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More veterinary grads investing in their careers with additional training

Demand for internships and residencies continues to rise

More and more veterinary graduates are participating in internships and other advanced education programs, according to data compiled by the AVMA.

AVMA surveys of veterinary graduates from veterinary schools and colleges in the United States found the proportion of graduates accepting positions in advanced training has increased 9 percent in the past year, from 39.9 percent in 2008 to 43.5 percent in 2009 (see JAVMA, Sept. 1, 2009, “Facts & Figures,” pages 523–526).

By contrast, in 1991, only 17.8 percent of veterinary graduates were signing up for internships, residencies, and advanced degree programs.

These latest numbers reflect a trend in which increasing numbers of graduates are seeing value in supplementing their veterinary education with additional knowledge, skills, and experience.

Dr. D. Paul Lunn, president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians, sees the development as a good thing. “It reflects the continuing maturation of the profession,” Dr. Lunn said, “and the realization that more education, more advancement, and more complex training can not only be hugely satisfying for all our graduates, but is also very positive for the veterinary profession and animal health in North America.”

According to the most recent AVMA survey, nearly three-quarters of respondents entering advanced education indicated they had accepted an internship in private practice. A quarter had accepted academic internships. A small number of graduates had either accepted a residency or were pursuing a doctorate or other advanced degree.

Most internships are in companion animal medicine, followed by, in order of participation, equine, exotic or zoological animal, food animal, and mixed animal medicine, with the remainder involving other specialties, the 2009 survey found.

Dr. Roger B. Fingland is director of the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program—a computer program that is the primary vehicle for placing veterinarians in internships and residencies in the United States. Dr. Fingland, who heads up the Kansas State University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, says VIRMP data also indicate the trend toward advanced training among recent veterinary graduates.

For instance, in 1989, 456 applications were submitted for 186 internship openings listed in the VIRMP, according to Dr. Fingland. By 2009, that had risen to 1,104 applicants for 850 program slots. On the residency side, 378 veterinarians applied for 156 openings in 1989. Twenty years later, 810 applications were received for 247 residency openings.

Most internship programs in the VIRMP system are in private practice, Dr. Fingland noted.

The VIRMP has been around since the early '80s, according to Dr. Fingland, and has gone through multiple upgrades. “Through the years, the computer program has been refined, and now we have great confidence that the program we use provides the best possible match between candidates and programs,” he said.

While there are no hard data identifying what's driving recent veterinary graduates into advanced education programs, the conventional wisdom is these new veterinarians are motivated by one or more of the following factors: feelings of inadequacy, a desire to boost clinical proficiency, and increased earning potential.

Students have so much to learn within the span of a four-year veterinary degree program, according to Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, that some may feel a sense of inadequacy about entering the workforce.

“By and large, as students are coming to the end of their veterinary school curriculum, many feel unprepared to be, essentially, on their own and feel the need for additional training,” Dr. Pappaioanou said.

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Before Dr. Jeanne E. Ficociello graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006, she had planned on returning home to Massachusetts for a life as a general practitioner. Many of her classmates were going into internships after graduation, however, and Dr. Ficociello figured a yearlong internship was a good investment in her career.

“After veterinary school, I felt like I had a good grounding, but as a general practitioner, I wouldn't have been totally prepared,” she said. “I felt there was so much more to learn, and I was just starting my career, so I wanted my first year to be really good, really formative, to form good habits, and be in a place with a culture of mentoring.”

Dr. Ficociello ended up interning at a Veterinary Clinics of America specialty practice in West Los Angeles, which piqued her interest in internal medicine. Dr. Ficociello is in the second year of a small animal medicine residency at Colorado State University, and she now plans on becoming board-certified in internal medicine.

Uncertainty about the ability to cope with the demands of practice is nothing new. Dr. Daryl D. Buss, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, said such was the case when he was a veterinary student. Today, a general awareness exists within the profession that a DVM/VMD degree is an entry-level degree, he said, so internships and residencies are increasingly popular ways of supplementing the skills, knowledge, and competencies learned in veterinary school.

This is a phenomenon Dr. Buss has witnessed at Wisconsin, where over the past five years, surveys of new veterinary graduates have found the percentage accepting positions in advanced education has varied from a third of the class to as high as half the graduates. “That's significant by any way you would choose to measure it,” he commented.

Dr. Buss doesn't believe feelings of inadequacy alone can account for the shift toward advanced training. He thinks many veterinary graduates sign up for internships and residencies as a means of equipping them to practice at a higher rate of proficiency. “They want that extra information that's above and beyond what the DVM alone is able to provide,” Dr. Buss said.

Internships are typically the first step on the road to specialization, which translates into higher earning potential. According to the 2009 AVMA Report on Veterinary Compensation, the median income for a board-certified veterinarian in companion animal exclusive practice was $145,000 in 2007—the most recent data available—whereas a nonspecialized veterinarian in the same practice earned $91,000.

Higher income is an important consideration for veterinarians, especially when the mean educational debt load among veterinary graduates with debt in 2009 was $129,976, an 8.5 percent increase from 2008, according to the AVMA. The Association also found that a third of 2009 graduates indicated their intention to earn board certification from an AVMA-recognized specialty.

Is the rise in advanced education enrollment a signal to academia that major changes are needed in the veterinary curricula? Dr. Lunn, who, in addition to being AAVC president is head of the Department of Clinical Sciences at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University, wonders whether internships will one day be a requirement.

“Are our students sending us a message, and are the practitioners who employ them, that an additional year of formally mentored education could, in time, be viewed as a requirement before young veterinarians would feel comfortable, and we would feel comfortable giving them full license to practice?” asked Dr. Lunn, who readily admits he doesn't have the answer.

The North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium, which was created to reshape veterinary education in the United States, may shed some light in this area. Relatedly, the AVMA and AAVMC have convened the Task Force on Veterinary Internships. The group is charged with reviewing the overall quality of veterinary internships, which, unlike residencies that are typically associated with academic institutions, are not subject to oversight.

