Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS, director of Special Species Medicine and Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, recently received the 2010 Exotic DVM of the Year award, and she said it was a total shock. Nominations are not announced ahead of time, and she had no idea she was being considered. The presentation took place at the joint meeting of the Association of Exotic Animal Veterinarians and the Association of Avian Veterinarians.
Rosenthal even set up the schedule for the day — and had no idea she was setting up her own award ceremony. As the award was being announced, she was actually standing to the left of the podium reviewing notes for a talk she was about to give.
“I am half listening to the presenter describe the winner, and I realize, finally, hey, they are talking about me!” Rosenthal said. “I was shocked, humbled, speechless!”
The recipient of the annual Exotic DVM of the Year award is selected from nominations submitted by readers of Exotic DVM Veterinary Magazine and is expected to be:
• extraordinarily competent with all species of exotic pets.
• dedicated to advancing the exotic animal medicine profession.
• deeply involved in the education of veterinary students and clinicians.
• influential on an international basis and an ambassador of good will for the exotic animal profession.
Rosenthal’s veterinary career includes a wide variety of experience. She said she did a master’s in zoology, worked in research for a couple of years, and then entered veterinary school. She went to NC State and was heavily influenced by Dr. Keven Flammer. “He looked at avian medicine as a serious field of veterinary medicine,” Rosenthal said.
She then did an internship at The AMC in New York city and met Drs. Quesenberry and Hillyer, who she also thought took exotic animal medicine to another level. “They treated exotics as just another serious discipline in veterinary medicine, as did all of the other doctors at AMC,” Rosenthal said. “It was there I decided to do a residency in exotics and remain in the field.
“I have been very, very, very fortunate to work with some of the best doctors in the world, and also to have the best clients in the world,” Rosenthal continued. “I love working in exotics because every day is a new challenge, and I love working with the people who have these special animals in their homes.”