008: The Importance Of Mentorship & The Future Of Vet Oncology w/ Bernard Seguin


Are you someone who knows exactly what path you are going down with every step planned in advance, or do you go where the opportunities take you? Today’s guest always knew he wanted to be a vet, but would have never guessed that he would end up as a doctor of surgical oncology at Colorado State University.

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Show Notes: 

Dr. Bernard Seguin is an Associate Professor at CSU with a very long list of letters after his name including D.V.M., M.S., Diplomate ACVS, and ACVS Founding Fellow. To say he knows his stuff is an understatement. He walks us through the steps it took for him to get where he is today, the importance that his mentors played in his life, and the differences between vet schools in Canada (where he went to school) and those in America.

We go deep into the advances being made today in veterinary oncology, how those findings can help humans with the research being done in translational medicine and what the future looks like in both oncology and surgery. This was an amazing opportunity to dive into the mind of one of the greats in the field and he is, literally, the guy that wrote the textbook on it.

Are you considering a niche aspect of veterinary medicine? Do you worry about over-specializing? Leave a comment below!

In this episode:

  • Difference in vet medicine between Canada and the United States
  • A look at the path to becoming a surgical oncologist
  • The importance of having a mentor and being a mentor
  • Advances being made in surgical oncology
  • How does having your own pet help you in understanding and empathizing with your clients
  • The power of transitional medicine and how it can help everybody


“It’s a great opportunity where you see problems on the clinic floor where you go ‘Oh this is a terrible disease and we have this treatment but it has terrible complications’. Well, research is all about, ‘Well do something about it, what can we do better?’ I was extremely attracted to that. (29:28)

“We are not going to cure them all, but in my fellowship, another mentor of mine said that there is no animal that you cannot help. And, that really was a real eye-opener for me. Even euthanasia is helping an animal.” (35:40)

“I think the future is personalized medicine. I think that cancer is an umbrella to group many diseases but, there are common features to all cancers but there are also incredible differences between cancers. As a matter of fact, we are learning that the same cancer, it has the same name but in different people, it can actually be a different disease.” (41:38)


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Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center 

Veterinary Surgical Oncology Textbook - 2012 Edition 

Veterinary Society Of Surgical Oncology


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John Arnold