Dr. Ficociello says she got everything she wanted from her internship—clinical and managerial training, mentorship, and a decent quality of life, despite the typical 70- to 80-hour workweek. But she knows veterinarians who suffered through “awful” internships and were essentially free labor.

“They're worked like dogs, and they become bitter,” Dr. Ficociello said. “I've seen it ruin people in terms of they don't want to be vets anymore.”

Dr. Fingland, who was asked to serve on the AVMA-AAVMC task force, explained that the VIRMP serves a listing and matching function; it does not evaluate programs. Programs that have violated VIRMP rules, such as by misrepresenting themselves, have, however, been sanctioned, which involves a three-year banishment from the program. Applicants who didn't honor their agreement to a particular program were likewise expelled, according to Dr. Fingland.

Dr. Ficociello recommends that soon-to-be graduates thoroughly research a prospective internship before committing themselves. “An internship is a really great idea, but it's not worthwhile unless it's a good fit,” she said. “Not all internships are created equal.”

—R. SCOTT NOLEN

Rabies vaccine sales restrictions lifted

Health officials and suppliers are no longer restricting purchases of pre-exposure rabies vaccine from either of the nation's suppliers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in late August that Sanofi Pasteur had finished renovations at a rabies vaccine production facility in France, and the restored manufacturing capacity coincided with the end of restrictions on pre-exposure vaccine purchases from that company. The CDC announced in spring that Novartis Vaccines now has enough vaccine to sell doses for pre-exposure prophylaxis, but Sanofi Pasteur's vaccines were still restricted to postexposure use at that time.

State and federal health officials and vaccine manufacturers restricted vaccinations starting in May 2008. Sanofi Pasteur and Novartis Vaccines, the nation's two human-use rabies vaccine suppliers, were unable to produce enough vaccine to keep up with historical demand, and they began selling vaccine only for postexposure prophylaxis at that time.

call out

Grants for feline health research available

The nonprofit Winn Feline Foundation is calling for grant proposals for 2010.

Studies applicable to all cats are encouraged. The foundation is also interested in projects that address problems in individual breeds. In addition, the foundation has dedicated funds for research into feline infectious peritonitis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The application deadline is Dec. 14, 2009. The maximum grant amount is $15,000, and awards will be announced in March 2010. Multiyear proposals totaling more than $15,000 will not be considered. Additional funds may be available for breed-related studies.

Last year, the Winn Feline Foundation funded 12 grants totaling $127,411 in areas such as feline infectious peritonitis, renal disease, diabetes, cancer, nutrition, genetics, and drug therapies.

Correction

The article “AVMA updates backgrounder on canine influenza” (Oct. 1, 2009, page 797) inaccurately stated that canine influenza may become endemic in Lexington, Ky.

New online resources to help return animals to owners

Web sites match lost pets' microchip numbers with information registries

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As important as collars and tags are, microchips are a more permanent form of pet identification. New online resources aim to simplify the process of finding the microchip registry containing information about a lost pet's owner.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 9; 10.2460/javma.235.9.1016

New online resources can help link a lost pet's microchip with the appropriate registry containing the owner's information.

The American Animal Hospital Association unveiled www.petmicrochiplookup.org in September, and a startup company launched a beta version of www.checkthechip.com in August. Both of these free Web sites match a microchip number with the microchip's manufacturer or distributor. In addition, the AAHA site searches several registries for more updated information.

Microchip providers in the United States offer about half a dozen major registries in which pet owners can enter information. For years, the AVMA has supported establishment of a single source for recovering information from microchip registries. The Association offered input during development of the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool.

“The AVMA absolutely supports the linking of companion animal microchip databases,” said Dr. Larry R. Corry, AVMA president. “As veterinarians, we see the heartbreak of families posting ‘lost pet’ signs in our clinics. This new database has the potential to create a happy ending by quickly reuniting pets and their owners.”

AAHA tool

AAHA has been working with microchip providers and registries for the past year on development of the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. The participants as of press time were the American Kennel Club's Companion Animal Recovery, Intervet/Schering-Plough's HomeAgain, Bayer's resQ, and Datamars' PetLink. Other companies, including AVID, have expressed interest in participating.

“It is in the best interest of everyone in companion animal welfare to reunite lost pets with their owners,” said Dr. Janice L. Trumpeter, AAHA deputy executive director. “We applaud the unprecedented collaboration by leaders in the microchipping and pet recovery industry that allowed this resource to become reality.”

The AAHA microchip look-up tool works by accessing the databases of participating registries. A search returns a list of the registries with which a microchip has been enrolled and the enrollment dates, starting with the most recent, plus phone numbers for the registries. If a microchip is not enrolled in a participating registry, the Web site will still return the name of the manufacturer or distributor and a corresponding phone number.

AVMA position

In July 2008, the AVMA House of Delegates resolved that the Association should “actively promote the implementation of linking companion animal microchip databases.”

“The need for it was tremendous,” said Dr. James O. Cook, AVMA immediate past president, who has advocated better identification systems for companion and production animals. “Pet owners will feel more secure that if they do microchip their pet, then the likelihood of it being found will be increased.”

The AVMA and AAHA are members of the Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families, which seeks to improve microchipping as a form of pet identification. Other members of the coalition are the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives and a number of humane organizations. The coalition's main goal has been development of truly universal scanners that can read all microchips.

Another resource

Chloe Standard is the company behind ChecktheChip.com. Olivia Sadlowski founded the company in December 2008 after learning about the multiplicity of microchips, scanners, and registry databases.

“We are not in the database business, nor are we funded by microchip companies, and we do not want to reinvent the wheel or require database regulation,” Sadlowski said. “Our goal is to make the task of matching the microchip number to the database easier for everyone.”

ChecktheChip.com matches a microchip with the manufacturer or distributor, which generally has a connection with the microchip's original registry. The Web site includes some third-party advertising.

Chloe Standard currently is seeking access to registry databases so its Web site can identify the registry with which a microchip has been enrolled most recently.

The company also aims to make microchip scanners more available to the public outside of animal shelters and veterinary clinics.

