Dr. A graduated Texas A&M Veterinary School in 1982 and practiced mixed animal medicine (dog, cat, cattle and horses) until 1986 when he specialized in companion animal practice. He worked in Oceanside until taking over Turquoise Animal Hospital in 2003. Dr. Atkinson is a Board Certified Practitioner with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners since 1992. He is also a past president of the San Diego Veterinary Medical Association, member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and a member of the American Animal Hospital Association. His pet collection includes a Labrador Retriever, two cats, a chinchilla and a tortoise. In his spare time, Dr. Atkinson participates in triathlons, is an active Boy Scout leader and SCUBA dive master, plays guitar and even dabbles in acting (you may see him on local commercials). Why did you become a veterinarian? I had a variety of animals growing up and I enjoyed them all; coupled with a keen interest in medicine and science, it just seemed like a natural fit. Thirty years later I know I made the right choice. What are your special interests in veterinary medicine, and why? I really love working up difficult cases and I enjoy surgery, especially orthopedic surgery. What is the best part of your job? Its a toss-up, but its hard to beat playing with someones new puppy or kitten! What is the hardest part of your job? The hardest part of my job is not being able to cure all of the ill pets that I see.