The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Kirsten Aarbo has been appointed to the position of President for 2020.

Dr. Aarbo’s love of animals was kindled at a young age on her family acreage near Delacour, AB where the family owned a wide variety of family pets over the years. Pony club was an important part of her childhood and Kirsten happily embarked on shows, camps, and pony club offshoots such as modern pentathlon. Kirsten’s riding became more serious in junior and senior high school and she spent most of her time in the barn. Kirsten competed all over Western Canada, and won numerous championships in hunter and jumper competitions, and spent a year after high school graduation riding horses and working for her coach.

Kirsten completed a degree in cellular, molecular and microbial biology at the University of Calgary and went on to earn her doctor of veterinary medicine from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2003 with distinction. Kirsten really enjoyed small animal clinics, and was the recipient of the American Animal Hospital Association Senior Student Award for outstanding achievement in small animal medicine and surgery. Kirsten then completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Washington State Veterinary College in Pullman, Washington, and moved to Massachusetts to study emergency medicine for a year. She then practiced in general practice in Vermont for several years before returning to Alberta to settle down.

Kirsten currently calls Big Rock Animal Clinic in Okotoks, AB her main workplace. Kirsten also spends time at Shawnessy South Pet Hospital, and is working on projects with Feedlot Health Management Services. She still finds all aspects of veterinary medicine fascinating and wants to remain an active learner and practitioner. One of her favourite aspects of veterinary medicine is working with her teammates, and she enjoys teaching and mentoring.

Dr. Aarbo served seven years on the ABVMA Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, and was chair for two years. Kirsten joined Council in 2017. Kirsten also served as the Council Representative on the Practice Inspection, Practice Standards Committee, and finds Council activities challenging and rewarding.

Kirsten enjoys running and has completed numerous half-marathons. She has a supportive family and enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons.

Dr. Aarbo’s one-year term as President commenced following the ABVMA Annual General Meeting on Sunday, March 1, 2020.