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Internships under scrutiny as supply, demand continue to increase despite pay, hours

Stories and photos by Malinda Larkin

At the beginning of veterinary school, Dr. Tiffany Sheldon had herself convinced. “There was no way I was going to do an internship. I said, ‘I want to be done with school and start making money.’” Nevertheless, on June 13, the recent veterinary graduate from Louisiana State University started her internship at Hollywood Animal Hospital, just outside Miami.

Encouragement by friends and faculty to do an internship led her to look further into the matter. But, in the end, it came down to what she wanted.

“I don't think anyone feels fully prepared to graduate and move on to the big, bad world,” Dr. Sheldon said. “I feel like I have good surgical skills with spay and neuter but would like more surgical experience in other aspects like soft tissue surgery and hernia repair and other basics, at a private practice.”

Dr. Sheldon this summer will join hundreds of other freshly minted veterinarians starting internships, be they in private practice or an academic setting. For some, the goal is to pursue board certification. For others, such as Dr. Sheldon, it's to get further hands-on experience and hone their skills.

More and more veterinarians have been selecting this option, and, it appears, more for the latter reason than the former, as applicants for residencies and the number of residency positions—often the next step taken toward receiving board certification—have not grown at the same rate as applicants for internships and the number of internship positions (see chart, page 10).

Missing information

With this proliferation of internships has come greater scrutiny.

Concerns have been raised about consistency and quality control for internships, as currently no processes are in place to accredit these programs. Authors of a letter to the editor this past year suggested a veterinary counterpart to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, which oversees postgraduate medical training programs (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2012;240:939–942).

In addition, the Student AVMA House of Delegates in spring 2011 approved duty hours guidelines. Delegates focused on fourth-year rotations because SAVMA's purview doesn't extend to internship or residency programs; however, according to the guidelines' background information: “SAVMA is looking to the academic leaders of the profession to take up the charge in protecting interns and residents. Veterinary interns and residents at academic institutions are no longer students, but continue to work through long hours and challenging schedules within veterinary teaching hospitals. These guidelines could easily be adapted for interns and residents; all that is lacking is a coordinated effort among the national organizations.”

The AVMA Executive Board created the Task Force on Veterinary Internships in May 2009 to assess the status of veterinary internships, identify areas that need improvement, and develop a plan to address identified needs.

To do this, though, task force members needed to fill information gaps to fully define potential problem areas. So, they requested the addition of internship-related questions on the AVMA Senior Survey and Biennial Economic Survey, both starting with the 2010 editions (see sidebar on page 13 and graphs on pages 12–13 for more on salaries).

The task force's work culminated in a final report in spring 2011. The report included a revised internship definition indicating that internships should provide mentorship, direct supervision, and didactic experiences, including rounds, seminars, and formal presentations; internship disclosure guidelines, which comprise questions applicants should ask to obtain more detailed information from potential employers and mentors; and accompanying model AVMA Internship Guidelines. All have been adopted as official AVMA policy (see JAVMA, June 15, 2012, page 1400).

The American Association of Veterinary Clinicians, which runs 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—also has adopted the guidelines. However, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, which coordinates most equine internships through its Avenues Program, has not done so.

Survey says

The Task Force on Veterinary Internships went one step further and had a survey conducted in 2012 to examine internship quality and intern satisfaction.

The survey was designed to help determine the need for a more formal quality assurance program for veterinary internships (see JAVMA, Aug. 1, 2011, page 280). Release of the survey results is anticipated later this month, and given those results, the approach the task force has recommended is to improve quality where needed and not yet pursue a full-blown accreditation program for internships.

Dr. David E. Granstrom, director of the AVMA Education and Research Division, estimates the cost at around $2 million to establish an independent accrediting agency similar to the AVMA Council on Education or Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. This figure is based on accrediting and reaccrediting approximately 800 sites on a five-year cycle.

It would cost the AVMA about 40 percent less to do that because of economy of scale, i.e., if the Association were not to charge overhead for the existing resources it would use, he added.

Dr. Roger B. Fingland, director of the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program and executive associate dean and director of the Veterinary Health Center at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, said it is important to note that, despite longer hours for less pay, 85 percent of the survey respondents were satisfied with their internships.

“There are internships that are very different than those that existed 20 years ago. That does not mean the system is broken. It means there are more and different opportunities. If some are less than ideal training programs, we need to identify them and help them improve,” he said.

Decisions, decisions

With the task force now sunset, the AVMA Early Career Development Committee has taken on the responsibility for executing the task force's plan, which has also been endorsed by the AVMA Executive Board.


Source: Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

The plan includes the following action items:

  • • Use the AVMA Internship Guidelines and survey results to develop a model assessment tool to promote the development of quality internships by providers and enhance the selection process for new graduates.

  • • Repeat the survey every two to three years to track progress, assess the need for a more formal internship quality assurance program over time, and assess whether veterinarians are aware of and using the guidelines.

  • • Launch an awareness campaign that would promote the AVMA Internship Guidelines, including presentations at national meetings, and ask the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges to update the Dr. Bradford P. Smith article on effective internship selection (J Vet Med Educ 2006;33:121–124), as needed, for republication and availability to a wider audience—targeting veterinary schools, to promote a more informed internship selection process by graduating students.


Source: American Association of Veterinary Clinicians

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

Whether giving students even more information on internships will change how many pursue that route is up for debate. When Dr. Fingland talks to veterinary students at Kansas State about internships, he makes certain to mention that they could make $65,000 in starting salary as an associate, compared with $25,000 as an intern.

“What we're talking about is a young professional who hopefully has made a decision with the full knowledge of consequences to seek additional training rather than become an associate. Some may say that's not a smart thing to do. Everyone can voice their opinion, but hundreds of people make this decision and are very comfortable with it,” Dr. Fingland said.

Dr. Tiffany Sheldon has amassed about $200,000 in student loan debt from veterinary school and will earn about $45,000 at her internship. She said selecting the highest-paying internship she found was a big factor in her decision.

Even though she may not go on to do a residency, she said, “I'm guaranteed a high caseload and will have mentorship that people going straight into practice aren't necessarily going to get. It's worth the cut in pay. Plus, it'll sharpen my skills after graduation, and, hopefully, I can be worth more after the internship.”

Dr. Sheldon added, “Everyone who comes into the profession is not in it to make money. We have this much debt and … we take it for what it is and deal with it when the time comes.”


Source: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and AVMA

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8


Source: 2012 AVMA Biennial Economic Survey (2011 data, weighted estimates based on AVMA membership)

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

+ & − Plus and minus

The latest veterinary salary data show it usually pays to do a residency, but not in every instance. According to the 2012 AVMA Biennial Economic Survey, private practitioners completing a residency reported median incomes of $ 148,00 0 compared with $88,000 for those who completed only an internship and those with only a ve terinary degree.

Meanwhile, public and corporate practice veterinarians who completed a resid ency reported median in comes of $12 4,000 compared with $100,000 for those who completed only an internship and $ 112,000 for those with on ly a veterinary degree.

Looking over time at the income of veterinarians who had completed internships and residencies, one can see a trend of income increasing with experience.

