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Dr. Carolynne Kruckman

Radiation Oncology Resident

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Dr. Carolynne Kruckman

I’m from the Chicago area, where my family still lives. 

Although not the first member of my family to have a career in medicine -- my mother is a nurse and father was a pharmacist -- I am the first doctor in the family. That will soon change as my younger sister is in veterinary school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will graduate in May 2018; and my youngest sister has just graduated from nursing school.

We lived in the suburbs while I was growing up so our pets were a variety of dogs and cats.  It wasn’t until I reached college that I experienced other, more exotic animals. My father likes to brag that I was four years old when I first said I wanted to be a veterinarian, and I’ve never changed my mind, probably due to a lack of imagination and stubbornness.

At Lewis University, in Joliet, Illinois, I was in the pre-med program and played basketball all four years. As much as science and sports, I loved writing and toyed with the idea of becoming a writer; but science and my love of animals won out and I was thrilled to be accepted to Michigan State's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Veterinary school was often challenging, but a great experience. Classes are small and students are pretty close. Halfway through the program, though, we lost our oncology specialist and so had no oncology coursework. Wanting to gain that experience, I found the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State and was warmly welcomed when I called about a three-week externship. The time here was revelatory and left a deep impression.

After graduation, I did a small animal internship at BluePearl Veterinary Specialists in Atlanta, Ga., which was a tremendous learning experience. At BluePearl, I was matched with a radiation oncologist, Dr. Nathan Lee, who was a wonderful mentor. Until completing my externship at CSU, and then working with Dr. Lee, I had been unsure about specializing, but now I was eager to pursue a residency in oncology and happy to be accepted at CSU.

I love oncology because it is focused and requires problem-solving. I find radiation oncology fascinating and sometimes still a bit like magic when, with a few applications, a difficult tumor can be greatly reduced and often with few or no side effects. 

Oncology clients are special and I love working with them. They are very engaged, eager for information at every step in the treatment process and are grateful for the additional time with their pets that we may be able to give them.

I really enjoy my work here, and especially the team of people with whom I spend each day. They are a very dedicated, enthusiastic and generous group of people.

Eventually, I would like to return to the Midwest to practice either in an academic institution or possibly private practice, but that could change in the three years of my residency.

In the meantime I’m enjoying my time in Colorado, exploring the outdoors with my fiancé by hiking, skiing and experiencing so many wonderful places here.  We share tales of all our adventures with my orange tabby, Norman who was a rescue; and my Corgi mix, Alice, also a rescue.

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