Victoria Ochoa, DVM, MS and Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (DACVIM) has been part of WestVet since 2007. As a board certified small animal internist, Dr. Ochoa has the distinction of being one of only 1,180 active professionals worldwide.
Choosing veterinary medicine as a career came at an early age from a love of animals and science. She earned her undergraduate degree at UC California Davis, majoring in Zoology. She excelled in the science courses and found a new love — humanities and English.
In 1994 she earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri Veterinary College, followed by a one-year rotating medical and surgical internship at Mississippi State University. Her next stop was a three-year residency in small animal internal medicine at the Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
She was the first person in the extended Ochoa clan to attend and graduate from high school without interruption, and the first to graduate from college, and postgraduate work. “My father grew up in a time when his Mexican heritage and accent made many teachers discount his abilities,” she said. “He was very proud to have one, and then two ”Doctors“ in our family. My brother graduated from medical school in 2005; he works as an internist (a hospitalist) for humans. You may imagine how the conversation can be skewed during a dinner with the two of us.”
Dr. Ochoa worked for 10 years in California where she enjoyed living close to extended family. In 2007, she and her husband, Mitch, packed up and moved to the Treasure Valley. “We wanted to live in a place that offered a veterinary hospital for me, and good recreation.” She said, “Here we can mountain bike, he can dirt bike ride and do trails riding, and I can hike into the hills—just a few blocks from our home—anytime. Yet, Boise is a true city, and we can take advantage of the museums, events, restaurants, etc.”
In addition, she worked with Dr. Jeff Brourman, WestVet Chief of Staff. During her residency in Ohio, Dr. Brourman was a student.
She thrives in the challenges and joys of practicing veterinary specialty medicine. “As someone whose family was not highly educated, well-connected, or affluent, I am very grateful to have been able to enter this profession. Education and veterinary medicine have enabled me to learn constantly, to meet extraordinary people, to serve the public, to travel, and to have a much richer life than would have occurred otherwise.”
While she appreciates all aspects of internal medicine, particular areas of interest include feline medicine, endoscopy, gastroenterology, and liver and kidney disease. Beyond gastrointestinal, nasal, and respiratory endoscopy, Dr. Ochoa routinely performs advanced scoping diagnostics such as cystourethroscopy. She offers our clients extensive experience in treating canine and feline cancer patients we find her exam rooms remain a busy, bustling place with family pets and occasionally exotic creatures from Zoo Boise.
When reflecting on her career she shared, “I am accident-prone and hope to improve as I get older. However, each accident reminds me of ways in which our patients suffer and ways in which we can help. The last mishap, 2 years ago, I broke my lower leg (fibula and tibia). From that experience, I am still reminding our young, healthy veterinarians how much-broken bones hurt and how much care such a patient needs. Exposure to the medical system also reminds me that we all must work—and we all DO work— to keep veterinary service more attuned to pet and owner, more compassionate, and more flexible than typical human medical care.”
In her free time, Dr. Ochoa enjoys reading with emphasis on classics, especially Victorian literature. “I am part of a book club, and enjoy reading biographies, especially those of the founding fathers and prominent women in the American past.”
You may also find her bird watching, both in the local foothills, wherever she travels, and occasional trips with the local Audubon society, including those early mornings (up at 4 AM!) to see the sage grouse. She and Mitch enjoy traveling worldwide and camping.
“Recently, I have become a gardener. I am entranced with roses, and steadily planting more of the old garden roses and the David Austin English roses in my garden as those types of roses are generally have much more fragrance than the typical modern roses and more extravagant shapes.”
- Bachelor of Science (Zoology): UC California Davis in Davis, California
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine: University of Missouri Veterinary College in Columbia, Missouri
- Rotating Internship: Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi
- Residency: Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Columbus, Ohio
- Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Medicine
- Veterinary Cancer Society
- Idaho Veterinary Medical Association
- American Veterinary Medical Association