The survey authors note, however, that comparing the median income of veterinarians who have completed internships with those who have not completed them may not be a valid way to determine the value of completing an internship, because a higher proportion of respondents who had completed internships also had less experience.

Day in, day out

To gain a better understanding of what it's like to be an intern, JAVMA went straight to the source and spent one day each with three interns in academic, exotic, and equine practice. Their stories are told in the following articles.

Long road to a bright future

Dr. Rickard Kohler ambles down the long white hallway on his way to see Zippy the cat's owners. As he passes by numerous rooms—each dedicated to one of the 18 specialty services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital—his steps make the only sound, save for an occasional bark from the dog receiving dialysis in the critical care unit.

By the end of his shift at 6 p.m., he'll have seen only four patients today, Sunday, April 14, which he says isn't uncommon.

“I feel like if you just want the experience, to see more cases, have someone supervise you, you might be better to do private practice, because you get more normal cases, more case responsibility, and probably a little higher caseload, depending on where you go,” he said. “We never really see the normal skin infections or stuff like that here.”

Dr. Kohler, one of six rotating critical care interns, has a relatively predictable schedule: two weeks of daytime core rotations (such as internal medicine, surgery, and cardiology), from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; two weeks of emergency duty, from noon to 10 p.m.; one week of an elective, which can be anything from ophthalmology to tomotherapy to dentistry; and one week of overnight emergency duty, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., with the following weekend off.

But in reality, he says, it sometimes feels like there are no set times. “You come and go when you're done. The hours can be tough.”

Interns have teaching rounds in the morning, when faculty present cases, including patient histories and diagnostic test results, and go over the plan for the day. In addition, interns have their own rounds with other interns every Wednesday, when they present articles, are given a lecture on a variety of topics, or hold electrocardiography rounds or morbidity and mortality rounds. Every intern is expected to deliver a grand rounds presentation once a year.

After daily rounds, and depending on the service, the interns may see patients of their own, along with a student; talk with clients; and come up with treatment plans, after discussion with a resident or faculty member. At the end of the day, they typically have rounds with residents and faculty to discuss what they've done, go over test results, and develop plans for next steps.

On overnights, they start their shift by reviewing records of all the patients in the CCU and talking with the person in charge of each patient about the case plan and specific concerns. Then, they start seeing patients with appointments and walk-ins. Before leaving at 8 a.m., the intern again talks with faculty about what happened overnight.

During the day, there's always a critical care resident on duty who is the first person called during an overnight shift if a complicated case comes in. If the resident needs guidance, the intern calls the criticalist for backup, or, if it's an obvious surgery candidate, the surgeon.

“And then there's obviously different opinions about how to run stuff, so sometimes you talk to (the resident or faculty member) and they want to do something different or transfer to a different service and they ask why you did this, but I think that's normal. We tend to be very thorough, which I think is a good thing, but sometimes it's a little frustrating, because there's a lot of people and a lot of opinions,” Dr. Kohler said.

Following a dream

Earlier in the day, critical care resident Dr. Natashia Evans discusses with Dr. Kohler the history of Jack, a 7-year-old, three-legged dog, and his low neutrophil count. The two then go through the five body systems with fourth-year student Mindy Weseley in helping her determine what could be wrong with the dog. Following the impromptu lesson, Dr. Kohler and Weseley meet with Jack's owners, Mark and Svetha Hetzler. Not finding anything substantially wrong with the dog, he prescribes antibiotics for an existing skin condition and tells the Hetzlers to come back in a week or two if the dog still isn't doing well.

Although Dr. Kohler is working in critical care, his real passion is surgery. Early on, he got to know the hospital's surgeons before he tried matching for a surgical internship or residency. He also asked to be on call during surgeries, even in the middle of the night, to show his enthusiasm.

Unfortunately for him, the surgery section doesn't give primary case responsibility to interns, unlike the medicine and critical care services.

“The surgeons feel like the residents or (they) themselves should do the surgery, and by the time (patients) come here, they're complex surgeries,” he said. The most experience he gets is supervising the students on spay and neuter days.

Dr. Kohler has also shown enthusiasm for research. He'll be a primary author on a paper reporting a study of iliopsoas muscle injuries in dogs. Within his first month, he had talked with a few surgeons about how to approach the study, and one surgeon mentored him through the process and will help him write the paper. On another paper, he'll be a co-author.

“Here at Wisconsin, they put a lot of emphasis on research,” he said. “That's the main difference between private practice. There's always stuff going on; private practice, not so much—maybe retrospective studies.”


Dr. Rickard Kohler performs ultrasonography on Zippy the cat. Of the six critical care interns at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, five matched with residencies. Dr. Kohler begins his surgical residency in mid-July at the University of Minnesota.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

He chose an academic internship because he wanted to get exposure to a wide variety of cases and supervision by specialists in various departments. “But the ultimate goal was to optimize my chances for residency,” Dr. Kohler said.

Knowing how competitive pursuing his goal would be, Dr. Kohler talked with the six surgeons at the hospital about what his approach should be. They told him to apply for residencies and internships at the same time, saying it's great if he gets a residency, but most people don't get one right away.

“As far as I know—I've spoken to a few residency (proctors)—there were about 150 people applying for surgical residencies for a total of about 30 to 40 spots. Those numbers scare you and the fact that other people have done surgery internships,” he said.

Yet, Dr. Kohler matched for a 3-year surgical residency with the University of Minnesota, which was among his top three picks. He begins in July.

Coming to America

Meanwhile, Zippy the cat is dehydrated, straining to urinate, and vomiting. He has a history of chronic kidney disease. Dr. Kohler performs ultrasonography as the cat is held in place, and then tries to collect a urine sample from the cat, but has difficulty inserting the needle into the bladder. Dr. Evans steps in to take the sample and then advises him on a safer method of holding the cat. She recommends he practice by sticking a needle in Jell-O with fruit.

Dr. Kohler, unlike most interns, has worked in private practice before. Originally from Helsingborg, Sweden, he worked at a clinic there for two years. Dr. Kohler said it was helpful to have been in private practice and now to be at the teaching hospital.

“I don't think we interns can complain, compared with my wife, who spent more time at her clinic during her internship (at a VCA hospital in Boston).

“We have a decent amount of hours we work, but not too much. The hardest parts are the nights. Unfortunately, if you're really busy, there are times when you have a lack of sleep, so you don't function as good. I don't think anyone looks forward to them, but then, it's another chance for you to have primary case responsibility,” Dr. Kohler said.

He arrived in Madison after a long journey. First, he moved back to the U.S. from Sweden in 2011 to marry his wife, Michaela, whom he had met while studying at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Kohler actually graduated from St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010.

After they were married, Dr. Kohler couldn't work, a stipulation in applying for a green card. So he spent many restless days in Florida while Michaela worked at an emergency clinic. They then moved to Wisconsin for his internship, and she found a job working on commission at a general practice four days a week in Madison.

They both know a few more intense years remain ahead, but Michaela is pushing for children some day.

They'll have to figure out how to make that work and still have enough to pay off their $240,000 combined student debt on his $28,000 resident's salary and her income, once she finds a position in Minnesota.

“I don't care about money, but it would be nice not to worry about it,” he said.

