putting quality first: Dr. Kimberly Riley

By the time she was five or six years old, Banfield’s Dr. Kimberly Riley already knew that petcare was the career for her. Since then, she’s cared for many pets and helped a lot of people, including pet owners, vet teams, and new doctors.

Dr. Riley is a director of veterinary quality in South Carolina and a leader in Banfield’s POWER Network, which is committed to building pathways for Black talent to grow at Banfield® and throughout the industry. We were thrilled to connect with her and talk about a variety of topics in our recent interview. Hope you enjoy!

What inspired you – and continues to inspire you – about petcare?

I had my first cat when I was five or six, and I just really enjoyed connecting with her and how much she enriched my life. As I became a little bit older, the biological sciences and how the body works became especially interesting for me. And it just kind of evolved from there, from helping and being around animals to helping and being around people, and kind of bridging the two.

In my role as director of veterinary quality, I’m responsible for hiring great doctors, and supporting them and their career development. Overall, the number one thing is quality care for pets and our clients. That’s how I can continue to make an impact.

In my parents’ generation, if you had a cat, their job was to catch mice; if you lived in a rural area or something like that, you had a dog to protect your property. Now, pets are really our companions, and we regard them differently. People love their pets and they want their veterinary team to feel that connection and understand their values. I love getting to know people and giving them the opportunity to get to know me as a veterinarian as well. And it's led to some really meaningful relationships.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?

When I can find free time, I really like to take walks. It’s easy to do and it’s available no matter where you are. It's helped me tremendously, just to kind of calm myself down a little bit and keep moving. Also, I just love good storytelling. I’m always in the middle of an audiobook, and I can't get enough of a really good podcast. I like when they’re a mix of being informative and really telling a great story.

Could you imagine doing anything else besides veterinary medicine?

Well, if I weren’t a veterinarian, I could see myself doing some sort of teaching. My mom is a retired elementary educator and I see a little echo of her in my current work. I love explaining and teaching and helping clients as well as folks on the veterinary team. And it feels great to support newer doctors, too. Oh, and I guess my fantasy jobs are to be a writer or to design something, maybe furniture or jewelry. Those are two things I’d love to do.

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