Dr. Maurice Alcantara is one of the coolest and most energetic members of our constantly growing team of veterinarians. “Doc Mau” received his degree in Veterinary Medicine from UP Los Baños in 2009. He has been practicing for seven years and is currently one of VIP's resident vets with special interest in exotic animals. Get to know him better below.
Vets In Practice: What made you decide to be a veterinarian?
Doc Mau: My interest in animals began when I was a kid. I’ve always loved watching wildlife shows in channels like Nat Geo. I used to read the animal sections in the encyclopedia before sleeping and, I also had chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, birds and fishes as pets while growing up.
VIP: What does your work entail?
DM: I take care of the usual pets like dogs & cats, but I also treat exotic pets like snakes and turtles. Most of the time, I do consultations, but I’m also assigned as an on call vet for emergency cases, and in-charge of monitoring confined patients in between.
VIP: What is the hardest part of the job?
DM: Dealing with difficult clients (smiles).
VIP: What do you do in your free time? Any hobbies?
DM: I like to go around our country on my bike. I am a bike to work advocate, and also a Gawad Kalinga volunteer.
VIP: Why did you want to be part of Vets in Practice?
DM: I wanted to practice my profession in one of the best animal hospitals in the country, and to also learn wildlife medicine under Dr. Nielsen Donato.
VIP: What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
DM: To be a vet is a continuous learning process where you have to be updated with the latest trends and treatments. You should always make an effort to train yourself to be better in your chosen field continuously. It can be a stressful career wherein sometimes it's not only about the patient, but that's okay, just stick to your reasons on why you wanted to be a vet in the first place; and the trivial things won't matter in the end anymore. You have to be fully committed as this career demands a lot of time and effort. Working in an animal hospital means working in a fast-paced environment, and you will always have something new to learn every day.
VIP: What would you be doing if you hadn't become a veterinarian?
DM: I would probably be a Psychologist. I might also be a massage spa owner, a Master Siomai franchisee or a Bike shop owner. Most likely the last three will come true as my sideline in the next ten years while I continue my profession.
VIP: What are your goals/dreams in the future?
DM: To tour the whole Philippines on a bike while also conducting pet care seminars/talks on the side. And, yeah, to own a massage spa (smiles again).