Blazing her own trail


Dr. Lindsey Woods talks with Amy Thurmond, owner of Lulu, a 6-year-old guinea pig. Dr. Woods found a mass under Lulu's jaw caused by a tooth abscess and recommended surgery.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

It's not yet noon and Dr. Lindsey Woods has just finished her second rabbit neutering. She pours the last dregs of coffee.

“It's a rough Monday when you run out of coffee,” she said. “This stuff is terrible, but I'm going to drink it like a champ.”

Dr. Woods typically performs surgeries on Wednesday mornings. But today, Monday, April 8, is different. Her supervisor, Dr. Angela Lennox, has been gone since March 31 to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a conference and will return April 10.

It's been a “madhouse, complete circus” since Dr. Lennox has been gone, Dr. Woods said. But for now at the Avian & Exotic Animal Clinic, just outside Indianapolis, it is slightly less hectic.

“We'll get to each lunch today!” Dr. Woods exclaims.

She types at a fast clip after surgery to document her surgical findings and postoperative plan. She works from 8 am. to 6 p.m. most days. When her shift ends, she says, “I'm pretty much on call unless I ask about (taking off work), which is totally fine with me. Most times we can tell owners what will get them through the night if it's not a true emergency. We have exam and emergency fees; sometimes that's a deterrent for exotic (animal) owners.”

A typical day at the clinic means she'll see a client, write a record, maybe take care of an emergency or a patient that was dropped off, and then move onto another patient.

“I get plenty of sleep at night. I'm not here till 10 or 11 writing records,” she said. Dr. Woods receives additional compensation when she does come in for emergencies at night and for taking intensive care patients home.

When Dr. Lennox isn't busy, she'll give a lecture or provide a teaching opportunity for Dr. Woods, such as reviewing a bird's blood smears, on a Friday—Dr. Woods' “day off.”

“If she's swamped, I'll come in and help. She asks me to, but it's not a requirement, but I do like being here, even though it's work,” Dr. Woods said.

Take me to the zoo

Baxter, a 20-year-old cockatiel, fidgets as Dr. Woods wields tweezers to unclog his nasal passage. Owner Joan Novak mentions that Dr. Woods should take a look at the redness on his face, too. And, oh by the way, would she trim his nails and feathers while she's at it? Dr. Woods obliges. She tells Novak that Baxter might have respiratory issues, so she'll start him on antibiotics but will also take fecal and oral swab specimens and a blood sample to see if anything is abnormal.

Dr. Woods has primary responsibility on wildlife cases but also gets her share of walk-in and regular clients.

“This has been the best possible thing as far as getting out of school and being completely submerged up to your ears in cases,” Dr. Woods said.

“Caseload at this clinic is extremely high. I've gotten surgical experience here that I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else because of the wildlife bone surgeries,” including one on a great horned owl that had a humeral fracture and was released in March.

Dr. Lennox takes the complicated surgeries, but she has allowed Dr. Woods to do an adrenalectomy on a rescued ferret, for example.

“Anything that's an advanced surgical technique she's either scrubbed in standing there or sitting at a desk ready to jump in if need be, and that's comforting,” Dr. Woods said.

Dr. Woods continued, “She doesn't go out of town often, and when she does, I almost look forward to it, because I know I'm going to run into things I don't know how to handle, and it pushes me to buck up and go for it.”

Dr. Woods is originally from Arkansas. She attended Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 2012.

Initially, she was ambivalent about doing an internship right out of veterinary college. Could she apply even more effort scholastically after four years of veterinary study? And if so, did she want to do an academic or private practice program?

“I would have killed to do a zoo internship, but there weren't many available in the (Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program), and, even the ones that were available, I wasn't eligible for,” Dr. Woods said.

“They're happy to teach a fourth-year student and take a volunteer, but when it comes to paying a veterinarian to work there, it's really hard for them to justify paying a newbie vet when they need someone with experience, which is completely understandable. But it's really tough to get experience unless you have it.”

Dr. Woods found this exotic animal private practice internship because her mentor at Oklahoma State, Dr. Cornelia Ketz-Riley, knew Dr. Lennox, who was looking for a replacement after an associate left. Dr. Lennox had missed the match, but Dr. Ketz-Riley told her about Dr. Woods, who was looking for new options after a zoo position didn't materialize.

“I was finally to the point where I said I'll blaze my own trail. I don't have to be with my family. I want to be where the job is right now and … where I can focus on my career and nothing else and no one else, so here I go,” Dr. Woods said.

“I could not have asked for a better mentor, better clinic, location, everything. I could have asked for better pay, but that wouldn't have gone over well.” She earns around $25,000 in her internship.

Climbing the ladder

Zeus, a ball python, slithers over Dr. Woods' forearms as she examines him in the early afternoon light. His owners, Ashley Paddock and her son, Will, look on from the bench across the room. Zeus has scale rot on his abdomen from a bacterial infection. Dr. Woods suggests new bedding and antibiotics.

On June 17, Dr. Woods started her second internship, at Oklahoma State, this one focusing on zoo and exotic work. She is anticipating working with places such as the Oklahoma City and Tulsa zoos but will be based at the veterinary college's teaching hospital.

She'd like eventually to be board-certified by the American College of Zoological Medicine. Her dream job would be working as a staff veterinarian at a large Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoo.

“Beggars can't be choosers when it comes to the zoo world. Someone has to retire or die for you to get a job,” she said.

For now, she's working her way up the ladder.

Dr. Woods is working on getting a manuscript published that reports on gastric issues in sugar gliders, which she's been collaborating on with Dr. Lennox and a pathologist since July 2012. Dr. Woods is also working on a sedation research project, but she isn't sure whether she'll be a primary author on it.

Dr. Woods hopes so, because she knows that would help her chances of getting a residency, preferably one at a zoo or university.

When asked what she'd do if she weren't to get a residency, Dr. Woods said she hasn't considered that.

After a pause, she says she eventually wants a family, adding, “I want a life at some point.”

Putting in the time and effort


Dr. Emily Barquet examines a horse that will soon be gelded. She found her internship through the American Association of Equine Practitioners' Avenues Program.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

The musty smell of hay wafted through the stalls as Dr. Emily Barquet bounced from one hospitalized horse to another, administering treatments and performing physical examinations.

Just a few weeks from the end of her internship in July at Merritt & Associates in Wauconda, Ill., Dr. Barquet is fully into the swing of things. Through the course of the day, she'll prepare a patient for surgery, assist with several lameness examinations, and take radiographs and ultrasounds of a fetlock joint—all without breaking a sweat. Or leaving behind her thermos filled with a homemade shake, which serves both as breakfast and lunch.

Vital experience

Dr. Barquet is originally from Puerto Rico. She received her DVM degree in 2012 from Tuskegee University. Previously, she worked as a veterinary technician for eight years at an equine clinic in Ocala, Fla., to gain experience before veterinary college. It took four years of applying before she was accepted, but it's what she's wanted to do ever since growing up around her family's Paso Finos and trail riding with them.

The clinic where she worked as a technician had interns and residents, which helped her decide to pursue an internship.

“I picked people's brains way before veterinary school,” she said.

Dr. Barquet determined that she wanted a private practice internship. She knows people who have done academic ones and has heard they have lower caseloads. Here, the caseload varies; sometimes the practice is very busy, and, other times, it's not. Plus, she was already accustomed to the private practice setting.

