Dr. Melanie Bowden was born and raised in Maine, but left New England to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She attended Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (2016). After completing her degree, she decided to stay in the Pacific Northwest so she could enjoy the mountains, lakes and oceans the Pacific Northwest has to offer. She initially worked for Banfield in Portland OR, then moved to Coeur D’Alene Idaho so her partner could pursue his dream of being a tenured professor. She practiced at a busy family owned small animal exclusive clinic in Spokane Washington and after 1 year rose to being medical director. After two years the owner elected to sell to corporate, at which point Melanie realized that the path she was on was not healthy or sustainable. She had poured her soul and life into building a business she was not going to get any return on. It was at this point that Melanie started working relief, to be able to see a wide variety of veterinary practice styles and businesses and find where her passion truly lies. Melanie has since relocated back home to Maine and now works full time in Emergency Medicine, which she would never have thought would be true joy in veterinary medicine. In January 2020 Melanie did a Ted Talk called “What Being a Veterinarian Really Takes.” This threw her into the realm of public speaking and discovering a passion for mentoring students and new grads in finding their own path to success and happiness in vet med. In addition to full time ER work, Melanie now also does public speaking on wellness, career development and soft skills. Her passion is making veterinary careers sustainable and fulfilling. She also does consulting and is super excited to be partnering with Kirsten to bring Advanced Vets Academy to life.
Dr. Bowden’s passion is also making veterinary medicine work for you! There is no one right path in veterinary medicine, and our industry is diverse and resilient; which is why Advanced Vets Academy was such a natural collaboration. Outside of the veterinary world, Melanie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys the mountains and waterways in the summer, and skis and plays hockey in the winter, which makes her a fitness junkie to keep her body in shape for all her explorations. She is a major consumer of podcasts and audible books, can probably quote the entire Harry Potter Series from heart, and knows a Disney quote for nearly every occasion. She also loves detective shows, and cooking ethnic foods. She is a dog mamma to two pups (Pip and Tuck) that are her adventure buddies.
Dr. Kirsten Ronngren is a born and raised Pacific Northwest girl, and a graduate of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (2015). After completing her degree, she headed to Seattle, WA where she practiced at both a feline only hospital as well as a dog/cat small animal private clinic for three years. In the fall of 2017, the sun called Kirsten and her equine surgeon fiance south and they headed to San Diego. Here she practiced at a busy small animal exclusive clinic near downtown, as well as took a veterinary technician clinical instructor position with Pima Medical Institute. It was here Kirsten realized her greatest veterinary love in addition to practicing medicine, was teaching it. Outside of teaching formally, in 2019 Kirsten also began her now well known mentoring platform and social media presence Vet Redefined. This is how she dove head first into the world of mentorship and leadership in the veterinary community. Her most recent relocation has been to the beautiful English countryside and has brought a whole new host of projects including speaking events, consulting work, relief work (small animal GP), content creation for veterinary professionals/businesses, and most excitingly – Advanced Vets Academy.
Dr. Ronngren’s interests in medicine have truly focused on making your career just that – YOURS. Veterinary medicine is not a one size fits all model. Kirsten loves speaking, teaching, and mentoring, as well as internal medicine, feline medicine, diagnostic imaging, and small animal dentistry. Outside of the veterinary world, Kirsten is a major wine and food enthusiast, an avid true crime fan, a college football fanatic, a fitness junkie, a dog/cat mama, a family girl, and a hiker. You’re hard pressed to find someone more obsessed with golden retrievers and ragdolls than she is. Give her a glass of cabernet with a charcuterie board on an outdoor patio and she’s all set!