Meet the Altas Palmas Animal Clinic Team

Dr. Michael Duran

Dr. Duran joined the staff of Altas Palmas Animal Clinic in 1991 after graduating from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a native of Houston and also attended University of Houston pharmacy school for one year before attending veterinary school. Dr. Duran is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, and the Rio Grande Valley Veterinary Medical Association. His areas of special interest include feline medicine, internal medicine, computers, and fishing the Laguna Madre.

Dr. Lorna Putnam

Dr. Putnam is a magna cum laude graduate from the University of Georgia who joined Altas Palmas Animal Clinic in 1995. She is an army “brat” who was born in Heidelburg, Germany and traveled around quite a bit as a youngster, finally settling in Georgia. Dr. Putnam is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, and the Rio Grande Valley Veterinary Medical Association, and has a keen interest in internal medicine. She also has a fondness in her heart for Labradors and Dachshunds. In her spare time, Dr. Putnam enjoys weight lifting, jogging, fishing, and skiing.

Dr. Maria Esparza

Dr. Esparza is a San Benito native who graduated from Texas A&M University with her D.V.M. in 2010.  She is a member of AVMA and TVMA and currently serves as the president of the Rio Grande Valley Veterinary Medical Association.  Her special interests include feline medicine, wound management, and complex internal medicine cases.  Her family consists of 6 dogs and 1 cat.

Dr. Mia Aguilar

Dr. Aguilar was born and raised in Harlingen, TX. After completing her biology degree at the University of Texas- Pan American, she attended veterinary school at Texas A&M University. Dr. Aguilar knew she wanted to make caring for animals her career after participating in behavioral research at Gladys Porter Zoo. Her love for clinical medicine started at Altas Palmas, and she joined our team in 2016. She is passionate about preventative care, infectious diseases, and clinical pathology. Away from the clinic, Dr. Aguilar enjoys knitting and painting, Netflix marathons, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and being with her family- husband, Richard, and two miniature dachshunds.

Dr. Jennifer Howard

Dr. Howard went to veterinary school at the University of Tennessee and moved to Harlingen in 2018. She joined Altas Palmas Animal Clinic in 2020. She has special interests in preventive medicine, working dogs, and nurturing the human-animal bond. In her free time she likes reading and spending time with her family.

Dr. MJ Kim

Dr. Kim originally from South Korea where she was working as a general practitioner for 4 years. After she moved to the United States, she went to veterinary school at Louisiana State University. She completed a rotating internship at Auburn University followed by her specialty internship in emergency and critical care medicine.

Dr. Kim’s interests lie in Emergency and Critical Care and internal medicine. Dr. Kim believes in working hard and having a few laughs along the way. She loves to explore new places and going on adventures while keeping an active lifestyle with her family.

Valerie Doyle, Practice Manager

Valerie Doyle is an Army Veteran who served for 4 and half years as a Combat Medic.  She has worked in the medical field (human and animal) since 2000.  She started her path working with animals by volunteering at the Corpus Christi Zoo.  Valerie went on to working as a kennel tech in Corpus Christi, a Combat Medic in Germany and Texas, veterinary tech in Georgia, a CNA in Virginia, and a veterinary tech in Texas once again.  Valerie joined the Altas Palmas Family in 2005.  After working at Altas Palmas Animal Clinic for 5 years as a veterinary tech, she was promoted to the Practice Manager.  Valerie has a strong passion for learning new things, working with animals, and teaching our staff as well as providing education to our clients.  During her free time, Valerie loves to spend time with her husband and 3 children, reading, and drawing.