Her responsibilities include caring for hospitalized patients, assisting in surgery, being on call, and, since a few months into the internship, responding to field emergencies. She and the other intern, Dr. Victoria Gnadt, rotate among the four clinicians to gain experience in various aspects of practice.

Dr. Barquet says she's learned a lot from Dr. Keith Merritt about lameness, which she didn't get to see much of in veterinary school.

Give and take

It's midmorning now, and Dr. Barquet proceeds again to the barn to place a catheter in the horse next up for surgery. The 1-year-old, soon to be gelded, will remain in the stall, she said, because he gets skittish easily.

Dr. Barquet is supposed to work from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but often, she'll stay late because of last-minute appointments or paperwork.

On weekends, she'll make house calls and do physicals. She and Dr. Gnadt live in the blue, two-story house just a stone's throw from the clinic. Technically, they're on call all the time, because if anything happens, “It's like, oh, the interns are here,” she says.

During the first few weeks, she would get no more than six hours of sleep each night. One time, Dr. Barquet spent 32 hours working without even a break. She says the hours have been intense, but she expected nothing less from an internship.

Her salary is $25,000, which she had also expected, and the housing is free. The interns also receive $1,000 for continuing education and payment of some association membership fees, but nothing toward health insurance. Dr. Barquet has amassed student debt from completing her undergraduate, master's, and DVM degrees, and says she's become numb to it.

Basic requirement

Lunchtime rolls around, and Dr. Barquet is busy analyzing an ultrasound image taken of Midnight the Quarter Horse's fetlock region. More specifically, she's looking at his lateral collateral ligament, which the 21-year-old horse has a history of tearing.

Dr. Barquet says that for those who want to go into equine practice, internships are “almost obligatory.”

“Most places don't hire someone straight out of school. That's probably because so many people are doing internships,” she said.

Dr. Merrit says it's because of expectations from horse owners.

“You have to prove yourself every day to a client,” Dr. Merritt said. “The horse-owning public wants people who have experience before they trust you to take care of their horses.”

Some of Dr. Barquet's friends are doing internships, but most of the veterinarians she knows who went into small animal practice didn't.

She says the biggest drawbacks are the salary and the hours but notes that anyone who is an equine veterinarian—intern or not—will work long hours and answer emergency calls.

As of May 1, there were a few internship positions and one residency opening Dr. Barquet was applying for, but nothing had been secured.

“I have a plan; we'll see if it happens,” she said.

AVMA: A showcase for veterinarians

Smithsonian exhibition celebrates human-animal bond, marks 150th anniversary of AVMA

By Katie Burns


A rendering of “Animal Connections: Our Journey Together” Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

A Smithsonian exhibition celebrating the human-animal bond, “Animal Connections: Our Journey Together,” will premier at the AVMA Annual Convention in late July.

The AVMA collaborated with the Smithsonian Institution on the exhibition to showcase the work of veterinarians and to mark the 150th anniversary of the AVMA. Zoetis is the founding funding partner for the interactive experience.

The exhibition has been years in the making. The sections revolve around animals in four settings: the home, the farm, the zoo, and the wild. The centerpiece is a virtual veterinary clinic with computer touch tables that allow visitors to try out diagnostic skills.


“Members have asked for some time for a national outreach to the public on the value of veterinary medicine,” said J.B. Hancock, director of the AVMA Communications Division.

“This is part of that effort and an excellent way to spread the word about the 150th anniversary of an important national resource: the AVMA.”

Hancock and other AVMA representatives have been working with the Smithsonian on the exhibition, honing messages that highlight the roles of veterinarians in society. The Smithsonian assembled a group of veterinarians as consultants to flesh out the messages.

The exhibition fits in a semitrailer that opens up to provide about 1,000 square feet of display space. The truck will drive inside Chicago's McCormick Place to debut July 20–22 during the AVMA Annual Convention. The exhibition's public launch will follow July 23 at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

The exhibition

The focus of the exhibition is the human-animal bond, with veterinary medicine as the secondary subject.

Jennifer Bine, project director with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, said, “People have a great deal of trust in veterinarians and are interested in the many facets of veterinary medicine. Much of that interest is based on the deep human-animal bond Americans have with animals. This exhibition uses this as the audience's point of entry.”

Bine said the exhibition begins with displays about the domestication of dogs and the breeding of other animals. From there, visitors can go to four sections to the sides or to the virtual veterinary clinic in the center. Each of the four sections offers a variety of displays, videos, and interactive modules.

In the section about animals in the home, one interactive module offers recommendations for suitable pets on the basis of visitors' preferences and home environment. A video describes the relationships between humans and companion animals, while another video explains safe ways to approach a range of animals, from pets to working animals.


These images are among the many that appear in the Smithsonian exhibition. The sections revolve around animals in four settings—the home, the farm, the zoo, and the wild—while the centerpiece is a virtual veterinary clinic. Clockwise from top left: photo by Kristian Sekulic/iStock; photo by Sara Winter/iStock; photo by David Phillips/iStock; courtesy of Dr. Kevin Brumfield, Northwood Animal Hospital; courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

The section about animals on the farm includes a display depicting a veterinarian's truck, with compartments containing veterinary instruments. A video covers the complexity of caring for dairy cattle.

The section about zoo animals explores subjects such as the bond between keepers and animals, veterinarians' rounds, and objects for animal training and enrichment.

In the wildlife section, the emphasis is on what visitors might encounter outside their back door. One topic is keeping humans, pets, and wildlife safe during such encounters. A mural shows animal tracks and other signs of wildlife presence. Videos show wildlife in urban areas, such as a pair of young moose playing in a sprinkler.

The virtual veterinary clinic at the center of the exhibition introduces visitors to veterinary diagnostics. The virtual patients are a dog, piglets, and a cheetah. For each patient, the computer touch tables list signs of illness and what the signs might mean. Visitors can examine the animals via the touch screens. Then visitors work through a decision tree to treat the patients.

A final video features veterinarians talking about what drew them into the field, what they do in their jobs, and why the work is rewarding.

Bine said a takeaway message from the exhibition is “that we rely on animals in a whole host of ways, and that reliance conveys a level of responsibility to us in their care.”

Supporting the profession

Dr. Christine C. Jenkins, Zoetis group director for veterinary medical services in the United States, said her company is proud to sponsor the exhibition.

“It gives us the opportunity with the Smithsonian Institution as well as the AVMA to help elevate the awareness of the importance of the veterinary profession and what veterinarians provide to our society—and to bring it down to a level that's relevant to people in their day-to-day lives,” Dr. Jenkins said.

To Dr. Jenkins, the most exciting part of the exhibition is the opportunity for visitors to try out their veterinary diagnostic skills. For kids, she said, the activity could stimulate an interest in science.

Dr. Jenkins said this is a key year for Zoetis, too. Formerly Pfizer Animal Health, it became a stand-alone company in February. She said sponsoring the exhibition is part of the company's Commitment to Veterinarians platform, supporting the future of the veterinary profession.

AVMA: Ready to lead

Clark Fobian anticipates role as AVMA president

Interview and photo by R. Scott Nolen

Dr. Clark K. Fobian is ready.

