Texas Tech University

Faculty for Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine Grows

George Watson

April 15, 2020

vet school

Nancy Zimmerman, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons with an expertise in small animal medicine, joins the school as professor of small animal surgery.

The faculty for the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo continues to take shape with the addition of Nancy Zimmerman as a professor of Small animal surgery.

A native of Pennsylvania, Zimmerman comes to Texas Tech from Arena, Wisconsin. For the last 15 years she has helped teach veterinary students from the University of Wisconsin and other teaching hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, she has provided continuing education to domestic and international veterinarians.

Nancy Zimmerman

"When I learned about the opportunity to build a teaching program at Texas Tech that would focus on training students, that was very interesting to me," Zimmerman said. "We have an opportunity to utilize the most current methods and technology to help students learn and grow through the training process of becoming a veterinarian. I'm really keen on being a part of that and trying to impart some of the clinical experience I've gained working in many different capacities as a veterinarian over the past 20 years"

Zimmerman earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1998. She completed a Small Animal Surgery residency at Virginia Tech and earned her Master of Science degree in 2003. Zimmerman earned board certification and was named a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in 2004.

After completing her surgery residency, Zimmerman worked as an associate in a private referral hospital in Dallas. In 2006, she relocated to Wisconsin and established a small animal locum surgery practice, Gentle Hands Veterinary Specialists. Zimmerman worked as a small animal surgeon at private referral practices and university teaching hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, providing care for patients and helping students, residents and interns learn clinical applications of veterinary surgery.

When Zimmerman was not working away from home, she helped manage the lamb and beef farm that she owned in Wisconsin. She hosted workshops and seminars on the farm several times each year to help veterinary students and regional livestock producers learn about small ruminant husbandry.

As a professor of small animal surgery for Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine, Zimmerman will share her rich experience and surgical skills and knowledge with a broader audience.

"It is important to focus on the patient and the client," Zimmerman said. "My goal is to work with Texas Tech University practice partners, who will serve as clinical training centers for veterinary students, to develop programs that graduate veterinarians who will not only be competent and have the knowledge but also confident to do what they need to do to provide the best, most complete service to their patients and clients, with compassion."

Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, said it is Zimmerman's caring nature that makes her a great fit.

"She cares about practicing high-quality, compassionate veterinary medicine," Loneragan said. "She also has experience mentoring students in real-world settings, and she cares about helping them become the best they can be. Our students are going to benefit so much from her instruction and, in turn, the clients of our future graduates will benefit. We are so fortunate Dr. Zimmerman chose to join the Texas Tech family."

A strength Zimmerman feels she will bring veterinary students is the ability to be versatile, noting there is more than one way to accomplish a goal. The aim in veterinary practice is to determine the end goal of treatment and how best to achieve that goal. An important aspect of being a veterinarian is to be able to adapt, she says. Veterinarians need to be able to see the big picture and think through problems to find solutions based on an understanding and application of concepts and principles rather than memorized protocols.

"Dr Zimmerman has a great reputation for providing continuing education and teaching surgical skills," said John Dascanio, senior associate dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. "She is passionate about bringing those talents to Texas Tech to raise the bar to help veterinary graduates be practice-ready on day one. Dr. Zimmerman will help our students walk out our doors as confident, competent young surgeons."

Zimmerman joins Loneragan, Dascanio, associate dean for clinical programs Britt Conklin, large animal surgery professor David Dutton, assistant professor Bethany Schilling and large-animal medicine professor László Hunyadi on the faculty for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Additional faculty members will be added over the summer and fall.

"Having a broad scope of diverse experiences in veterinary medicine makes you a great practitioner, but more importantly, it makes you a better teacher," Conklin said. "Dr. Zimmerman has had an enormous breadth of experiences that will allow her to deliver an unmatched educational experience to our student body and, additionally, will provide our practice partners with a wealthy resource."

About the School of Veterinary Medicine

Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas, and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, established in 2018, is working to enroll its first class in the fall of 2021, pending approval by the AVMA Council on Education.

The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion to practice and succeed in small, agricultural and regional communities and utilize a curriculum focused on the competencies and skills necessary to be successful in practices that support these communities. Texas Tech's innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.

In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the biennial state budget, which appropriated $17.35 million for the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo that will go toward operational needs in order to get the school up and running. The appropriation included language directing Texas Tech to move forward in establishing the school.

Donors and civic leaders have pledged more than $90 million toward infrastructure, construction and scholarships for the School of Veterinary Medicine on the site of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.