Karen Hirsch, DVM

Karen Hirsch, DVM

Department of Biomedical Sciences


Department of Biomedical Sciences
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
T7 010A Veterinary Research Tower, Box 17
Ithaca, NY 14853-6401

Fax: 607-253-4447
Email: kjh52@cornell.edu

Teaching Interests

Dr. Hirsch’s primary interests are in helping to make the curriculum relevant to clinical practice; preparing students to be clinically competent; and helping students to appreciate the importance of interpreting patient symptoms while recognizing client needs in order to formulate treatment options. In addition to tutoring in Block I and 3a, she is the instructor for the 1 credit distribution Small Animal Euthanasia course.


  • DVM, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine (Cornell), 1989
  • BS, Animal Science, Cornell University School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 1985

Post-Graduate Training

  • Internship in Conservation Education, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose Texas, 1990
  • Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital MSPCA, Springfield, Massachusetts 1989-1990

Biography/Professional Experience

After completing her internship in small animal medicine and surgery, Dr. Hirsch practiced general small animal and exotic animal medicine in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Gaborone, Botswana; Queens, New York; Fort Worth, Benbrook, and Granbury, Texas; and finally Great Falls, Virginia where she concentrated on cat and dog medicine. Along the way she gained experience in shelter medicine (both during her internship with the MSPCA and in spay and neuter clinics with the Fort Worth SPCA), conservation education, zoo and wildlife medicine (including running a mobile clinical pathology lab in Botswana), and relief practice. In 2018 she began her move back to Ithaca and the CVM, working first as a tutor in Block 1 and then also in Block 3a in 2019. In the spring of 2020, she took over as the instructor for the Small Animal Euthanasia distribution course. She accepted a full-time position with the Department of Biomedical Sciences as a lecturer in 2021. Her goal in teaching is to use her experience as a general practitioner to help ensure the curriculum is relevant to clinical practice, get first year students off to the best possible start, and help all veterinary students understand that they don’t have to know “everything” to be a good veterinarian. Being a “good” (or great) veterinarian means being willing to track down the answers, providing the most optimal care for the individual, and being there for your clients and patients.


  • Osofsky, S. A., Hardy, W. D., and K. J. Hirsch. 1994. “Serologic Evaluation of Free-Ranging Lions (Panthera leo), Leopards (Panthera pardus), and Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) for Feline Lentivirus and Feline Leukemia Virus in Botswana,” Abstr., Proc. of Wildlife Disease Association 43rd Annual Conference. Monterey, California. Pp.75-76.
  • Osofsky, S. A., McNutt, J. W., and K. J. Hirsch. 1995. “Immobilization and Monitoring of Free-Ranging Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) using a Ketamine/Xylazine/Atropine Combination, Yohimbine Reversal, and Pulse Oximetry,” Abstr., Proc. Joint Conf. American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, Wildlife Disease Association, American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians. East Lansing, Michigan. Pp. 278-286.
  • Osofsky, S. A., Hirsch, K. J., Zuckerman, E. E., and W. D. Hardy. 1996. “Feline Lentivirus and Feline Oncovirus Status of Free-Ranging Lions (Panthera leo), Leopards (Panthera pardus), and Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in Botswana: A Regional Perspective,” Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, vol. 27(4): 453-467.
  • Osofsky, S. A., McNutt, J. W., and K. J. Hirsch. 1996. “Immobilization of Free-Ranging African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) using a Ketamine/ Xylazine/Atropine Combination,” Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, vol. 27(4): 528-532.
  • Osofsky, S. A. and K. J. Hirsch. 2000. “Chemical Restraint of Endangered Mammals for Conservation Purposes: A Practical Primer,” Oryx, vol. 34(1): 27-33.

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • New York State Veterinary Medical Society
  • American Veterinary Medical Association