After six years as District VII representative on the AVMA Executive Board and nearly a year as president-elect, the small animal practitioner from Sedalia, Mo., is ready to be the face of the AVMA and the veterinary profession. Dr. Fobian will succeed Dr. Douglas G. Aspros as AVMA president at the end of the AVMA Annual Convention July 23 in Chicago.

For Dr. Fobian, the AVMA presidency isn't about the notoriety. Rather, it's a platform to promote a profession he has spent more than 30 years of his life serving. Recently he spoke to JAVMA News about his plans as president and what he expects in the coming year.


Dr. Clark K. Fobian

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

Why did you run for AVMA president-elect?

I joined this profession as the result of a strong affinity for animals. That innate fondness was manifest at a young age, and I eventually became a biologist, and, subsequently, a veterinarian. For over three decades, I have attended to the medical needs of animals while concurrently helping those who cared for them. Later in my career, I was fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to protect and advance my profession through involvement in organized veterinary medicine. I find this voluntary service to be every bit as gratifying as the feelings experienced when administering to the needs of animals. So why did I run for AVMA president-elect? Simply put, working through the AVMA, I hope to facilitate a societal and economic environment where dedicated individuals can have a fulfilling and rewarding career as a veterinarian. That's what it's all about for me.

What qualities, experience, and perspective do you bring to the office?

I don't enjoy talking about myself, but I've been told I'm analytical and that I can look at a problem from many different angles and chart a course that seems most appropriate. I'm diplomatic and strive for collaborative outcomes. I am practice-orientated. I'm grounded in clinical practice and what happens in that realm. The small business principles I've learned over the years are applicable to practitioners throughout the United States. I believe we all live to make a difference, and I accept the challenge of advancing the needs of our profession as president of this outstanding Association.

What do you see your job as AVMA president being?

In my opinion, the primary role of the AVMA president is spokesperson for the veterinary profession. I may not be the most articulate or charismatic person, but I'll spend the next year doing my best to represent the AVMA to our membership and the public. This will involve communicating all the ways AVMA is working to advance not just the profession but also animal welfare and world health as well as dealing with whatever challenges rise along the way. The AVMA president is a facilitator of the Association's strategic initiatives and proponent of continual improvement within the organization. I also see myself participating in evaluations of our governance structure and providing insights when I can.

Are there things you hope to achieve as president?

My campaign theme was “The WE of our profession: Workforce and Economics.” Now, the AVMA is emphasizing veterinary economics and business issues, and this is exactly where we need to be. When I first came on the Executive Board, I thought these are areas where AVMA needs to be involved. Our membership is composed of thousands of small business owners, and I've long believed AVMA should take a more active role in helping them succeed, whether it's lobbying Congress or the statehouse or working with the (U.S.) Chamber of Commerce. As AVMA president, I will continue focusing on these important issues and work collaboratively toward solutions that promote efficiency within the veterinary workforce and make veterinary student debt more manageable.

How do you feel about taking office during the AVMA's commemoration of its 150th anniversary?

This is a grand occasion, and I feel fortunate to have my installation during this celebration. At the same time, it makes me feel humble and appreciative. How lucky are we to be recipients of 150 years of loyalty and dedication bequeathed to this Association by those generous and far-sighted individuals who have preceded us?!

“I believe we all live to make a difference, and I accept the challenge of advancing the needs of our profession as president of this outstanding Association.”

Dr. Clark K. Fobian, 2013–2014 AVMA president

You are coming into office at a time when the veterinary profession has seen better days. Will these economic challenges shape your message as president?

I totally reject the notion that our profession has seen the best of its days. When the automobile replaced the horse, people said the veterinary profession was done, but look at us today. This profession has intellectual capacity and creative resources to adapt to whatever challenges it faces. Veterinarians provide a perspective and a service that no other profession can replicate. New veterinarians can be discouraged by the hardships they're facing, but they should understand that being a veterinarian has never been easy. The reality is that each generation of veterinarians is confronted by challenges specific to their time. Success is possible and likely through innovative perseverance, however, and I want recent graduates and veterinary students to know they've chosen a fulfilling and rewarding career.

And the 2013 U.S. Veterinary Workforce Report projection that veterinary services will be underutilized for the next several years?

This condition of surplus capacity in the delivery of veterinary services appears to be an inescapable reality, no matter how the issue is framed. That's the bad news. The good news is we're gathering data that can be used to develop strategies that specifically address the problem rather than working with anecdotal assumptions. I was at a recent AVMA committee meeting where a colleague told me he knew veterinary services were being underutilized, and he couldn't understand why the AVMA spent so much money on a study to confirm it. I had to agree—there's nothing in the study that I found totally surprising. Thus, his question was certainly valid, and as an AVMA officer, I have to justify this workforce study. I think of the situation from a clinical practitioner's perspective: When presented with a cat with all the clinical symptoms of diabetes, a veterinarian can often make a very accurate presumptive diagnosis without performing any tests. But I'm not going to do that; I'm going to run the laboratory tests to confirm my suspicions and document the severity and extent of the disease process. That's good medicine. Likewise with the AVMA study, now that we know there's excess capacity in the veterinary workforce, we can identify and quantitate the variables to effectively prescribe “treatments” that have a chance of successfully impacting a positive economic response for our members.

What would you say to reassure veterinarians and veterinary students who may question whether their professional association is doing enough to help them?

If the question is ‘Are we doing enough for them?’ the answer will always be ‘No.’ We can never do enough for those we care about, and this Association does not possess absolute influence and power, nor does it have unlimited resources. However, if the question is ‘Are we doing everything we possibly can at this time for them?’ then the answer is emphatically ‘Yes.’ Consideration for the new veterinary graduate or new member drives every aspect of our decision-making process. One of AVMA's highest purposes is ensuring the future of our profession.

You were elected to the AVMA Executive Board seven years ago. In that time, how have you seen the Association change?

Structurally, the Executive Board has remained much the same. The most noticeable changes have been operational; a much greater percentage of time and deliberation is being given to environmental scanning and strategic discussion before any matters are acted upon. In other areas, our Governmental Relations Division seems to have greater influence each congressional year. Likewise, our State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department is having a greater impact at the state level. AVMA has become more transparent and responsive to members through enhancements to its website and using such social media outlets as NOAH, Facebook, and Twitter.

Is there anything else you want to discuss?

I could go on and on about how AVMA is an unparalleled organization. However, my concluding sentiments are quite simple. Let us remember who we are as a profession, what we do as a profession, and why we find it in our hearts to do the things we do. Members think they want various benefits from the AVMA, be that insurance, a convention, or a journal. But ultimately, what they need is a healthy, sustainable profession, and that's the most important member benefit AVMA provides.

AVMA: House to deliberate on education council, alternative medicine

By Katie Burns

The AVMA House of Delegates will consider proposals on issues ranging from the AVMA Council on Education to alternative medicine during its regular annual session, July 18–19 in Chicago.

The AVMA Executive Board sent a number of proposed bylaws amendments and policies to the HOD as well as an application for the American Holistic VMA to become a member of the HOD. The HOD also may consider late proposals.

