Get to Know

Get to Know Michelle Borsdorf

Dr. Michelle Borsdorf, pictured above with her spouse and dog, Scoter, is a clinical assistant professor and service head of the Zoological Medicine service at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

When did you begin working at the College of Veterinary Medicine?
October 26, 2022, after an eight week hiatus back home in Canada waiting for my work visa to be processed!

Describe your role at the college.
I am a Clinical Assistant Professor and currently the service head for the Zoological Medicine service within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. I have responsibilities that span clinical service, teaching, and research. The majority of my teaching involves first-, second-, and clinical-year students, as well as advanced training for our house officers (interns and residents) on the clinic floor. I also teach within the core and elective courses as it applies to zoological medicine species.  

Have you held any previous titles or responsibilities at the college?
I was lucky to match here at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine for a one-year small animal rotating internship in 2014-2015.

What is your favorite part of your job? 
Working in the field of zoological medicine is incredibly rewarding in and of itself with the ever-evolving medical knowledge and understanding of such wonderful species. I particularly love being able to educate a variety of trainees with different goals, interests, and levels of experience while being able to collaborate with many specialists to push the boundaries of patient care for zoological species.  

Complete this sentence: My most memorable day at work was…
…performing a packed red blood cell transfusion in a critically ill macaw, which has not been reported before! This was no small feat as there was only a partial match with the donor macaw. As a result, it required critical problem solving and collaboration with many individuals in the hospital to facilitate washing the red cells prior to the transfusion to minimize the risk of a transfusion reaction. Fortunately, our patient did amazingly and is now fully recovered thanks to this life-saving treatment!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love spending time with my young family and exploring the outdoors. My 14-month-old son keeps me on my toes!

What is something your co-workers may be surprised to know about you? 
I LOVE to line dance and two-step!

What is one thing on your bucket list? 
Return to Galapagos! It truly is a phenomenal place!

Do you have a favorite restaurant or place in the Champaign/Urbana area?
Kohinoor Indian Restaurant

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Do you have any pets? 
I have one dog, a charcoal Labrador retriever — Scoter, named after a diving duck. He is a goofy ball of energy, everyone’s best friend, a lover of water, and also a canine blood donor!

Scoter, Dr. Borsdorf's charcoal labrador retriever
Dr. Michelle Borsdorf with Labrador retriever, Scoter, and young child
Dr. Borsdorf with her son and Scoter