Registry information

A limitation of the registry system is that many pet owners do not register microchips in their names, according to “Characterization of animals with microchips entering animal shelters” (see JAVMA, July 15, 2009, page 160).

In that study, shelters contacted microchip registries regarding 1,943 animals but found registrations for only 58.1 percent. The registries were unable to find any information on the owner or on the person who implanted the microchip for 9.8 percent of the animals.

Among other recommendations, the study's authors suggested that veterinarians and shelter personnel should not only register pet microchips at the time of implantation but also remind the pets' owners to update information in the registry.

Jason Merrihew, AAHA spokesman, said educating pet owners is a key step to improve microchipping as a form of pet identification.

“Every time that they change their address or change phone numbers, then they need to update that microchip information,” Merrihew said.

Aside from microchips, AAHA urges pet owners to keep a collar on animals with up-to-date tags.

—KATIE BURNS

news update

WASHINGTON VETERINARY NEWS: Senate takes up veterinary services bill

The Senate version of the Veterinarian Services Investment Act was introduced Sept. 24 by Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan with support from Republican John Thune of South Dakota and the backing of a bipartisan slate of 19 additional co-sponsors.

The Senate bill (S. 1709) is the companion bill to H.R. 3519, which was brought before the House in July. Both bills would establish a competitive grants program to relieve the nation's veterinary shortages and support various related activities, including recruitment, retention, and continuing education programs for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

Among those who would be eligible to apply for a grant are for-profit and nonprofit veterinary clinics in rural areas and “a state, national, allied, or regional veterinary organization, a specialty board, or veterinary medical association” recognized by the AVMA.

Veterinary schools and colleges, university research and veterinary medical foundations, departments of veterinary science and comparative medicine, state agricultural experiment stations, and state, local, and tribal government agencies would also be eligible to apply for grants under the VSIA.

“Too many rural communities lack adequate veterinary services that are important to our agricultural industry in Michigan,” Stabenow said. “This legislation will address this shortage in veterinarian care, create good-paying jobs, and invest in food safety.”

“Many people in rural states like South Dakota depend on healthy animals for their livelihood,” Thune added. “This legislation will help draw and retain veterinarians in rural areas, increase the availability of veterinary education, and help veterinarians use technology to expand the reach of their practices.”

More than 90 organizations have endorsed the VSIA, including every state veterinary medical association, specialty boards, and farm groups.

A few important differences exist between S. 1709 and H.R. 3519. In the Senate version, grant recipients are required to match federal funds with 25 percent of in-kind support, whereas the House bill mandates a higher rate of 50 percent.

“A lower funding threshold, especially in times when budgets are so tight, is really necessary,” said Gina Luke, an assistant director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. The AVMA has played a key role in getting VSIA introduced in Congress.

In addition, S. 1709 includes language directing the Agriculture secretary to promulgate regulations implementing the grant program within one year of enactment. The House bill does not.

And finally, the titles of the bills vary slightly: H.R. 3519 is the Veterinarian Services Investment Act while S. 1709 is the Veterinary Services Investment Act. The AVMA prefers the latter title.

Neither bill specifies a dollar amount, only “such sums as necessary” to fulfill the objectives outlined in the legislation.

S. 1709 was referred to the Committee on Agriculture. H.R. 3519 has been under consideration by the House Agriculture Committee since July. H.R. 3519 has 30 bipartisan co-sponsors. The day the Senate bill was introduced, Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska spoke on the House floor about why the VSIA is needed to ease the national shortage of food animal veterinarians.

The AVMA's Gina Luke said the Association has a strategy to get the VSIA passed in the current 111th Congress, and it includes a vibrant grassroots campaign involving AVMA members.

“We have a lot of work to do, and our members have a lot of work to do,” Luke said. “They have to be involved in carrying this message forward and getting their members of Congress onboard and enthusiastic, particularly those who sit on the House and Senate agriculture committees.”

AVMA members are encouraged to ask their elected officials in Congress to support the VSIA. Go to http://thomas.loc.gov/ to see who's supporting the bill. Type in the bill number and select co-sponsors. Also visit the AVMA-CAN Government Action Center on the AVMA Web site (www.avma.org) by clicking on “Get Involved” in the Advocacy section. For more information about the bill, contact Gina Luke at the GRD at (800) 321-1473, Ext. 3204, or at gluke@avma.org.

—R. SCOTT NOLEN

AVMA policies encourage recycling

Does the AVMA have a stance on recycling in private veterinary practice? Some members have called to ask.

The answer is yes—the Association supports recycling and other conservation measures. Two AVMA policies provide relevant guidance.

“Recycling and Resource Conservation” is an AVMA policy that encourages these practices by its members, employees, and others. The policy states the following:

Recycling and Resource Conservation

The AVMA supports conservation of natural resources by encouraging prudent recycling and the utilization of recycled products by its offices, employees, councils, committees, members and others. The AVMA also encourages reduced use and re-use of supplies and materials where appropriate.

Staff at the AVMA headquarters building in Schaumburg, Ill., recycle and use recycled products. Also, the building recently earned the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star rating for energy efficiency (see story, this page).

The second policy promotes an environmentally sensitive approach to practicing veterinary medicine:

Environmental Responsibility

The AVMA supports environmental responsibility including:

  • • Education of veterinarians and the public on the importance of maintenance and restoration of a healthy environment using cost analysis and science-based, peer-reviewed information, and the importance of sustainability, conservation and long term planning.

  • • Understanding control and prevention of the environmental impacts of chemicals, medical and animal wastes, greenhouse gases, and other man made products that may negatively effect the environment.

  • • Promotion of scientifically-based, environmentally sensitive practices of veterinary medicine to ensure a viable ecosystem for future generations.

The policies are available online by going to www.avma.org and clicking on “Policy” under the “Reference” bar.

The AVMA Committee on Environmental Issues has oversight of these policies. The AVMA Executive Board will vote later this month on a CEI proposal to expand “Recycling and Resource Conservation” to encourage energy conservation and other green practices.