Bylaws amendments

One proposed amendment to the AVMA Bylaws is a response to concerns about the potential for AVMA influence in the accreditation of veterinary colleges by the AVMA COE. These concerns were in the form of public comments received during the U.S. Department of Education process to renew recognition of the COE as an accrediting body.

The COE and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges developed a proposal to change the method of appointment of COE members. Currently, the AVMA selects almost all the members of the COE. Under the proposal, the AVMA and AAVMC would divide up responsibility for these appointments and the costs of participation.

Another proposed bylaws amendment would remove the COE as a pre-approval body for recommendations from the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties to the AVMA Executive Board. The board recently approved provisional recognition of the American College of Animal Welfare on a recommendation from the ABVS despite concerns expressed by the COE.

Under the proposal, the COE would no longer review ABVS recommendations as part of its charge. The ABVS would send recommendations directly to the board, with the COE retaining the option to comment.

A third proposed bylaws amendment would update the composition and responsibility of the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service.

Alternative medicine

The HOD will deliberate on a new policy on “Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Veterinary Medicine” that would replace the current policy Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine.

According to both versions of the policy, the AVMA believes that all aspects of veterinary medicine should be held to the same standards. Both versions of the policy elaborate on this statement, but the proposed policy does not go into any specifics about alternative medicine the way the current policy does.

At its regular winter session in January, the HOD had debated a policy that would discourage one modality of alternative medicine: homeopathy. The HOD referred the policy to the board, and the board has referred the policy to the Council on Veterinary Service and the Council on Research for review.

In July, the HOD will receive an application for the American Holistic VMA to become a member. The AHVMA meets the criteria for consideration. Among the criteria are that the AHVMA membership include at least 1 percent of the AVMA membership and that 90 percent of AHVMA members be AVMA members.

At the time of application, the AHVMA had 1,140 members, of which 1,032 were AVMA members. As of Jan. 1, the AVMA had 83,984 voting members.

Other policies

Also at its regular annual session, the HOD will deliberate on two other proposed policies and a revised policy.

One proposed policy would address “Veterinarian Notification of Violative Residues in Foods of Animal Origin.” The purpose of the policy is to advocate for the U.S. government to notify veterinarians of findings of violative drug residues in foods from clients' animals.

The other proposed policy would address “Safe Handling of Commercially Prepared Pet Food and Pet Treats.” The policy offers precautions to minimize the risk of illness from contaminated pet food.

A revised policy on “Paid Media Consulting,” with a change in name to “Remote Consulting,” would state that the AVMA opposes remote consulting by veterinarians to diagnose a condition or treat a patient in the absence of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

AVMA Congressional Science Fellows named

This April, the AVMA announced that Drs. Eric Deeble, Nathaniel Tablante, and Kate Varela were selected for the 2013–2014 AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship program in Washington, D.C.

Starting in August, they will spend a year as scientific advisers to members of Congress, using their background to help shape key legislation that affects the veterinary profession and the health and safety of the nation.

“AVMA's fellowship program is an excellent opportunity for veterinarians to break away from their everyday lives, learn and apply new skills, network with people in all branches of the federal government, and truly make a difference in the field of veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division.

“We always encourage AVMA members to participate in the legislative process, but the fellows will truly learn firsthand the amount of work and scientific knowledge that is needed to craft and pass legislation. We applaud these emerging leaders for committing their time to this important program and look forward to working with them.”

As part of the fellowship program, each fellow will serve from August 2013 until August 2014 in a congressional office, advising policymakers on the development of legislation that will impact the veterinary profession on issues such as food safety, public health, and animal welfare.

The fellows interview with congressional offices to receive their yearlong placements, and, once placed, they support the activities of that office as full-time staff. The fellows are not AVMA employees or lobbyists.

Drs. Deeble, Tablante, and Varela were selected from 30 applicants for the fellowship program after completing a three-phase, competitive selection process that started in February.

Dr. Deeble of Philadelphia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 and is a former AVMA GRD extern. He has worked in China, Africa, and the Near East on food animal production in low-resource communities, on animal transport, and on international market development.

Dr. Tablante of Elkridge, Md., received his DVM degree from the University of the Philippines in 1976 and is currently an associate professor and extension poultry veterinarian at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He has 24 years of experience in poultry health management, epidemiology, and biosecurity, and has authored and co-authored numerous articles and educational materials on poultry health, biosecurity, and disease prevention.

Dr. Varela of Medford, N.Y., graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 and works at a small animal practice in the Chicago area. She is completing a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Administration with a global health concentration and is interested in agricultural policy development.

The AVMA fellowship program is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which works to place qualified, scientific experts in congressional offices where there is a need. To date, more than 50 veterinarians have participated in the AVMA program.


Dr. Eric Deeble

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8


Dr. Nathaniel Tablante

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8


Dr. Kate Varela

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

Education council schedules site visits

The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to three schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for the remainder of 2013.

Site visits are planned for the VetAgro Sup Campus Veterinaire de Lyon, Sept. 22–26; Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 13–17; and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 27–31.

The council welcomes written comments on these planned site visits or the programs to be evaluated. Comments should be addressed to Dr. David E. Granstrom, Director, Education and Research Division, AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173. Comments must be signed by the person submitting them to be considered.

AVMA: Vital funding for lab network added to Farm Bill

Legislation authorizing what the AVMA believes to be much-needed funding for a national laboratory network safeguarding animal and public health was included in the Farm Bill before both chambers of Congress as of late May.

Earlier in the month, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado introduced The Animal and Public Health Protection Act (S. 859), which would authorize $15 million annually for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network from 2014–2018. Established more than a decade ago, the laboratory network monitors diseases that threaten animal and public health domestically.

“Labs like the ones at (Colorado State University) help support the economic vitality of our livestock industry and protect the public by identifying diseases early and preventing the consequences of potentially devastating outbreaks,” said Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This common-sense, yet vital, research yields tremendous economic and public health benefits to Colorado and the entire country.”

The NAHLN is a cooperative effort between the Department of Agriculture and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians and is composed of federal, university, and state veterinary diagnostic laboratories.

The network was established in response to the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, and to the Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-9 of 2004 to “develop nationwide laboratory networks for food, veterinary, plant health and water quality that integrate existing federal and state laboratory resources, are interconnected, and utilize standardized diagnostic protocols and procedures.”

Bennet's bill is an effort to protect the network against the uncertainty of Congress' yearly budgeting process.

“In 2010, Congress unexpectedly cut infrastructure funding for the NAHLN, which seriously jeopardized the national disease surveillance work that veterinary diagnostic laboratories throughout the country do to protect our food supply and the public from disease,” said Dr. Tim Baszler, immediate past president of the AAVLD and director of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

“The Animal and Public Health Protection Act would restore full funding for this vital early-warning system for emerging and high-consequence diseases detrimental to both animal and public health,” Dr. Baszler explained.

The AVMA has long prioritized the NAHLN and the Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative, which provides baseline funding for the NAHLN, in its advocacy efforts concerning the Farm Bill and annual appropriations.

“A robust NAHLN will help control any potential catastrophic disease outbreak, limit the spread of disease, and, as a result, limit the diseases' impact on public health, animal suffering, and interruption of the food supply, and help ensure the financial health of livestock and related industries,” AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven said.

