Dr. Nielsen earned an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in applied mathematics. It wasn’t until her second year of medical school at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, when her own dog needed the services of a surgical specialist, that she became aware of veterinary surgery as a career option. This opened the door to a life-changing decision; she left Johns Hopkins to pursue a veterinary career. She earned her DVM degree at UC Davis while concurrently completing an MS degree in biomedical engineering then continued on to a one-year clinical internship at Colorado State University. She completed a three-year surgical residency at the University of Minnesota and successfully fulfilled the rigorous credentialing and examination requirements to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in small animal surgery.
Away from work, Dr. Nielsen and her husband (also a veterinarian) recently returned from hiking the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico, pursuing a lifelong dream for them both. She also enjoys trail running, cycling, gardening, and most any type of active or outdoor activity. They share their home with Nigel, an aggressively social three-legged cat, who came to them by way of the Humane Society and who has never met a dog (or person) he doesn’t like.