The committee's overall mission is to address environmental issues that affect animal, environmental, and public health. The committee has chosen three areas on which to focus its energy and expertise—green practices in veterinary medicine, environmental health aspects of the one-health initiative, and issues related to waste generated by animals and veterinary practices.

To increase veterinarians' awareness of environmental issues, the committee organizes educational sessions for the AVMA Annual Convention and is developing practical materials such as guidelines on waste disposal.

Coming soon from the committee is a searchable database that will allow veterinarians and veterinary students to locate internships, training programs, and other opportunities in areas such as conservation, environment, wildlife, and zoologic medicine as well as service opportunities such as policymaking.

“Every day, there is more information to remind us that the quality of our environment has a major impact on the health of animals and people,” said Dr. Peregrine L. Wolff, CEI chair. “The membership of CEI, working closely with the AVMA staff, is committed to disseminating relevant information concerning these environmental issues to our membership.”

AVMA headquarters earns Energy Star

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The AVMA headquarters building in Schaumburg, Ill., has earned the Energy Star for energy efficiency from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The AVMA building ranks in the 97th percentile for low energy use per square foot per year in comparison with other office buildings across the country with similar weather conditions, occupancy rates, and other operational characteristics. A building in the 75th percentile or higher is eligible for the Energy Star.

Kim Michael-Lee, director of the AVMA Finance and Business Services Division, said earning the Energy Star demonstrates the Association's commitment to environmental stewardship. She said the AVMA has made various changes during recent remodeling work at headquarters to improve the building's energy performance, such as phasing in lighting fixtures that are more energy-efficient.

In addition to office buildings, a variety of other commercial buildings as well as manufacturing plants can earn an Energy Star. The EPA has created a category for medical offices, including physicians' and dentists' offices, but has not created a category for veterinary clinics.

The EPA introduced the Energy Star labeling program in 1992 as a voluntary partnership to reduce green-house-gas emissions through energy efficiency. The label now appears on more than 50 types of products, many new homes, and thousands of commercial and industrial buildings. Additional information is available at www.energystar.gov.

AVMA Ed 2.0: Faster and more user friendly

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The AVMA is reintroducing its online continuing education site this November with the goal of enhancing the CE experience for AVMA Ed users.

The revamped AVMA Ed features 25 hours of CE from the 2009 AVMA Annual Convention in Seattle presented in crisp videos with full-screen viewing and faster loading times.

Also new this year, convention courses were recorded in a studio set up at the convention center. Previous AVMA convention content had been recorded as speakers delivered their programs to convention audiences. The new studio recordings are expected to eliminate distractions and improve viewer enjoyment.

“This new version will provide a format that makes viewing Web-based courses truly a pleasure,” said Dr. Althea A. Jones, AVMA online professional services editor. The updates were instituted on the basis of user feedback and as part of planned upgrades, Dr. Jones explained.

Course material from the AVMA convention ranges from anesthesiology and dentistry to equine obstetrics and practice management.

“AVMA Ed is back for a second year, and it's new and improved,” said Kelly Fox, AVMA Convention and Meeting Planning Division director.

“If you haven't taken advantage of this cutting-edge CE opportunity, now is the time. With new presentation techniques and 25 exciting sessions to choose from, we think you'll be impressed,” Fox said.

AVMA Ed will also continue to offer two to three articles from each issue of JAVMA. Veterinarians can earn an hour of CE credit for each article, as well as for each recorded convention session, by completing a test and afterward printing a certificate that can be presented to their state licensing boards.

Since its debut in December 2008, more than 2,370 people have registered to use AVMA Ed, and a total of 1,346 courses have been sold, according to Dr. Jones.

Course fees are $20 per CE hour for AVMA members and $30 for nonmembers; AVMA Ed is free to student members of the AVMA.

For more information about AVMA Ed, visit www.avmaed.org.

Pfizer, AVMF partner to hand out hundreds of scholarships

Rising student debt, a lack of diversity within the profession, and fewer practicing rural and production animal veterinarians are among the most serious challenges facing veterinary medicine today.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Pfizer Animal Health aim to address these issues by teaming up to create the Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program.

Pfizer plans to award $2,500 scholarships to more than 225 veterinary students studying at AVMA-accredited schools in the United States. The scholarship program, announced Sept. 29, will be administered by the AVMF and involve a hand-in-hand working partnership with Pfizer and the veterinary schools and colleges.

By January 2010, Pfizer will determine the total amount of funds available for the scholarship pool, which is projected at $600,000 to $700,000. Funds should be awarded by spring.

Applications may be downloaded at www.avmf.org and are due by Nov. 13.

Second- and third-year veterinary students are eligible, regardless of their career ambitions.

Approximately 30 percent of scholarship recipients will be from diverse backgrounds, taking into consideration factors such as age, gender, physical disability, ethnicity, and other underlying characteristics, including sexual orientation, religion, and national identity.

Also, at least 40 percent of awardees will be students likely to enter food animal medicine or rural practice.

Applications will be initially reviewed by the Foundation with consideration to the stated criteria. Qualifying student applications will then be forwarded to each college's representative, who will make the final determination on which students receive scholarships. The final decisions will be made on the basis of the total amount of scholarship dollars available for disbursement and the college's enrollment.

Dr. Angeline Warner, associate dean for academic affairs at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, said scholarship assistance is acutely needed by veterinary students in the current economy.

“I am pleased that the criteria for the Pfizer-AVMF scholarships will help us encourage both diversity and interest in a food animal medicine career among our students,” Dr. Warner said.

Michael Cathey, executive director of the AVMF, said, “With one of our strategic priorities being veterinary student education and enhancement, the (Foundation) is very pleased to be partnering with Pfizer Animal Health on this exciting new scholarship program, which will provide significant impact across the country for veterinary students.

“Thanks to the generosity of Pfizer Animal Health, this new scholarship program is a tremendous leap forward in not only addressing the rising veterinary student debt but also addressing the other challenges to the profession of diversity and food animal veterinary medicine.”