Several other organizations support the Animal and Public Health Protection Act, including the U.S. Animal Health Association, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and the Colorado Cattlemen's Association.

The Farm Bill is an omnibus piece of legislation that spreads billions of dollars of support across a wide swath of society, including farmers, fruit and vegetable growers, and consumers, and is reauthorized roughly every five years. The 2008 Farm Bill expired in September 2012, but Congress passed a one-year extension.

As of the deadline in late May, the House and Senate were considering the versions of the 2013 Farm Bill passed by their respective agriculture committees.

AVMA offers poster on pet aging

The AVMA has produced a poster to educate clients about how cats and dogs age faster than people, featuring a chart that roughly equates a pet's age with that of a person. The poster promotes the importance of preventive health care examinations.

The 18-by-24-inch poster is available for purchase from the AVMA Store by visiting www.avma.org/products and clicking on “Veterinary Practice Resources.” The cost is $3 for members and $8 for nonmembers. An 8.5-by-11-inch version is available for free download.

The accidental epidemiologist

Calvin W. Schwabe fathered a generation of veterinary epidemiologists


Dr. Calvin W. Schwabe Courtesy of the Dr. Calvin W. Schwabe family

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

By R. Scott Nolen

By all accounts, the late Dr. Calvin W. Schwabe was ahead of his time.

Called the father of veterinary epidemiology, Dr. Schwabe recognized the relationship between animal and public health decades before the current one-health movement.

In “Veterinary Medicine and Human Health,” Dr. Schwabe's seminal work first published in 1964, he wrote: “Veterinary medicine is the field of study concerned with the diseases and health of non-human animals. The practice of veterinary medicine is directly related to man's well-being in a number of ways.”

“Veterinary medicine is the field of study concerned with the diseases and health of non-human animals. The practice of veterinary medicine is directly related to man's well-being in a number of ways.”

Dr. Calvin W. Schwabe

An early advocate for integrating aspects of veterinary and human medicines, Dr. Schwabe is even credited with coining the phrase “one medicine,” although the term's origins are still debated. Among his more noteworthy achievements is establishing a department of epidemiology at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the first of its kind in any veterinary school in the world.

Dr. Schwabe also made several important scholarly contributions during his 52-year career in such fields as parasitic zoonoses, tropical health, and livestock health in pastoral societies. By the time of his retirement in 1991, he had trained hundreds of students from around the world in public animal disease control.

Ironically, Dr. Schwabe's esteemed career in epidemiology nearly didn't happen.

Roots of a legacy

Dr. Schwabe was born March 15, 1927, in Newark, N.J. After receiving his DVM degree from Auburn University in 1954, he was accepted as a doctoral student in parasitology and tropical medicine at Harvard University. He decided to also work toward a master's in public health.

In a 1991 interview with colleague Dr. Philip Kass, Dr. Schwabe recalled how he initially rebuffed an offer by professor John Gordon, chair of the Department of Epidemiology in Harvard's School of Public Health, to take an advanced epidemiology course limited to 10 select students. “I hadn't even taken his basic course. So I said, ‘And, uh, well, thank you very much. But I'm here to get a Doctor of Science in parasitology. And I'm just by-the-by going to pursue the MPH,’” according to an interview transcript.

Once Dr. Schwabe's adviser explained what an honor it was to be chosen for the advanced course, he apologized to Gordon and accepted his offer. “Personally, as I say, I slipped into this involuntarily,” he told Dr. Kass. Dr. Schwabe would go on to earn an MPH degree from Harvard in 1955 and his doctorate in parasitology the following year.

Beginning in 1956, Dr. Schwabe spent nearly a decade on the medical and public health faculties of the American University in Lebanon. He founded a department of tropical health and a department of epidemiology and biostatistics, and developed a research program on hydatid disease and other parasitic zoonoses. By 1960, Dr. Schwabe was consulting for the World Health Organization on hydatid disease. With the agency's support, he began studying the disease among cattle societies in East Africa. From 1964–1966, he directed parasitic disease programs for the United Nations.

Around the time “Veterinary Medicine and Human Health” was published, Dr. Schwabe became convinced veterinary education was suffering from a lack of vision. In the book, he wrote: “I felt too often then that our traditional, conservative faculties were being dragged kicking-and-screaming into efforts to provide appropriate training for veterinarians in areas other than the most conventional aspects of private practice.

“My interests from then on were in deliberately and expeditiously preparing veterinary graduates not only to participate—but to assume leadership roles with respect to continually changing and often quite different needs for their contributions in different parts of the world. These interests were in trying to better integrate veterinary capabilities with relevant human needs.”

In 1966, Dr. Schwabe joined the faculty at the UC-Davis veterinary school. There, he established the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, now the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, which he chaired, and served as a professor of epidemiology at the university's veterinary and medical schools. Notably, UC-Davis awarded the world's first doctorate in veterinary epidemiology to Dr. Peter Schantz in 1969.

Additionally, Dr. Schwabe instituted a master's program in preventive veterinary medicine that teaches the principles and strategies of mass disease control and prevention in animals.

“(The MPVM) is globally unique and has contributed to many leaders in veterinary medicine and public health, both nationally and internationally,” observed Dr. Mo Salman, professor of veterinary epidemiology at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Hardly anyone working today in the field of veterinary epidemiology has not been influenced by Dr. Schwabe. Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou became acquainted with him while pursuing a master's in veterinary public health and doctorates at UC-Davis. She remembers Dr. Schwabe as a “masterful storyteller” who understood how veterinary medicine had improved human life throughout history.

“He saw that it was human health and well-being that was the unifying theme and cause of veterinary medicine, and his lectures and stories conveyed this in ways that no one else has repeated,” said Dr. Pappaioanou, who went on to work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in academia, and for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

“Coming out of his lectures, you really believed that you could change the world in important ways,” she added.

One Health

Dr. Schwabe was a prolific writer and authored several books on veterinary medicine as well as “Unmentionable Cuisine,” his treatise on food prejudices that described foods ranging from bugs to turkey testicles. Yet, he considered “Veterinary Medicine and Human Health” to be his most important work. The book, which went through three editions, was Dr. Schwabe's attempt to synthesize diverse relationships between human and animal species within a context of veterinary activities promoting human health.

His view of veterinary medicine was expansive, and he railed against the mindset that limited veterinarians to animal life and well-being. According to Dr. Schwabe, early veterinary medicine was almost inseparable from human medicine.

“Traditional veterinary medicine,” he said, “is concerned in varying degrees with problems in agriculture, biology, and public health. These have been the three natural avenues of development for veterinary medicine. Until recent years, however, progress in extension of organized veterinary interests in public health has been frustrated by ‘accepted beliefs'—long held in the Western world—on the presumed biological uniqueness of man. These erroneous notions have thwarted a general appreciation of veterinary contributions to the development of a science of general medicine.”

Dr. Bruce Kaplan considers Dr. Schwabe a “giant” within the One-Health movement and describes “Veterinary Medicine and Human Health” as an essential explanation for incorporating veterinarians into interdisciplinary collaborations concerning public health. “That was true then and certainly critical in today's world of emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases worldwide,” said Dr. Kaplan, a one-health leader and primary contents editor for the One Health Initiative website.

