Lenaburg turns childhood love for strays into veterinary career
Kimberlee Lenaburg of Bartlesville, Okla., just made her childhood dream a reality.
“My parents tell me I was obsessed with animals as a child,” Lenaburg says. “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 the 88 students who earned a DVM degree from Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences on May 6. Hooding her was her husband, Dr. Trace Lenaburg, who earned his OSU degree in 2013.
“Personally welcoming my wife into the profession that I am so passionate about gives me overwhelming pride and anticipation for our future,” Trace says.
“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,” Kimberlee says. “It’s also nice to have some body 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 it’s really exciting because he’s been there from the beginning. The couple met on a blind date about a month before Kimberlee started veterinary school.
Kimberlee has already passed her boards, licensing her to practice in Oklahoma right away.
“My husband and I bought a practice in Pawnee, Okla.,” Kimberlee says. “We took 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,” Trace adds. “She will be a blessing to the animal owners of Pawnee, an asset to the veterinary profession and forever the object of my affection.”
Drs. Trace and Kimberlee Lenaburg are now operating the Pawnee Veterinary Hospital.
Derinda Blakeney, APR
For a video about Kimberlee Lenaburg, visit okla.st/2f0rK35.
At her graduation in May, Kimberlee Lenaburg was hooded by her husband, Dr. Trace Lenaburg, a member of the CVHS Class of 2013.
photo / Derinda Blakeney