Kimberlee Lenaburg of Bartlesville, Okla., is about to make her childhood dream a reality.
“My parents tell me I was obsessed with animals as a child,” says Lenaburg. “I brought everything home, every stray animal. About 9 or 10 years old I understood the career, what a veterinarian was and that’s when I realized that’s what I wanted to do.”
Lenaburg is among 88 students who will earn a DVM degree from Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences on May 6, 2016. Hooding her will be her husband, Dr. Trace Lenaburg, who earned his degree in 2013 also from OSU.
“Personally welcoming my wife into the profession that I am so passionate about gives me overwhelming pride and anticipation for our future,” says Trace.
“It’s been a big help. Not necessarily with the information or the learning process, it’s more just having the moral support of somebody who’s been through the stresses and the difficulties of the curriculum and veterinary school,” says Kimberlee. “It’s also nice to have somebody there to remind you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it does get better.”
Kimberlee came to OSU for her DVM degree for a couple of reasons.
“Both my parents are graduates of OSU,” she says. “They raised us to be very die-hard fans. As kids we would come up to campus and go to the football games and basketball games. They always told us that we could go anywhere we wanted to go but their money would only go to OSU. I did my undergraduate here and loved it. Loved the campus and the town so it made sense to come here for my DVM and in state tuition kind of helps, too.”
Reflecting on having Trace hood her, Kimberlee says that it’s really exciting because he’s been there from the beginning. The couple met on a blind date about one month before Kimberlee started veterinary school.
“My friend is a small animal technician in the ICU at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital,” explains Lenaburg. “She met Trace when he went through his ICU rotation during his fourth year of veterinary school. She set up the blind date and we just really hit it off. We got married about a year after we met. Trace has been there as a support system from the beginning. So to have him help me transition from school to being a veterinarian practicing and have him be a part of that, it’s pretty exciting.”
And the excitement doesn’t stop there. Kimberlee has already passed her boards licensing her to practice veterinary medicine in Oklahoma right away.
“My husband and I are buying a practice in Pawnee, Okla.,” says Kimberlee. “We take that over May 1. So there are a lot of decisions and changes that we’ve been dealing with. I’m very excited to start that. It’s a mixed animal practice. They’ve been mostly doing large animal and so hopefully with us there, we’ll bring back some small animal medicine into it, too.”
“Words cannot express how proud and excited I am to see the love of my life, my best friend achieve this great honor,” adds Trace. “She will be a blessing to the animal owners of Pawnee, an asset to the veterinary profession and forever the object of my affection.”
The Pawnee Animal Clinic will soon be open for business run by Drs. Trace and Kimberlee Lenaburg.
For more information on the veterinary medicine program at Oklahoma State University, visit the CVHS website.