Meet our educators: Jillian Haines

Associate Professor Jillian Haines graduated from WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. Now back and board-certified in small animal internal medicine, Dr. Haines’ work focuses on canine megaesophagus and platelet function therapy. Through her work in improving management of canine megaesophagus, she offers owners unique evaluation and therapeutic options for their pets, while preparing her students for similar cases in their careers.

What are you currently teaching and what do you like most about teaching students at WSU?

My main teaching role is in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital where I work with fourth-year veterinary students on the small animal internal medicine service. I also teach classes for the third-year students in small animal endocrinology, gastrointestinal pharmacology, and clinical problem-solving. I really enjoy being around a group of individuals that all has the same goal, which is to provide the best veterinary care possible. This is something that motivates the teachers and the students through all years of their coursework.

What is your favorite part about being an educator? 

Internal medicine is complex, but I really enjoy taking a complex subject and breaking it down for the students in a way that allows them to really understand it. We talk a lot about physiology and the mechanisms that explain why a disease manifests a certain way and how we can exploit that understanding to diagnose and treat a patient. For me, it is kind of like lifting the curtain for them to see what is happening behind the scenes. They can start to tie all the pieces together and use that behind-the-scenes knowledge to think critically about their patients. Seeing them then apply all that understanding to the cases they see during their fourth-year clinical rotations is really exciting for me to watch.    

What has been your academic/career path leading up to WSU?

I obtained my DVM from WSU and after two internships in private practice, I completed a small animal internal medicine residency at Mississippi State University. I started my career back here at WSU in 2014 and have been here since. 

What drew you to WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine?

I am originally from north Idaho, and I received an amazing education from WSU as a veterinary student. I love the area and the people here so much that I always wanted to come back. The instructors at WSU have a very strong commitment to providing an excellent education for the students. There is so much drive toward constant improvement in education practices here that is really motivating to be a part of it. There is a great collaborative environment amongst all the educators here and the students get the benefit of that every day in their classes and on their clinical rotations. All these aspects make WSU a fun and exciting place to teach! 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

One thing many people wouldn’t know about me but that all my students know is I have a strong love for my two corgis. Corgis tend to make a lot of appearances in my lectures and my office decor. However, something even my students probably don’t know is that between April and October after I spend a day in the hospital, I then spend many evenings watching my favorite baseball team, the Seattle Mariners play their games. My husband and I are working toward a goal of visiting all the Major League Baseball parks, and we visit a few more each year.