In Memoriam: Kristina Schwensen, DVM, MS (1956-2004)

Kristina Schwenwen, age 48, died, Wednesday, October 6, 2004, at her home in Madison, WI after a 2-year battle with colorectal cancer.

Kris was born on February 16, 1956 in Detroit, MI. She grew up in Michigan and after 2 years at Michigan State University, she was admitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the age of 19. Kris obtained her DVM degree in 1978 and then practiced several years in Michigan and Ohio before entering the radiology residency/MS degree program at The University of Georgia in 1984. She completed the residency program, MS degree, and became a diplomate of the ACVR in 1987. Kris worked as a lecturer in radiology at the University of Pennsylvania for 1 year before joining Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, MD as the staff radiologist. Kris remained at that practice until her illness prevented her from working on a regular basis. At that time, she moved to Madison, WI to be near her family. While in Madison, she enjoyed attending rounds and interacting with radiology residents at the University of Wisconsin.

Veterinary medicine, especially veterinary radiology, was Kris’s passion and hobby. Her enthusiasm for her work, intelligence, and upbeat attitude were obvious to everyone who knew her. If she didn’t know the answer to a question, she stubbornly researched the literature to find the answer. She regularly took advantage of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD and routinely attended the annual meetings of the Radiological Society of North America. Her extensive expertise and knowledge of medical literature made her a valuable asset to her colleagues, one of whom said that ‘‘Kris is the heart of our practice.’’

It was Kris’s wish that her death remind others to undergo routine screening for colorectal cancer when advised to do so, and not to put off having that procedure performed.

The ACVR can be very proud to have had Kris as a colleague. She represented us very well, and will be remembered for her optimism and commitment to excellence. Kris is survived by two sisters, Karla Ritter and Johanna Schwensen, a niece, Alaina Ritter, and her cat, Scarlett.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2005 46 (1), 86.