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Ricardo Videla: Large Animal Vet, Outdoor Enthusiast, Movie Fan, Dog Lover

Videla talks with students while assisting a cow during delivery in the farm animal clinic.

Videla talks with students while assisting a cow during delivery in the farm animal clinic.

At UT:  Ricardo Videla is an assistant professor in UT’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed his residency at UT in 2013 before joining the faculty full time. When on clinic duty, he works with his students, interns, and residents to treat large animals, specializing in internal medicine. Videla enjoys clinic duty because it is unpredictable. “I like not knowing what cases may come in and what is going to happen with my day,” he said.

Why he chose this field: Videla grew up around Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he said he was born with passion for animals. Because he wasn’t allowed to have a pet, he spent a lot of his time on his aunt’s farm, where she encouraged his love of animals. He enjoyed being outside with the animals, lying in the field with them and watching their actions.

“After high school, I felt I was going to make this big announcement to my family that I wanted to go to veterinary school,” he said. “And when I told everyone, there was no surprise. It was a given.” Videla knew he wanted to work with animals but didn’t know if he’d enjoy the medical side of the field. In vet school, he learned he was a better student then than he had been in high school because he had found what he liked and he was good at it.

Ricardo Videla kayaks with his dog, Meela, "a great companion for the outdoors."

Videla kayaks with his dog, Meela, “a great companion for the outdoors.”

Outside interests: If there is a chance for Videla to be in the outdoors, he takes it. He loves to spend his time outside and especially enjoys being surrounded by Knoxville’s woods. He spends a lot of his time hiking with friends from UT, kayaking, and mountain biking, and has even participated in several triathlons. “Exercising outside not only keeps me healthy physically, but really mentally as well,” he said. Videla likes the social aspect too. He recently picked up climbing. Although while the weather is cold, he climbs inside at a local gym, he looks forward to trying it outdoors this spring.

If he isn’t at work or spending time in the outdoors, Videla enjoys reading and watching movies. Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables ranks as one of his favorite novels. “I like ethical dilemmas,” he said. “And although it was written so long ago, you can still apply so much of it to today.” He also enjoys reading books on veterinary practices and finds Temple Grandin’s works on animal behavior particularly interesting. As for films, Videla said his he prefers foreign movies because he cares “more for the story than for the special effects.” Two of his favorites are The Untouchables and Live and Become, a French film.

Favorite critters: Although he works with all kinds of animals, Videla has two favorites: horses and dogs. “I love horses because they are so strong yet can be so tame,” he said. “Dogs are incredible, though, because you can share such great company with them.” Videla’s terrier-mix rescue, Meela, greets him at the door when he gets home from work each day.

If I didn’t do this, I’d: “Do something where I could be outside. It’s hard to say because it’s so clear this is what I need to be doing.” He could, however, see himself studying animal behavior or practicing architectural engineering.

One last thing: Videla is inspired by Gandhi and Mother Teresa. “They are people who did not limit themselves, who thought way ahead of their times,” he said. “The impact they made while they were alive left a lasting impression after they’ve passed.”

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