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Veterinarians

Below are the veterinarians of CARE. To meet other parts of our team, please visit our pages for physical therapists and staff.

Jessica H. Waldman, VMD, CVA, CCRT

Veterinarian
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist

Dr. Waldman realized that the unique collaboration of a physical therapist and veterinarian would provide optimal pet therapy outcomes and founded California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) in June of 2007.

Dr. Waldman received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and received her Veterinary Medical Doctorate in 2004. Dr. Waldman achieved the Dean’s List each year during veterinary school.

While attending veterinary school, Dr. Waldman was the Alumni Representative for four years and volunteered in a program in the Native American Reservations of the Southwest to spay and neuter pets in need. Dr. Waldman completed two additional externships in small animal surgery with board certified veterinary surgeons at the Animal Medical Center in New York and at the Surgical Group for Animals in Los Angeles.

Following graduation, Dr. Waldman completed an additional year of specialty training as an intern at California Animal Hospital in Los Angeles. During this internship year, she worked with board certified surgeons, neurologists, internists, cardiologists, and dentists. Dr. Waldman also published a paper on the topic of critical care in Pulse veterinary publication. Since completion of her internship in July of 2005, Dr. Waldman has enjoyed practicing small animal medicine.

Dr. Waldman completed a certificate program from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through the Chi Institute. Dr. Waldman enjoys integrating acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine into her practice of pet rehabilitation.

Dr. Waldman is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. She is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the states of New York and California. Dr. Waldman is one of the founding members of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians.

Dr. Waldman speaks at veterinary meetings on the subject of canine rehabilitation and has a special interest in neurological rehabilitation and in preventative physical exercise for all life stages. Dr. Waldman loves to see her patients’ quality of life improve, and she counsels in nutrition utilizing a combination of Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine for the best possible outcome. On the personal side, Dr. Waldman enjoys volleyball, hiking, painting, and spending time with her family. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband Stuart and her three daughters Gemma, Delia, and Blythe.

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Justine Ma, DVM, CVA

Veterinarian
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

 

Dr. Justine Ma was awarded her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology with minors in Animal Science and Leadership from the University of California – Davis. She continued her education at UC – Davis, earning her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. After graduation, Dr. Ma moved to the Bay Area and worked at a general practice in Daly City as an associate veterinarian for three years and in Mountain View as Chief of Staff for another three years.

Dr. Ma grew up with aspects of traditional Chinese medicine in her own life, and has always been fascinated by applying these principles to animals. In keeping with her desire to live a holistically healthy and vibrant life, Dr. Ma recognized the value of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and became certified in veterinary acupuncture at the Chi University. Armed with this knowledge, she happily introduced and integrated acupuncture and principles of TCVM into the small private clinic at which she worked. Then COVID hit. In the face of so much uncertainty, she reassessed her goals and what was truly important in life. As a SoCal native, she decided to move back home with her boyfriend to be closer to family, settle down and create roots.

 

While searching for a new veterinary home, Dr. Ma was impressed with CARE’s mission to use acupuncture, physical therapy, and TCVM to provide the best in treatment, comfort, and rehabilitation for Southern California’s companion animals. Dr. Ma jumped at the opportunity to grow as a veterinarian and make a difference in the quality of life of the patients she sees.In her free time Dr. Ma enjoys staying active, including lifting weights, martial arts, and Latin dancing (she was on a salsa dance team for over ten years!). She is a life-long learner, listening to podcasts and reading both fiction and self-help books to optimize her health and life. She and her vegan, Latin-dancing boyfriend continue to grow together, traveling locally and abroad, learning and exploring the local cultures, sites, and delicious plant-based food!

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Elisa McAfee, DVM

 

Veterinarian

 

Dr. Elisa McAfee grew up surrounded by and loving animals (Labradors, rabbits, frogs…her family even built a walk-in aviary to house their 16 parakeets!) and has just as much care and compassion for humans. She is extremely gratified by the opportunity to help both animals AND their owners as a veterinarian.

 

Multitalented Dr. McAfee started her undergraduate career studying Biology and Music at the University of Washington in Seattle and finished by graduating summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry! She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis, followed by an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists.

 

Dr. McAfee’s interest in rehabilitation and acupuncture began as the result of her own treatment experiences, including rehab after multiple surgeries. Acupuncture, physical therapy, holistic and integrative medicine have been of immense benefit to Dr. McAfee, and she is passionate about providing her patients that same caliber of medical treatment. Dr. McAfee loves working at CARE because she gets to form long-term relationships with clients and work together with them to do everything possible to give their pets the love, care, and quality of life that they deserve!

 

In her free time, Dr. McAfee enjoys writing and recording music with her husband as well as performing live music. She plays violin, piano, and sings! She also loves spending time hiking, biking, camping, and cuddling with Banjo, her sweet, adventurous Chihuahua/terrier rescue.

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Carissa Hoffman, DVM, CVA

Veterinarian
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

 

Dr. Carissa Hoffman’s love of animals has been a lifelong defining characteristic.  As a child, Dr. Hoffman immersed herself in learning about her favorite subject, poring over every Zoobook edition she could get her hands on.  Precocious in her pet care, Dr. Hoffman personally took care of a menagerie of pets in her youth, including dogs, cats, hamsters, pigs, rabbits, and turtles.

It is no surprise, then, that Dr. Hoffman decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.  Dr. Hoffman began her higher education in her home state of Ohio at Youngstown State University, graduating Summa Cum laude (“with highest distinction”) with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.  Dr. Hoffman continued her pursuit of veterinary education in the Buckeye State, completing her Doctorate at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

After attaining her goal of becoming a veterinarian, Dr. Hoffman – lured by our irresistibly temperate weather – decided to relocate to Los Angeles with her husband, who is also a veterinarian.  In order to satisfy her intrinsic thirst for knowledge and desire to advance her skills as much as possible, Dr. Hoffman completed a certification in Veterinary Acupuncture (CVA) at The Chi Institute.

Dr. Hoffman’s empathetic nature is second to none.  This ability to personally understand how to navigate the road towards finding quality care – and to understand the emotions that come along with accompanying a beloved pet on the path towards optimum quality of life – is a result of her own journey with a pet that developed chronic pain.  Dr. Hoffman has truly “walked a mile in your shoes.”

When she’s not delivering exceptional care to pets, Dr. Hoffman enjoys hiking, travelling (especially to Hawaii), beach days, live music, crafting, pop culture – and, most importantly, spending time with her family.

 

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