The scholarships are part of Pfizer's efforts to recognize veterinary students on the basis of academic excellence and leadership as well as help students with a defined financial need. The pharmaceutical company annually donates millions in support of veterinary school programs, collaborative research, fellowships, and internships as well as donating products and granting discounts to veterinary teaching hospitals. Pfizer also has led other initiatives to incorporate more diversity in the profession, including sponsorship for four years of the Diversity Symposium during the AVMA Annual Convention.

—MALINDA LARKIN

Vet 2011 celebration planning under way

The Chinese calendar says 2011 is the year of the rabbit, but veterinarians would like it also to be known as World Veterinary Year.

Vet 2011 is a celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the world's first veterinary school in 1761 in Lyon, France. The Alfort veterinary school, near Paris, came three years later. Both were founded by Frenchman Claude Bourgelat.

Bourgelat, in collaboration with surgeons in Lyon, was instrumental in developing the concept of comparative pathobiology.

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Comité Vet 2011 has been recruiting members since this past year in an effort to designate 2011 as World Veterinary Year (see JAVMA, July 15, 2008, page 208). So far, organizing committees have formed at the local, national, and international levels. The AVMA is an associate member of Vet 2011, along with the Association des Anciens Elèves et Amis de l'Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, the Australian Veterinary Association, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, the African Veterinary Association, and the World Veterinary Association.

World Veterinary Year would be commemorated with special events highlighting the contributions veterinary medicine has made to animal and public health. The AVMA is spearheading a national committee comprising organizations allied with the profession and government entities to coordinate events in the United States.

The Association, for its part, is considering the following:

  • • Hosting a one-day symposium at the 2011 AVMA Annual Convention in St. Louis titled “World Veterinary Year: 250 Years of Improving Animal and Human Health.”

  • • Pursuing a congressional resolution and presidential proclamation declaring World Veterinary Year in 2011.

  • • Publishing relevant cover art and articles in JAVMA in 2011, as well as the 2011 AVMA convention newspaper.

  • • Posting video footage on AVMA TV about Vet 2011 and World Veterinary Year.

  • • Developing commemorative items and handouts with the Vet 2011 logo.

  • • Establishing a student exchange with the Lyon veterinary school, in conjunction with the Student AVMA.

  • • Using the Vet 2011 logo and the AVMA logo on the return-address labels included in the 2011 AVMA membership renewal mailings.

  • • Developing an exhibit booth on Vet 2011 and World Veterinary Year for use at the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference and AVMA convention.

About 20 members of the U.S. national committee participated in a conference call Sept. 14 to discuss their preliminary ideas. Many expressed an interest in having the symposium speakers at their own conferences. They also offered to display Vet 2011 signage or host a booth at their conference exposition halls. Running relevant articles and promotional materials in their journals, newsletters, and other publications was mentioned, too.

To serve as a link for Vet 2011 events globally, the French committee is planning to produce a film on the life of Bourgelat and the birth of the veterinary profession at the end of the 18th century. The film will be offered to TV channels and event organizers. Merial has signed on to sponsor the film's script.

Visit www.vet2011.org for more information on Vet 2011.

NCVEI releases benchmarking tools for referral practices

The National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues has released benchmarking tools for referral practices such as specialty and emergency clinics on its Web site at www.ncvei.org.

“Our goal is to provide referral practices with the same level of data and benchmarks as general practices, but tailored just for them,” said Dr. Karen E. Felsted, NCVEI chief executive officer. “And our hope is that armed with this information, referral practices will continue to grow and improve, even in these economic times.”

The NCVEI collaborated with VetPartners, an association of management consultants, on the design of benchmarking tools for referral practices. VetPartners and Pfizer Animal Health made grants to help fund the new tools.

“Having data to compare your practice to—whether you are a general practice or a referral practice—is vital to the management of your practice,” said Dr. Amanda L. Donnelly, VetPartners vice president.

Two sets of benchmarking tools are available, one set for referral practices and one set for individual specialists. The practice tools gather information on financial and operational metrics such as revenue per veterinarian, compensation, benefits, management techniques, and number of referring veterinarians. The specialists' tools gather information about production, compensation, and benefits.

Comparative data will be available at www.ncvei.org after a minimum number of practices have provided information.

Coinciding with the debut of the new tools for referral practices is the redesign of the NCVEI Web site. The commission changed the site's look and navigational elements to improve the overall user experience.

Resistance changes mixed across bug and drug combos

FDA releases 2007 monitoring data for antimicrobial resistance in retail meat

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The percentage of Salmonella isolates found in ground turkey that displayed resistance to nalidixic acid dropped from 8.1 percent in 2002 to 2.6 percent in 2007.

Similarly, the percentage of isolates resistant to ceftiofur dropped from 8.1 percent to 5.3 percent in that period.

In contrast, the percentage of Salmonella isolates in ground turkey with resistance to ampicillin increased from 16.2 percent to 42.6 percent in that time.

These are just a few examples of the changes in antimicrobial resistance prevalence across permutations of bacterial isolates, antimicrobials, and meat samples included in recently released data from the Food and Drug Administration's arm of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System and included in the FDA's summary of the NARMS Retail Meat Annual Report.

The Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not, at press time, published their agencies' 2007 NARMS reports, which are used with the FDA data for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in the United States. The last available collaborative annual report is the NARMS 2006 Executive Report.

David G. White, PhD, director of the office of research at the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, noted the recently released data from the FDA indicate the percentage of Enterococcus isolates found in pork chops that displayed resistance to quinupristin-dalfopristin dropped from 27 percent in 2002 to 2 percent in 2007. However, these figures do not include E faecalis, which the FDA considers to be intrinsically resistant to the antimicrobial and which accounted for most isolates.

But, he said, percentages of Enterococcus isolates from ground turkey samples displaying resistance to some aminoglycosides increased in the same period. The prevalence of gentamicin resistance rose from 20.4 percent in 2002 to 34 percent in 2007, and the prevalence of kanamycin resistance rose from 28.9 percent to 41.6 percent.

Enterococcus data reflect ongoing debate

Dr. White acknowledged some concern that the use of virginiamycin in food-producing animals could select for resistance to quinupristin-dalfopristin in certain bacteria. Both are streptogramin antimicrobials.

