Born into a Cougar family, Sarah Guess was destined to be a lifelong Coug. A Spokane native, Dr. Guess received both her undergraduate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees at Washington State University. Dr. Guess went on to specialize in small animal internal medicine through the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Now she teaches internal medicine to third- and fourth-year veterinary students at WSU.
What do you like most about teaching students at WSU?
I love all aspects of internal medicine because of the joy that comes from breaking down aspects of a case and critically thinking about cause and effect, logic, patterns, exceptions, and more. I am always asking myself: “what else could be going on? What am I missing? What do I need to do to learn more about this case?” I try to convey this to the students that come through internal medicine – to constantly evaluate what you think you know and then proceed with confidence and enthusiasm; leave room for error; and then fix it. The continuous growth and challenge is what attracted me to internal medicine. My favorite organ system is the kidney. My master’s degree research is in chronic kidney disease in dogs and cats, and I love this organ more than all the others. It is a masterfully built organ that is elegant and simple and yet so complex. It’s so much fun!
What is your favorite part about being an educator?
I think good internists and good teachers learn as much or more than they teach, and I try to exemplify this in my job. I always tell students that if I found a million dollars on my way home that night, I would be here the next day, doing exactly what I am doing now. I know I am privileged to have a job that I enjoy, and I do my best to give back the joy that I have in getting to come to WSU’s campus every day and work with awesome people and incredible animals.
What has been your academic/career path leading up to WSU?
I went to vet school with the intent to be on faculty at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine someday and it is just as awesome as I knew it would be. I moved to Arizona and then Kansas after earning my DVM degree to complete my specialty training in internal medicine and I also received my master’s degree in biomedical sciences. After becoming board-certified in small animal internal medicine, I was so fortunate to work in private practice at a large specialty hospital in Vancouver, Washington. I loved working there and really had a chance to grow as an internist. I came home to WSU in 2018 to study education psychology and then joined the faculty in 2019.
What drew you to WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine?
I have always loved being a part of WSU. As a student, I felt that there was something truly special and unique about the WSU community and I always wanted to stay connected to my home in Pullman. Not only is the community of Pullman/Moscow one of the best places in the world to live, work, and play, but being a lifelong Coug is something I cherish, and I just hope I can give back to WSU as much as WSU has given me in my lifetime.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I am really athletic, and I run, hike, cross-train, or do yoga almost every day, but I am terrible at team sports! I think people assume I am good at sports because I run. While I love playing soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc., the minute people see how bad I am at it, they likely won’t ask me to be on the team again if they have any interest in winning! If you want me on your team, I’ll bring enthusiasm, team spirit, and fun, but no skills whatsoever.