Dr. Siegel’s passion for animals began when she was less than 2 years old, playing with stuffed animals instead of baby dolls. All through elementary and high school she would find injured wildlife and nurse them back to health.
Dr. Siegel’s passion for medicine was fueled in 1975 when she became an emergency medical technician. While going to college, she worked on an ambulance and in an emergency room. She became the first female paramedic in the state of Fla in 1977. Veterinary medicine was always her first priority, and she fulfilled her life’s passion when she graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985.
Dr. Siegel spent the first year post graduation in a 5 doctor small animal and exotic practice. She then accepted a position in a veterinary emergency clinic where she practiced and managed the hospital. In addition to the emergency clinic, Dr. Siegel worked in several daytime practices as a relief veterinarian. She opened her existing small animal and exotic practice in 1987.
In 1996 Dr. Siegel became certified in Redirecting Children’s Behavior, a course that teaches parents communication skills and how to recognize and deal with power struggles, inappropriate attention issues, revenge, and inadequacy. She taught community courses for 10 years and now teaches one on one classes.
In 2004 one of Dr. Siegel’s show horses developed debilitating neck spasms. Traditional western medicine was unable to fix the problem. Dr. Siegel was unwilling to give up, and sought alternative means to treat the mare. The journey to fix Lilly led to chiropractic training, a thorough understanding of nutrition, chinese medicine, acupuncture, Jin Shin jyutsu, chinese herbs, intrinsic energy products, therapeutic laser, essential oils, Bach Flowers, emotional healing, and certification in Live Blood Analysis. All these modalities and more are integrated into her treatment protocols resulting in greater success than western modalities alone.
Her interest in alternative medicine lead her to a degree in natural health , and by 2012, she will be a Certified Natural Health Professional.
Dr. Siegel has been featured on several local TV shows, has given numerous lectures on integrating holistic care in veterinary medicine, and has written newspaper columns on veterinary care for pets. She participates in many community service projects including The Great American Teach In and Toys 4 Tots.
Dr. Siegel married her soul mate, Jerry, in 1992. They have 2 daughters, Alyssa 17 and Demi 15. Along with a full-time career, Dr. Siegel home schooled their daughters from first and third grade respectively. The kids, having literally grown up in the veterinary office under the watchful eye of mom and dad, now work in the veterinary hospital, making practice a family business.
As a team, Jerry and Dr. Siegel have pioneered in the field of veterinary medicine. They were the first hospital in Florida to offer ultrasound telemedicine, and the second hospital to offer class 4 laser therapy. They were first on board with digital radiography, and they continue to strive to stay cutting edge in the profession.
Dr. Siegel began VSST- Veterinary Support Staff Training in 2006. It is a program that teaches lay people an introduction to veterinary receptionist and veterinary technician assistant, enabling them to get an idea of what the profession requires and a foot in the door for those seeking a career in veterinary medicine.
She feels her role as a practitioner is to educate and empower people to make informed decisions. Her client/patient relationships starts with a complete history and a thorough physical exam. She then educates the owner of the options available, helping them to make decisions right for them and their pet.
Her hobbies and interests are as varied as her accomplishments, with interests in sports (particularly horses, tennis, dance, water skiing, snow skiing, snorkeling, diving, and fishing), though she is up for anything short of jumping out of airplanes. She also enjoys many arts and crafts and reading.
She is an accomplished cook (contributing recipes to a cook book her kids wrote) and has recently co authored a children’s book Demi and the Dolphins a lesson in ecology with her daughter Alyssa.
She is currently training her own show horses and is becoming an avid permaculturist.
Though Dr. Siegel didn’t grow up having many animals, she has made up for that in her adult life. She currently has 7 horses, 3 cats, 1 dog, several birds, fish, chickens, and a snake.