In a November 2004 draft risk assessment regarding streptogramin resistance in E faecium, however, the FDA said: “It is difficult to assess the extent of transfer of streptogramin resistance from virginiamycin-exposed E faecium to E faecium found in human infections based on the available data.” The report includes an analysis of two possible scenarios in which 10 percent or 100 percent of resistance to the drug class was attributed to the use of virginiamycin in food animals. Under these scenarios, the risk in any given year of a person becoming infected with E faecium resistant to streptogramin antimicrobials as a result of food animal use ranged from 0.7 to 140 chances in 100 million.

The AVMA has disputed suggestions that a ban on virginiamycin in food animals would benefit human health. Dr. Lyle P. Vogel, then assistant executive vice president of the AVMA, testified before a Senate committee in June 2008 that the prevalence of quinupristin-dalfopristin resistance among Enterococcus isolates from humans in Denmark is 10 times the prevalence among isolates from people in the United States, despite Denmark's ban on the use of virginiamycin in food animals.

Dr. White said decreased use of an antimicrobial has been associated with decreased resistance, but NARMS does not currently obtain the types of usage data needed to determine what led to the drop in resistance to quinupristin-dalfopristin (trade name Synercid) among Enterococcus isolates from pork chops. Streptogramins may be used less often in swine production than in previous years, for example, but other factors, such as improved biosecurity, could also be impacting resistance development.

“The pork industry has a very good quality assurance program, and that actually shows up in our E(scherichia) coli prevalence (data),” Dr. White said. E coli is less common in pork chops than in other retail meat samples, he said.

The NARMS data indicate the percentage of Enterococcus isolates in beef—excluding E faecalis isolates—displaying quinupristin-dalfopristin resistance also dropped from 46.2 percent in 2002 to 6.2 percent in 2007. Resistance prevalence dropped by a smaller amount among isolates from ground turkey, for which prevalence decreased from 79.6 percent to 73.5 percent, and among isolates from chicken, for which prevalence decreased from about 56.3 percent to about 54.6 percent.

Data provide opportunities for analysis

Dr. White said it is also unclear why the percentage of Enterococcus isolates from ground turkey resistant to gentamicin and kanamycin has increased so substantially, and multiple years of data are needed to evaluate trends.

He said the number of combinations of bacteria, drugs, and meats has so far led the FDA to stick with a data-driven report, but the agency could have more-interpretive reports within the next few years. For now, he hopes veterinarians and others involved in public health will examine the data for substantial trends.

In gathering the 2007 NARMS retail meat data, officials at FoodNet laboratories in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee collected about 4,300 meat samples from randomly selected chain grocery stores near the laboratories. Officials at the FoodNet facilities cultured meat samples for Campylobacter and nontyphoidal Salmonella organisms, and sites in Tennessee, Georgia, and Oregon also cultured the samples for E coli and Enterococcus organisms.

Samples that tested positive for those bacteria were sent to the FDA-CVM for serotype or species confirmation.

More data needed to complete the picture

Dr. White said comparing the FDA's retail meat data with data from the CDC regarding antimicrobial resistance in humans and with data from the USDA regarding antimicrobial resistance in food animals will provide a more complete picture.

“The retail (information) is interesting, but it needs to be compared with the human data and what we see in the actual food animals as well,” Dr. White said.

Felicita Medalla, MD, a CDC epidemiologist with NARMS, said, “We are part of that three-federal-agency collaboration, and to get the complete picture, we need the data from all three arms of NARMS. And we work very closely with each other.”

The USDA's data were expected to be available by the end of October, and the CDC's data by early 2010.

The FDA's NARMS data are available at www.fda.gov. Under the “Animal & Veterinary” tab, click on “Antimicrobial Resistance.”

—GREG CIMA

Congress requests GAO study on horse welfare

Industry associations support the initiative

Two years after the last U.S. horse slaughter plant ceased operations, the government wants to look into the implications the closures have had on horse welfare.

Congress has requested the Government Accountability Office to study the issue and report its findings by March 1, 2010.

Specifically, the GAO is to look into the following:

  • • How the horse industry has responded to the closure of U.S. horse slaughter facilities in terms of the numbers of horse sales, exports, adoptions, and abandonments.

  • • The implications these changes have had on farm income and trade.

  • • The extent to which horses in the United States are slaughtered for any purpose.

  • • Any impacts on state and local governments and animal protection organizations.

  • • How the Department of Agriculture oversees the transport of horses destined for slaughter in foreign countries, particularly Canada and Mexico.

  • • The manner in which the USDA coordinates with the Department of the Interior and state governments to assist them in identifying, holding, and transporting unwanted horses for foreign export.

  • • General conclusions regarding the welfare of horses as a result of a ban on horse slaughter for human consumption.

The request is part of the Senate Appropriations Committee Report, which accompanies the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2010, which provides funding for the USDA.

The House passed its version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill—H.R. 2997—July 9; the Senate passed its amended version of H.R. 2997 Aug. 4. Differences were reconciled through a conference committee comprising members from the House and Senate appropriations committees.

The conference committee met Sept. 30, following the return from congressional recess, and decided the GAO study would be part of the final appropriations bill and its accompanying conference committee report. The bill also includes a provision, introduced by the House, which would, in effect, remove USDA inspectors from horse slaughter plants. Although no plants are operating in the U.S., the provision would also prevent USDA personnel from inspecting horses at any new plants that might open.

The final bill passed the House Oct. 7 and the Senate Oct. 8 and, as of press time, awaited the president's signature.

The AVMA, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Quarter Horse Association, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and American Horse Council support the GAO study.

Keith Kleine, AAEP director of industry relations, said the study should be useful in shedding light on a number of welfare issues surrounding unwanted horses in the United States.

“Hopefully, the study results will provide congressional leaders facts on the realties of the issue that will aid them in crafting legislation to aid the horse industry in dealing with the ever-increasing number of unwanted horses,” Kleine said.

