By Samantha Joseph
PALM CITY -- When he was 10 years old and working toward a Boy Scout badge for veterinarian science, Jason Giovando discovered his future career path.
Now, at age 34, he is among the area's newest veterinarians, having returned from the University of Tennessee with a freshly minted doctorate of veterinary medicine in hand.
"It's great to be home," Dr. Giovando said. "This is what I've always wanted to do, and I'm able to do it in my hometown. It's ultimately very rewarding to be able to form relationships with members of the community and get to know them."
He joined Martin Downs Animal Hospital this month, with an interest in internal medicine, oncology and ultrasonography.
It was a "full circle" moment for the former Boy Scout, whose introduction to veterinary medicine came when Drs. Arthur Young and Robert Katz allowed the troop in to put on scrubs and observe the staff at work.
"That was all it took for me," Dr. Giovando said.
The former Martin County High School student went on to study at Indian River Community College, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Tennessee.
"As he had always hoped, Dr. Giovando has returned to Palm City, where he is eager and excited to share his knowledge and compassion with members of the community by caring for their beloved pets," said Dr. Karol Poderski of Martin Downs Animal Hospital.
Days into his new job, Dr. Giovando said he was happy to be working in his hometown.
"The staff and clients have been welcoming," he said. "I'm from this town, so I feel comfortable and connected."