A Passion for Medicine: Kneitz changes career path from MD to DVM
Friday, February 24, 2023
Media Contact: Kaylie Wehr | Coordinator, Marketing and Public Relations | 405-744-6740 | email@example.com
Medicine has always been a part of Dr. Abby Kneitz’s life.
Raised by parents who were doctors, it was no surprise that she wanted to follow in their footsteps by becoming an M.D. herself.
“I wanted to be a doctor from a very young age,” Kneitz said. “The picture books that I had as a kid were their dermatology textbooks, so that definitely influenced me.”
However, while she was at Texas Tech University earning her undergraduate degree, Kneitz’s plans changed.
“In undergrad, I worked at a nonprofit no-kill animal shelter called ‘The Haven’ in Lubbock, Texas, and I just fell in love with working with the animals,” she said. “I decided that I wanted to work with animals and not humans.”
At the time, Kneitz was almost finished with her undergraduate degree and preparing to apply to medical school. The realization that she wanted to work with animals threw a wrench in her initial plans. She had to decide if it was really going to be the career for her.
“I decided to take a break after graduating and worked for a veterinarian for three years to decide if it was really what I wanted to do or if I just loved animals and enjoyed working with them,” Kneitz said. “Working for that vet, I just fell in love with the high-quality medicine he practiced. That really influenced me to go for it and try to reach my goal of being a veterinary doctor.”
Once Kneitz decided veterinary school was the right choice for her, it was a whirlwind of applying, being accepted and moving to Stillwater from Texas.
“I took the opportunity to attend OSU and I feel really fortunate,” Kneitz said. “I took a chance and I am so glad I did.”
While earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Kneitz was also working toward a master’s degree in business administration from the Spears School of Business as part of the OSU Dual Degree program.
“My reasons initially for pursuing a dual degree were that I thought I would want to own my own practice,” Kneitz said. “I’m not sure if that’s still my goal, but I’ve also considered owning a nonprofit that helps people that can’t financially afford medical care for their pets.”
There were times Kneitz wondered if she made the right decision, but in the end, she persevered and graduated in May with both her DVM and MBA.
“It’s been a struggle,” Kneitz said. “There were definitely some semesters I wasn’t sure if I could do both and times I thought I would have to quit, but I was able to push through and get it done. I am going to take the chance to enjoy this moment with my friends and family.”
During the commencement ceremony, Kneitz was hooded by her parents, Drs. Felice Howard and Joel Kneitz. It was an emotional moment for the daughter who always knew she wanted to be a doctor, but never knew it would be as a veterinarian.
“They have been so supportive,” Kneitz said. “My mom put me through vet school and my dad was just always there for me and it just means the world to me that they can both be here and celebrate the moment with me. Honestly, it’s also a moment for them to be recognized and that is really, really nice.”
Following graduation, Kneitz started working with the Veterinary Emergency Group in Denver.
“They have a six-month training program for new grads,” Kneitz said. “They teach endoscopy, surgery, ultrasound and more, and it just sounded incredible. I’m excited to learn more.”
Medicine, whether it be human or animal, requires a commitment to lifelong learning. Kneitz has learned about the trials and tribulations each career path takes. Along her journey, she realized no matter who she is treating, she will always have a knack for it.
After all, medicine runs in her family.
Photo By: Phil Shockley, Story By: Kaylie Wehr | Vet Cetera