He noted that the recent Unwanted Horse Coalition survey (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2009, page 350) did a commendable job of researching the issue. “But there are still unanswered questions as well as a disparity of opinions regarding how best to address and solve the unwanted horse issue that has only worsened with the recent downturn in the economy,” he said.

Kleine continued, “Important information still needs to be obtained, especially on the local and state level regarding rescue, retirement, and retraining facilities and the care they provide. We are hopeful a study from a credible, independent source such as the GAO will help answer some of these questions for the industry and government.”

For more information on the unwanted horse issue and the AVMA's position on equine welfare concerns, go to the AVMA Web site, www.avma.org, click on “Issues,” “Frequently Asked Questions,” and then “Unwanted horses and the AVMA's policy on horse slaughter.”

—MALINDA LARKIN

accolades

Organization

Dr. Shirley D. Johnston (WSU ′74) has joined the Found Animals Foundation as director of scientific research. The foundation is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to animal welfare issues and led by business and medical professionals. Dr. Johnston will oversee the foundation's Michelson Prize & Grants in reproductive biology. The $75 million initiative's purpose is to inspire researchers from various scientific fields to pursue the development of a low-cost, nonsurgical sterilization product for cats and dogs.

Dr. Johnston's career includes academic faculty and administrative experience, focusing on canine and feline reproductive endocrinology. She established and led the Endocrine Laboratory as well as the Small Animal Reproduction Clinical Services at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Johnston also was the founding dean of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, where she most recently had served as vice president of university advancement.

Academia

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Dr. David A. Jessup

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 9; 10.2460/javma.235.9.1016

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Dr. Linda J. Lowenstine

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 9; 10.2460/javma.235.9.1016

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Dr. Douglas R. Mader

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 9; 10.2460/javma.235.9.1016

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Dr. M.D. Salman

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 9; 10.2460/javma.235.9.1016

Four University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine alumni were given the school's highest honor for their contributions to veterinary medicine.

Drs. David A. Jessup, Linda J. Lowenstine, Douglas R. Mader, and M.D. Salman were given the university's Alumni Achievement Award June 12 during the 2009 commencement ceremony.

Dr. Jessup (WSU ′76) earned a master's of preventive veterinary medicine from UC-Davis in 1984. He is the senior wildlife veterinarian for the Office of Spill Prevention and Response in the California Department of Fish and Game and has chaired the AVMA Committee on Environmental Issues. He was given the award for contributions in the development and growth of wildlife and conservation medicine.

Dr. Lowenstine (CAL ′73) is a professor in the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Microbiology at the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She was given the award for advancement of comparative pathology in nondomestic animal species.

Dr. Mader (CAL ′86) is the owner and director of Marathon Veterinary Hospital in Marathon Key, Fla. He was given the award for contributions to animal welfare as a teacher, researcher, author, and practitioner.

Dr. Salman (BAG ′73) earned a master's of preventive veterinary medicine degree from UC-Davis in 1980 and a doctorate in 1983. He is a professor of epidemiology at the Animal Population Health Institute at Colorado State University. He was given the award for global contributions to animal population health and veterinary epidemiology.

college news

Symposium highlights research by veterinary students

More than 450 people gathered Aug. 6–8 at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine for the 2009 Merck-Merial NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium.

Attendees included more than 335 U.S. and Canadian veterinary students participating in 27 summer research programs—with support from the Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Program or the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources—and in eight DVM-PhD degree programs.

The theme of the symposium was “Translational Research: Putting Discoveries to Work in Practice.” Nearly two dozen scientists presented research and networked with the students. Dr. Jack A. Reynolds, recently of Pfizer, delivered the keynote address, “Lost in Translation: Are Animal Models Predictive?” The “State of the Art” sessions covered the topics of obesity, regenerative medicine, clinical studies, gastroenterology, immune-mediated and infectious diseases, and dermatology.

Each student who participated in a summer research program presented a poster. The main audience was the other students and more than 90 faculty mentors. Directors of summer programs met during the symposium and provided information to attendees about clinical and research training opportunities.

The symposium again featured the Young Investigator Award Competition, sponsored by the AVMA and American Veterinary Medical Foundation. First place went to Dr. Jennifer Johnson from the University of Minnesota, second place to Dr. Kevin Woolard from North Carolina State University, and third place to Dr. Wendy Lorch from The Ohio State University.

New this year was the parallel course “Becoming Faculty: A Short Course on Launching a Scientific Career,” for early-stage assistant professors and postdoctoral veterinarians finishing a research training program. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund sponsored and organized the course.

Sponsors of the symposium included Merck, Merial, NIH, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, AVMA, AVMF, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and ACVIM Foundation, North Carolina State University, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Information about the Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Program is at www.merckmerialscholars.com. Information about NIH training awards for veterinary students and postdoctoral veterinarians is at www.ncrr.nih.gov/comparative_medicine/resource_directory/training.asp.

obituaries: AVMA Honor Roll Member AVMA Member Nonmember

Clark R. Dickinson

Dr. Dickinson (UP ′64), 71, Chesterfield, N.J., died Sept. 12, 2009. Prior to retirement in 2006, he practiced small animal medicine at Dickinson-McNeill Veterinary Clinic in Chesterfield with his wife, Dr. B.J. McNeill (UP ′75). Dr. Dickinson is survived by his wife; a son; and a daughter. Memorials may be made to the National Audubon Society, 225 Varick St., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10014.

Gail H. Gilbert

Dr. Gilbert (COL ′41), 90, Denver, died March 21, 2009. Before retiring in the late 1980s, he practiced large animal medicine in Arvada, Colo., also serving multiple terms as mayor of the city. Early in his career, Dr. Gilbert volunteered with the Peace Corps in Venezuela and taught veterinary surgery in Nairobi, Kenya. He served on the AVMA Judicial Council from 1960–1965. A past secretary of the Colorado VMA, Dr. Gilbert was named Veterinarian of the Year in 1961. His eight children survive him.

