Dr. René A. Carlson received her veterinary medical degree from University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1978. Following graduation, she completed a clinical internship in small animal medicine and surgery in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1979.
She has been in exclusive small animal practice since completing her internship, working at a number of clinics including the Elm Valley Veterinary Clinic in Elmwood, Wisc. (1980-1984) and Spring Harbor Animal Hospital in Madison, Wisc. (1984-1990). She has lived in Chetek since 1990 and worked at the Chetek Veterinary Clinic (1990-1996). She opened the Animal Hospital of Chetek in August 1996.
Dr. Carlson has a great deal of experience in leadership at the AVMA. She was elected vice president of the AVMA and served from 2004-2006, and she served on the AVMA's House of Delegates (HOD) from 1996-2003. She was also elected to a post on the AVMA's Council on Education (2006-2010) and served on the Board of Directors for the American Veterinary Medical Foundation from 1999-2002.
Dr. Carlson is past president of the Northwestern Wisconsin Veterinary Association (1992, 1993) and of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (1995). Dr. Carlson was voted Wisconsin's Veterinarian of the Year in 2001. She's also a member of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
Dr. Carlson is also a leader in her community. She's served on the Board of Directors for the Lakeview Medical Center (2006-2008), and as a council member at the Chetek Lutheran Church. In addition, she participated in her church's mission to Malawi in 2006, and she's a major sponsor of the Chetek Hydroflites, a local water ski show team, and of Kinship, an organization offering mentorship for girls and boys.
She is married, and her husband, Mark, is also a veterinarian, who worked as a dairy practitioner for several years before joining the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, where he currently works as a diagnostic pathologist. They are proud dog owners of a beagle-mix named Mona and a beagle named Ally, and Dr. Carlson also enjoys biking, sailing, and birding in her spare time.