Veterinarian to present his children’s books to Encinitas


When she was a master’s student in biochemistry, Cherice Roth worked on a major research project regarding the health of black men’s prostates.

As part of the project, she was tasked with caring for mice in the lab.

Says Roth: “My little critters were recovering well and doing well under my care, and my husband said, ‘You should think about becoming a veterinarian. “”

So she did.

As an African-American woman born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Texas, Roth is one of the few people of color to be a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

“It’s definitely not your typical path,” she said. “Most people know (they want to be vets) from a young age, most often around 5 or 6 years old. I was well into my twenties before considering this as a career path.

Her unique experience inspired her to write two children’s books encouraging young people to understand that veterinarians are legitimate doctors and practice an honorable profession.

“What does a real doctor look like?” cover

(Courtesy of Dr. Cherice Roth and Fulton Books)

Roth has to do readings and book signings from his books, “What’s a Real Doctor?” and “What a Real Doctor Looks Like,” plus a “Fuzzy Pet Clinic” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Aug. 27, at Barnes & Noble, 1040 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas.

Both books were published in 2021 by Pennsylvania-based Fulton Books Inc. and are promoted by San Diego-area publicist John Masiulionis of PR From The Heart LLC. Books can be obtained by going to or Amazon or Barnes & Noble sites.

Referring to “What is a real doctor?”, Masiulionis said in a statement, “Dr. Roth’s story not only challenges the assumption that vets aren’t ‘real’ doctors, but she also serves as a real-life example of a person of color breaking down barriers in her field.

Roth said she was surprised at the enthusiasm generated by her books.

“The reception has been incredible,” she said. “I was really like the little girl in my head saying, ‘Nobody’s going to read this.’ But it’s actually really amazing in that not only have people sent me pictures or videos of their kids playing them, but I also realize that was something I had really need.

In “What’s a Real Doctor?” Roth depicts his sons Tristan and Cooper having a dialogue with their friend Clara about who doctors are and what qualifies them to be doctors.

“What is a real doctor?” ” cover

(Courtesy of Dr. Cherice Roth and Fulton Books)

“Book 1 focuses on vets as real doctors,” Roth said. “My two sons explain what I do on a daily basis and compare it to what human doctors do on a daily basis to show that vets are real doctors.”

“Book 2 (“What Do Real Doctors Look Like?”) opens it up a bit more in that it’s specifically about children’s ability to see that doctors are all like us – than it isn’t. There is no specific stereotype about who a doctor is.

“It opens up this conversation of, ‘Well, I’m a little brunette girl who was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and became a veterinarian, and that kind of stuff doesn’t happen every day. But it should. Part of the reason this is not the case is because of this lack of representation.

In addition to Roth’s text, the books feature vivid and precise illustrations created by Fulton’s artists.

“I think for both books they did an amazing job of bringing the stories to life and pairing them with inclusive imagery,” Roth said.

Book readings, signings and clinics give Roth the opportunity to talk about a range of issues.

“By doing these #1 events, I can talk about pet care,” Roth said. “Typically, I do a book reading and then I also hold a veterinary clinic. I go over the things I look for in a healthy pet and the ways families can help ensure their pets are doing well, and what to do if they aren’t. good.

“It’s kind of my way of getting that information and that direction that I wish I had when I was younger.”

Researchers say that most of those who pursue a degree in veterinary medicine decided in childhood what their career path was.

Still, it’s not an obvious choice for many American kids, especially non-whites and low-income families.

For Roth, becoming chief veterinarian at San Francisco-based Fuzzy Pet Health is a rare achievement, particularly because she grew up unfamiliar with the industry.

“It wasn’t until my third year of college that I met my first vet,” she says. “I had no interaction with veterinary medicine. I didn’t even have it in mind as a career path.

Yet, like most small town rural American kids, she grew up surrounded by animals.

“I had a dog when I was growing up,” Roth said. “Either we didn’t know or we couldn’t afford to take him to the vet. This is not uncommon among color families, in particular. It’s not part of our culture. …

“I loved animals. I actually hid little frogs and toads under my bed and took care of them. I had my little world with these animals which allowed me to take care of them and to feel useful.

Now, while tending to her duties at Fuzzy, Roth and her husband live on a 5-acre farm in the town of Boring, Oregon, outside of Portland.

“We have pigs and turtles and chickens and goats and dogs, a cat and a giant tortoise and I have two sons and a husband,” Roth said.

Sons Tristan and Cooper spurred Roth’s interest in communicating what veterinarians do to a younger generation.

“I could see how my kids’ eyes lit up when they saw me being Dr. Mom,” Roth said. “As I started talking to people there’s this real affinity and you get the chance to paint this piece when the kids are very young to have compassion for the animals and for the families who are attached to these little creatures.

“I saw it as an opportunity to really start talking about what veterinary medicine is, #1 and #2, that it’s something that’s totally doable as a career path.

“Because of that lack of representation, I really felt there had to be people of color in the books. There had to be people of different abilities in the books.

“I really wish these books were there when I was little. I had no idea I could be a veterinarian. I had no idea I could be an animal doctor.

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