Karen graduated from the University of Melbourne, with first class honours, in 2003. After graduation, she worked in a small animal general practice in south eastern Melbourne for 2.5 years. She then moved to the USA in 2007 to undertake a one-year, rotating small animal internship at Kansas State University. In 2008, Karen began a three-year residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the same institution and in 2011 became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Karen returned to Melbourne at the end of 2011 and since then has been working in private referral practice.