Marlyn K. Jacobsen

Dr. Jacobsen (ISU ′57), 75, Zionsville, Ind., died Aug. 11, 2009. He was the founder of Zionsville Animal Hospital and a partner and past president of Michigan Road Animal Hospital in Indianapolis. Early in his career, Dr. Jacobsen owned a mixed animal practice in Williamsfield, Ill., and served as director of veterinary services for Armour Baldwin Laboratories in Omaha, Neb. A member of the Indiana and Central Indiana VMAs, he was a past president of the CIVMA.

Dr. Jacobsen is survived by his wife, Jamia; three sons; and two daughters. Memorials may be made to the MK Jacobsen DVM Pet Therapy Endowment Fund, c/o Community Foundation of Boone County, P.O. Box 92, Zionsville, IN 46077.

Elden C. Krantz

Dr. Krantz (OSU ′43), 90, West Palm Beach, Fla., died April 12, 2009. From 1977 until retirement in 2003, he served as a relief veterinarian in Florida's Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade counties, including Miami. Earlier in his career, Dr. Krantz owned mixed animal practices in Ohio at New Philadelphia and Dover. A past president of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board, he was a member of the Ohio, Florida, Stark County, and Broward County VMAs. Dr. Krantz was also a member of the Tuscarawas Valley Academy of Veterinary Medicine. His wife, Corrine, and two sons survive him. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60601.

Delbert A. Osguthorpe

Dr. Osguthorpe (COL ′43), 88, Salt Lake City, died June 8, 2009. Prior to retirement, he owned a large animal practice in Holladay, Utah. Dr. Osguthorpe also owned a dairy farm and several ranches in the state. In 1967, he was instrumental in diagnosing the cause of death of thousands of sheep in Utah's Skull Valley, and the Army eventually admitted culpability, having conducted nerve gas tests in the area. Dr. Osguthorpe testified before Congress and helped recover damages for the ranchers.

In 1999, he received the Colorado State University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus Award. For his efforts to preserve natural resources, Dr. Osguthorpe was the recipient of the Forest Landowner of the Year Award in 2004 from the Utah Association of Conservation Districts. In 2005, he was honored with the Utah Farm Bureau Federation Farm Stewardship Award.

Dr. Osguthorpe is survived by his wife, June; four daughters; and three sons.

C.E. Pilgreen Jr.

Dr. Pilgreen (AUB ′50), 87, Brookhaven, Miss., died July 23, 2009. During his 48-year career, he owned a mixed animal practice and a small animal practice in Brookhaven. Dr. Pilgreen was a life member of the Mississippi VMA. His wife, Anita, and three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to St. Francis Church, 227 E. Cherokee St., Brookhaven, MS 39601; or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

George H. Sheets Jr.

Dr. Sheets (IL ′55), 79, Billings, Mont., died July 13, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1998, he worked for the Montana Department of Livestock. Earlier in his career, Dr. Sheets practiced in Miles City, Mont., for 25 years. His wife, Gail; a son; and three daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Special Olympics, P.O. Box 81033, Billings, MT 59101.

Robert L. Stear

Dr. Stear (COL ′56), 83, Cambridge, Neb., died Aug. 8, 2009. He retired in 1989 as manager of academic affairs from Norden Laboratories in Lincoln, Neb. Following graduation, Dr. Stear practiced briefly in Lexington, Neb. He then established a mixed animal clinic in Holbrook, Neb., where he remained for almost 13 years. Dr. Stear next taught for two years at what was known as the University of Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture, where he helped develop the veterinary technology department. He then joined Norden as manager of veterinary services.

From 1970–1976, Dr. Stear represented District IX on the AVMA Executive Board. He served on what is now known as the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities from 1977–1980. Dr. Stear was a past president of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and the Nebraska VMA. He was also a member of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture's Emergency Response Team. In 1983, Dr. Stear was named Nebraska VMA Veterinarian of the Year.

A Marine Corps veteran of World War II, he served in the Pacific Theater from 1944–1946. Dr. Stear was a member of the American Legion and was active in the Rotary Club. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; three daughters; and two sons. Memorials toward Habitat for Humanity, The Gideons International, or Tri-Valley Medical Foundation may be made c/o Lockenour-Jones Mortuary, 604 Penn St., Cambridge, NE 69022.

Richard L. Torbeck

Dr. Torbeck (CAL ′75), 66, Louisville, Ky., died Aug. 3, 2009. A diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, he was a professor of equine reproductive medicine at Ross University in St. Kitts, West Indies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Torbeck taught equine reproduction at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, owned an equine practice in LaGrange, Ky., and served as an assistant editor in the AVMA Publications Division. He was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Western Canadian Association of Equine Practitioners, and Society for Theriogenology.

Dr. Torbeck is survived by a son and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Ross University/Richard Torbeck Fund, c/o Ratterman Funeral Home, 3800 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40218.

David Van Meter Jr.

Dr. Van Meter (MSU ′51), 86, New Haven, Ind., died Sept. 5, 2009. Prior to retirement in 1993, he owned a mixed animal practice in Albion, Ind. Earlier in his career, Dr. Van Meter practiced in Kentucky and in Wakarusa, Ind. He was past chair of the Indiana Board of Animal Health and helped establish the Humane Society of Noble County. A member of the Indiana VMA, Dr. Van Meter received the President's Award in 1981. Active in civic life, he served on the Albion Town Board and Noble County Council, and he was a member of the Albion Local Development Board and Albion Rotary Club.

Dr. Van Meter served in the Navy during World War II and was a member of the American Legion. His wife, Alvena, and four daughters survive him. Memorials may be made to Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church Endowment Fund, 4245 Lake Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46815; Noble County Community Foundation Van Meter Scholarship Fund, 1599 Lincoln Way S., Ligonier, IN 46767; or Humane Society of Noble County, 1305 Sherman St., P.O. Box 471, Kendallville, IN 46755.

Carl E. Venzke

Dr. Venzke (ISU ′36), 95, Readlyn, Iowa, died Aug. 12, 2009. Prior to retirement in 2004, he owned a large animal practice in Readlyn. Early in his career, Dr. Venzke worked for Fort Dodge Laboratories in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was an Army veteran of World War II, attaining the rank of major. Dr. Venzke's wife, Ruth, and a son survive him.

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