Josep Aisa, DVM, Dip-ECVS (Small Animal), EBVS®
European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery
Fellow Candidate, Surgical Oncology
Lucy Oncology Scholar
I’ve loved animals all my life. I grew up in Barcelona and my family had many dogs and cats and they were such a big part of my life. I knew I wanted to have a job that would allow me to work with pets in some profound and productive way.
I have lived in many places in the world to pursue my dream of caring for animals to the best of my abilities. I first went to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona where I studied general veterinary medicine. I worked for several years in private practice, but I had a desire to specialize.
To expand my skills, I completed a small animal surgery residency at the University College Dublin and then worked for many years as a small animal surgeon at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland. I moved to the United States and began teaching at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in the field of small animal soft tissue surgery.
During my time at the University of Tennessee, I found myself drawn to oncology cases. They were some of the most challenging I came across, but they were also some of the most rewarding. I found myself wanting to further specialize and better develop my oncology surgical skills, which is why I committed to a surgical oncology fellowship at the Flint Animal Cancer Center, on the Lucy Oncology Scholarship.
This was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career. I love surgical oncology. It’s a growing discipline and one of the most needed in veterinary medicine. I find it fascinating. The more I understand about the biology of cancer, the more I want to know.
Every cancer patient is different and no two cases look the same. I constantly have to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions. I don’t take it lightly that I can help cure or solve a cancer diagnosis with my hands, skills, and expertise. I also love that oncology is a multi-disciplinary approach and we all work together to treat our patients. It’s incredible to be a part of.
The best part of my job is teaching though. I’m doing this fellowship so that I can pass along what I know to the next generation of veterinarians. This training is not just for me, it’s to further the profession and to improve the cancer treatments we can collectively provide. After my fellowship at the Flint Animal Cancer Center, I plan to return to academia to teach others what I have learned during this fellowship.
Outside of work, I love to attend anything cultural with my partner, Liza. We enjoy art, music, and theater. I cycle as often as I can and love to ride through the Colorado mountains. Liza is a veterinary cardiologist at the University of Tennessee, so we travel between cities as often as we can while I’m away for this fellowship.
It’s my goal to hone my surgical oncology skills as much as possible so I can impart this knowledge to future veterinary oncologists.