Veterinarian pursues two dreams: Medicine and music


DVM by day, jazz musician by night.

Burnout. Compassion fatigue. Those in the veterinary field know that the profession can be all-consuming if your work-life balance is tilting too far in the “work” direction. One Florida veterinarian has found a solution to this potential malady—though his twin passions of veterinary medicine and music may more accurately constitute a work-work balance.

Noel Lorica, DVM, is known to his West Palm Beach, Fla., veterinary clients as Dr. Lorica, sole practitioner at St. Francis Animal Clinic. But many others know him as the guitarist and leader of jazz-world fusion band Treebo. And he’s not just goofing around in the garage with a few buddies—Treebo has released an album and performs regularly. Though he admits most of his clients have purchased his CDs, Dr. Lorica says he tries to keep the two worlds separated. “I want to be judged as a serious musician, not a hobbyist,” Dr. Lorica says.

If the thought of maintaining dueling careers seems exhausting, Dr. Lorica believes quite the opposite is true. “A guitar is never far from me even in the clinic. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or I’m waiting between appointments, I’m either working on a composition or studying a classical piece,” Dr. Lorica says. “It makes my clinical life a breeze, because my music career, in a way, has maintained my love and enthusiasm for the profession.”

Dr. Lorica says Treebo’s fans are often surprised to learn that he’s a veterinarian, but he thinks his disciplines have something in common. “I tend to get better and more efficient with repetitive movement of the surgical instruments as well as the guitar,” Dr. Lorica says. “The concentration requirement and discipline is the same. That's why I’m not surprised to encounter surgeons who can play musical instruments.”

Click here to listen to Dr. Lorica’s music and learn more about Treebo.

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