Dr. Michael D. Klinger is a 1971 graduate of the University of Missouri. In addition to his DVM, he also holds a B.S. degree in agriculture. He is the owner of Klinger Veterinary Group, PC. He is a member of AVMA, MVMA, AAHA and AAFP. He shares his home with his wife Stacy and three children.
Please describe your career path:
After graduation I worked with Dr. Richard Riegel in Maplewood. I started my own practice in January 1976 in Richmond Heights. During the 70's and 80's Dr. Kenneth Cohn (Affton Vet Clinic) and I owned practices in University City and South St. Louis (Bevo Mill area). Animal Clinic South was started in 1986 and Valley Veterinary Clinic in 1996. The Richmond Heights practice was sold in 2000 to Dr. Gavin Hooks. I am currently working part time at the Valley Veterinary Clinic in Valley Park, MO.
What is your favorite memory of GSLVMA?
My family has always loved the socials at Purina Farms. We have made the vast majority of them and they are a tradition for us.
When I was speaker chairman of the GSLVMA I decided to invite Bob Broege, a well-known sports commentator from KMOX radio to speak at a Friday night meeting as a "change of pace". The men thought he was very interesting but the women (just a few in the 70's) didn't even know who he was. Mr Broeg wasn't sure what to talk about and was a little embarrassed too. In the end he gave an good talk which was enjoyed by most.
Please describe any roles you have held in organized veterinary medicine:
I have been privileged to serve as President of AAFP and the Midwest Small Animal Hospital Assn.
What's your favorite part of practice?
Internal Medicine is my forte. I enjoy in-depth case analysis. I also enjoy educating clients and sharing descriptive pathologic physiology.
Can you describe a favorite memory or funny story from practice?
After a long surgery that Dr. Cohn and I shared (on a chylothorax case) it was late but we were too amped-up to go home. It had snowed so we grabbed a sled and went to Art Hill to do some sled riding! We had a great time (we went to "suicide hill") until we crashed and I knocked out one of my front teeth!
Please tell us more about yourself and your family.
My wife Stacy and I have been married for 20 years and we have three great kids. Jessica is 19 and studying special education at college, Melissa is 17, on the varsity cheerleading team at Parkway South and will someday take over my practice, and Zach is 15 (Sophomore at Parkway South) and playing varsity hockey.
If you could give one piece of advice to future veterinarians, what would it be?
Don't refer everything you don't know how to diagnose or treat. There are many veterinarians that are glad to help the younger ones and teach surgical techniques and give advise on medical cases. Never stop learning! Always question your assumptions!
As veterinarians we should concentrate most on getting people to be aware of a need for our services, and least on competing with one another. Too many people never bring their pets to us for medical care. Giving away our services without justification of need only continues to lessen the image of our profession.