Dr. Kimberly Agnello is a staff veterinarian and lecturer for small animal orthopedic surgery at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital. “Dr. Agnello brings expertise in arthroscopic surgical procedures that will greatly benefit our students and clients,” said Dr. Richard Davies, chair, Department of Clinical Studies.
Dr. Agnello will handle clinical cases and conduct arthroscopy research in addition to teaching orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. “My goal is to bring a more minimally invasive approach to orthopedic surgery,” she says. “Arthroscopic procedures facilitate the recovery process for animals and their owners by making it easier and shorter.”
Her enthusiasm for surgery began when she first entered veterinary school. She once considered human medicine but was attracted to the veterinary field by the variety of species she could treat and procedures she could perform. “One day I might do a total hip replacement and another day, shoulder surgery,” she reflects. “Orthopedics in human medicine is so specialized that you can easily become limited to a specific procedure like knee replacement.”
Dr. Agnello enjoys sharing her passion for surgery with students and residents. “It’s especially rewarding to teach residents who are very excited about surgery, just as I was, and I enjoy watching them develop and grow over the three years,” says Dr. Agnello, who was selected by Penn Vet residents to receive the 2009 Faculty Teaching Award.
“In addition to learning the science and medicine, it’s important for students to learn how to communicate with the client,” she continues. “I want them to know how to relate to their clients as well as the appropriate medical steps to take for the patient. It’s also important to admit when you don’t know the answer and know where to go for help. When students graduate, we welcome them to call and talk to us about cases. No one is ever going to know everything. I’m still surprised every day by clinical cases when the diagnosis turns out to be very different from what I expected.”
A native of Buffalo, New York, Dr. Agnello graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. She received a master’s degree in natural sciences and experimental pathology from SUNY at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute division, in 1997. She earned her DVM in 2001 from Cornell University and continued her post-doctoral studies at Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, New Jersey, and at the University of California, Davis. She also served as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine before joining Penn Vet School in 2007 as a lecturer in small animal surgery. In 2008, she was named staff veterinarian.