Practitioner Updates

Faculty Spotlight: Pamela Wilkins, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (LA-IM), DACVECC

[Dr. Pamela Wilkins]

Tell us about your background.

I grew up around horses and rode both AHSA Hunter/Jumpers and AQHA horses during my early years in central New York state. I worked as a pro in the hunter/jumper field for a while after I graduated from high school, but always wanted to be a veterinarian. This was in the mid-to late 1970s, when women weren’t at all prominent in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Pamela Wilkins
Dr. Pamela Wilkins is a professor of veterinary clinical medicine.

I finally decided to go for it, went to college, and got accepted into Cornell university’s Class of 1986, the first veterinary class at Cornell that was 50% women! I stayed at Cornell after I graduated as the resident veterinarian for the Equine Research Park and also as the clinician for a neonatal intensive care unit that I was able to establish in 1986.

My position was eliminated in 1991 during a huge budget cut, and I went into private practice at the Equine Clinic at Oakencroft in Raven, N.Y. I had a strong interest in internal medicine, particularly neonatology, and was accepted into an internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania at New Bolton Center in 1991. When that was finished I went back to Cornell to do a PhD in cardiovascular and respiratory physiology, which I completed in 1998.

I returned to new Bolton Center in 1998 as a faculty member, where I remained until I was recruited to Illinois in 2008. I am board certified in both Large Animal Internal Medicine and Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

How did you become interested in equine medicine?

My interests in equine medicine and critical care, particularly neonatology, were honed as a veterinary student. It was just so much more interesting than surgery, challenging, and fun to solve the difficult cases. I fell in love with neonatology at that time and even did my senior seminar on prematurity in foals!

What are your special interests?

I like all things related to critical care medicine, ranging from pregnancy issues, to perinatology, to colic and respiratory problems of both adult horses and foals! In my spare time I like to read, cook and redecorate my house. Interior design might be my next career after retirement. I LOVE going to estate sales!