DVM, MPH, Medical Director
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Dr. Karina Ballester joined our team in May of 2019. She grew up surrounded by beloved family dogs and cats in Puerto Rico, which sparked her interest in small animal veterinary medicine. She graduated from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 and has advanced degrees from the University of Minnesota and from North Carolina State University.
She brings to our team many years’ experience in small animal medicine and over 7 years’ experience as a team leader. Dr. Ballester really enjoys surgery, being able to help new generations of veterinarians develop additional skills and build confidence in their practice, but mostly loves being able to build trusting, caring life-long relationships with pets and their families.
Dr. Ballester lives in Raleigh with her husband Walter. They have 3 pets: India (a lovable senior female Basset hound mix), Carmen (a young, energetic female pit bull terrier who is full of wiggles and kisses) and Pito Pío (whose official name is Che–but he has had many nicknames throughout the years and this is his family’s current favorite) an extremely clingy and loving male grey tabby cat.
During their free time, Dr. Ballester and her husband enjoy traveling, especially exploring new cultures and cuisines–they have been known to travel just to try exotic foods. They also enjoy working out together and she loves to paint. Dr. Ballester is very excited to be part of our hospital and is looking forward to meeting you and helping you keep your pets healthy!