role with Cornell, Collins will develop a surgery service within the Hospital’s Community Practice Service that will focus on routine procedures, supervise students doing surgeries with local and regional shelters and Ithaca’s Shelter Outreach Services, and help manage the Community Practice Service operation, all responsibilities that mesh nicely with his professional interests: general life-stage medicine, surgery, and dentistry.
“One of the most important roles a veterinarian can play is to promote and support the human-animal bond,” said Collins, who grew up on a farm and managed a humane society before pursuing his veterinary degree. “Preventative care and a commitment to wellness are critical components of success in this area. My role with CPS gives me the perfect forum to share ways that our clients can protect their pets and add time, quality, and meaning to the relationship they have with their companions.”