While VCA City Pet Animal Hospital in Chicago isn’t the only veterinary office that features all female veterinarians and staff, it does serve as an example of how the field has changed over time in the United States.
Female presence in the veterinary field began in 1903 when Mignon Nicholson graduated from Chicago’s McKillip Veterinary College. While the presence of women in the profession kept growing through the decades, the passing of Title IX of the Education Amendments in 1972 helped even more women enter the field. However, it wasn’t until 1996 when Dr. Mary Beth Leininger became the first female president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. And, in 2009, the organization reported for the first time that female veterinarians outnumbered their male counterparts 44,802 to 43,196.
As an example, VCA City Pet Animal Hospital in Chicago has served clients as an all-women practice for the last three years—led by Jamie Peisel, DVM, medical director, Tracy Garza, associate DVM, and hospital manager Megan Schriber. “In our practice, we see a variety of cats and dogs, and we love our clients and patients because they’re like family to us,” states Megan. “We have an amazing all-female team who are passionate about helping animals and go above and beyond to make sure we take care of both the pets and their owners.”
Dr. Peisel says she enjoys treating both ends of the leash in her veterinary profession. She especially enjoys practicing animal dentistry because the procedures relieve pain and promote overall health. “I love this profession because it combines all my interests—humans, animals and business management,” says Dr. Peisel. “I believe women are evening out the veterinary field because girls see an increasing number of incredible role models, strong women doing amazing things.”
In addition to serving pet health in Chicago, VCA City Pet Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Garza, a graduate of Michigan State University, has a special interest in sled-dog medicine. She’s served as a trail vet for Iditarod and Yukon Quest, in addition to other sled-dog races.
In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, we celebrate all women in the field of veterinary medicine who serve in this important profession of providing care for both pets and people.
“In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, we celebrate all women in the field of veterinary medicine who serve in this important profession of providing care for both pets and people.”