“Always do your best and everything else will follow.” That’s the advice that Dr. Amanda Simonson was given when she first started practicing veterinary medicine and has been following successfully ever since. As one of two veterinarians at Norterra Animal Hospital in North Phoenix, Dr. Simonson’s practice is guided by her desire to give her patients the best possible care, treating them the same as she would her own pets. “Education and communication are the keys to empowering clients to make informed decisions about their pet’s care,” she stated.
For as long as she can remember, Dr. Simonson has had a profound desire to help people. After completing an undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in psychology, she was preparing to start work towards her PhD. That all changed the afternoon one of her horses became ill. Waiting anxiously, Amanda found comfort in the thought that the veterinarian would soon arrive and take care of everything. As she thought about the significance of the veterinarian’s role in helping heal the horse that she cherished, she had the realization that she could have that same impact on others, helping both people and the animals they hold so dear. She declined the offer to complete her PhD and started down the path to becoming a veterinarian, studying at Colorado State University.
“I love the connection between families and their pets,” she stated. Growing up, Dr. Simonson was surrounded by dogs, horses, and even a baby pig for a short season, “My mom wasn’t real thrilled about that,” she laughed. Now she has a golden retriever and a black lab as well as a horse named Jerry. She loves trail riding in the desert. Whenever possible, she and her husband Dan, two-step children Kailey and Jake, and 1 year old son Lucas spend their free time hiking and engaging in water sports like jet skiing and boating.
Dr. Simonson practiced for almost 10 years at an Arizona Pet Vet sister hospital prior to helping open Norterra Animal Hospital, the newest addition in the Arizona Pet Vet family. “It was exciting to be a part of the space planning and design,” she shared.
A critical part of that design was the creation of a calm, comfortable space for her acupuncture practice. “Acupuncture is a great way to help animals, both in conjunction with traditional medicine or as a sole therapy,” Dr. Simonson explained. Scientific studies have shown that it decreases inflammation and triggers the release of a natural pain control response. “It’s amazing to study the scientific research about what happens in the brain and nervous system when you employ acupuncture,” continued Dr. Simonson, describing her golden retriever, Maggie and the relief she’s experienced through acupuncture therapy.
Looking forward, Dr. Simonson hopes to see the field of veterinary acupuncture expand as more and more clients become educated on its benefits. She’s also excited about the recent advancements in technology, especially in the area of digital dental x-rays. “With a majority of tooth disease hiding under the gums, we have a whole new window into what is going on now,” she explained.
“Being a veterinarian is a fantastic career with amazing experiences,” Dr. Simonson concluded. “I can think of nothing that would give me greater satisfaction than making a difference in the lives of my patients and their families.”