‘25 Vets to Watch’ list features seven AAHA members

The list of the top 25 veterinarians to watch published by Veterinary Practice News features more than its fair share of AAHA members - seven, to be exact.

In fact, AAHA members accounted for 37 percent of the non-food animal practitioners named to the list, which Veterinary Practice News said is meant to recognize up-and-coming veterinarians who are poised to do great things for veterinary medicine.

NEWStat interviewed two AAHA members to find out how they feel about making the list, and to learn why they think AAHA members account for a significant proportion of the list.

A humbling experience

Dr. Kate Knutson, AAHA president-elect and a well-respected authority in veterinary dentistry, was caught off-guard when she received a congratulatory call from an associate. Once she learned more about the list and confirmed that the whole thing was real, Knutson said she was surprised but extremely honored to be selected.

“It came as a shock that the industry - out of so many really good vets doing so many good things in the United States and Canada - chose my name from that pool, because the pool is very large,” Knutson said.

Knutson also said she is thrilled to see her name listed alongside “big-deal vets” who have earned her admiration over the years.

Dr. Robin Downing, an AAHA member who is the first veterinarian to enter the clinical bioethics degree program at Union Graduate College in Schenectady, NY, said she finds it humbling to be included with “this impressive group of movers and shakers.”

“These folks are really making a difference in both the veterinary world and the world at large,” Downing said. “It is very cool to know several of them personally and I am so happy to see them receive this recognition. They are awesome and it’s my privilege to be a part of this group.”

AAHA membership a predictor of success

Downing said she believes it is no coincidence that 37 percent of the non-food animal veterinarians on the list are AAHA members.

“The American Animal Hospital Association is an organization dedicated to excellence in small animal care,” Downing said. “It is also dedicated to cultivating the best in veterinarians, veterinary technicians, practice managers, and support staff. AAHA encourages the cultivation of leadership skills and abilities, so it only makes sense that a big chunk of the ‘Top 25’ would be AAHA members.”

Knutson said AAHA's visibility on the list speaks volumes about how AAHA accreditation prepares veterinarians for professional success.

“I think it says that AAHA is a very important predictor of somebody’s success in medicine as a veterinarian,” Knutson said.

AAHA members on the list

AAHA members who appear on the list are:

  • Chris Adolph, DVM, Southpark Veterinary Hospital (Broken Arrow, Okla.)
  • Robin Downing, DVM, The Downing Center for Animal Pain Management (Windsor, Colo.)
  • Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVN, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine; Tufts University (North Grafton, Mass.)
  • Micah Kohles, DVM, MPA, Oxbow Animal Health (Murdock, Neb.)
  • Kate Knutson, DVM, Pet Crossing Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic (Bloomington, Minn.)
  • Amber Labelle, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVO, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine (Urbana-Champaign, Ill.)
  • Michael J. White, second year student, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine (Manhattan, Kan.)

View the complete list along with brief biographies of each list member on the Veterinary Practice News website.