“Legends in U.S. veterinary medicine”

In honor of the AVMA's 150th anniversary this year, JAVMA News is profiling 12 individuals who have made substantial contributions to the American veterinary profession.

Dr. Schwabe died June 24, 2006, at his home in Haverford, Pa., from complications of post-polio syndrome. He was 79. In recognition of Dr. Schwabe's contributions to biology and medicine, his papers and memoirs are housed at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md.

On the email discussion list ProMED, Dr. Peter Cowen, an associate professor of epidemiology, public health, and population medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, wrote the following eulogy: “Cal Schwabe was a great thinker. In addition to the gift of having extraordinary vision about his subjects, he mastered the art of thinking deeply about things. Cal devoted much of his effort to thinking about how veterinary medicine could serve society. He also examined the interface between veterinary medicine and other disciplines. His unique gift was the ability to articulate interrelationships, analogies, historical influences and potential avenues for development into a unified picture so elegant, so full of opportunity, so demanding of the best in people and the profession, that it could hardly fail to inspire.

“Cal Schwabe will be missed. His productivity, his acute evaluation and synthesis of so many topics, and his ability to spot trends and inspire must be replaced. With Cal's passing, the question of what should a veterinarian do needs new recruits to answer it.”

Practice: Viral disease affects U.S. pigs

Porcine epidemic diarrhea found in at least 11 states

By Greg Cima


The pig with the mark on its back contracted porcine epidemic diarrhea. The disease was detected in the U.S. for the first time in April, and this photo was taken in May in south-central Minnesota. Courtesy of Dr. Matthew A. Ackerman

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

A virus deadly to swine and previously not present in the United States has been discovered in at least 11 states.

In April and May, the coronavirus that causes porcine epidemic diarrhea was found on 103 farms in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, according to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. Officials with the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed in May that the disease had been found in the U.S. but said the agency did not have a complete account of where the virus was found, since it was not receiving test samples submitted in all states.

The disease affects only pigs.

Dr. Rodney “Butch” Baker, director of Iowa State University's Iowa Pork Industry Center and senior clinician for veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at ISU, said the disease is the most devastating to piglets, and an outbreak can kill nearly all newborns in a herd. Clinical signs of infection are similar to those of transmissible gastroenteritis, a disease more familiar on U.S. farms.

Dr. Joseph F. Connor, who delivered an educational lecture on the virus in May for the AASV, said that containing the virus involves managing risks in transportation, carcass removal, biosecurity for workers, and isolation and quarantine of incoming animals.

“Because it's a viral infection, there is no direct treatment, and our efforts need to be toward elimination,” he said.

An AASV report indicates veterinarians can provide supportive care to maintain hydration among pigs infected with the new virus. The virus also is susceptible to common disinfectants, and sanitation and drying of pig trailers is effective in controlling the virus if the trailers are allowed to dry for three days.

ISU information recommends giving pigs a clean, dry, draft-free environment as well as clean water. The AASV and National Pork Board also are providing information at www.aasv.org and www.pork.org.

Presence in and beyond U.S.

Dr. Baker said eradicating the PED virus in the U.S. likely would be difficult, because it quickly spread and became entrenched in U.S. herds. Eradication also is less urgent for the pork industry, because the virus does not cause an internationally reportable disease, which could affect trade.

“I think it's just going to be a production disease that we're going to have to learn how to deal with and live with,” Dr. Baker said.

Smaller farms that do not regularly work with veterinarians and lack good biosecurity systems likely will struggle most with the disease, he said.

AASV information indicates PED was first identified in 1971 in Great Britain, and it became endemic in Asia in 1982. It also was reported in Canada in 1981 but has not been found since.

Information from ISU's veterinary diagnostic laboratory indicates the virus remains endemic in Asia, which is connected with sporadic outbreaks in Europe. For example, Italy had an epidemic involving the virus in 2005 and 2006, and the virus is a major challenge in China, the ISU information states.

The virus spreads through feces and typically has a two-to four-day incubation period, AASV information states. Immunity develops in two to three weeks, at which time colostrum can protect neonatal pigs.

Dr. Baker said farms that expose all sows to the virus can see clinical signs of the disease disappear within six weeks. The same techniques that work in controlling and eliminating TGE should work for PED, he said.

On breed-to-wean farms, elimination starts with exposing the sow herd and three months of replacement gilts to the virus, Dr. Connor said. Those animals will develop immunity, and, after 60 days, farms can use naive pigs—typically gilts—as sentinels to find out whether shedding has stopped.

On wean-to-finish farms, the virus can be eliminated by emptying, cleaning, and disinfecting affected facilities and waiting until they dry before new animals enter, he said.

On affected farms, the disease is costly; the virus typically kills 90 percent or more of suckling pigs that are less than three weeks old, he said. Within two weeks after the initial outbreak, the mortality rate tends to drop below 50 percent for suckling pigs.

Dr. Connor said he hopes that, if herd owners and the swine industry can contain the virus, it will not become a long-term production cost.

Dr. Richard Hesse, a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University, noted that no vaccines are available to protect against the easily transmissible virus. He expects the disease will cause economic damage in the U.S.

“Our national herd is wide open to this agent,” he said. “There's no herd immunity at all.”

Discovery of the virus

Dr. Baker said the PED virus was discovered after samples from animals sickened in TGE-like outbreaks during April were found to be negative for the TGE virus.

ISU's index case samples arrived in the veterinary diagnostic laboratory in late April from a large sow farm with excellent biosecurity, Dr. Baker said. Gene sequencing revealed that the then-unknown coronavirus was virtually identical to a PED virus sequenced in China during 2012, he said.

The AASV reported on May 29 that those viruses were 99.4 percent homologous.

Dr. Baker said the source of the infections in the U.S. is unknown and the subject of speculation, but he noted that the spread through farms that have no business connection indicates to him the virus may have been spread through product contamination.

“It looks like it's moved around the industry pretty quickly,” he said.

Modern biosecurity should be able to reliably exclude the disease from farms free of the virus, he said. In May, the pork industry had become more guarded, forcing Dr. Baker and colleagues at ISU and the National Animal Disease Center to suspend an influenza research project, as many pig farms involved in the study stopped accepting visitors.

Dr. Baker said the same security gap that let the virus enter the country could let other, more devastating animal diseases enter the country.

“It appears that our national biosecurity system failed us somehow,” Dr. Baker said. “Maybe it was a visitor, maybe it's a product that came in from China; I don't have any idea.

“But there's a door open somewhere that allowed this to come in.”

Limited availability expected for horse joint drug

A drug used to treat joint dysfunction and lameness in horses is expected to be in short supply or unavailable during factory renovations.

Luitpold Pharmaceuticals announced in May that the renovations at the company's Shirley, N.Y., factory would affect production of Adequan i.m., the company's polysulfated glycosaminoglycan solution. The company announced that the drug could be out of stock for a brief period, and Luitpold expects to resume shipping its 5-mL single-dose ampules in July and its 50-mL multidose vials in August.

The drug is used to treat noninfectious degenerative joint dysfunction and traumatic joint dysfunction in horses, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Practice: Banfield: Spaying, neutering correlate with longer lives

Banfield Pet Hospital's State of Pet Health 2013 Report has revealed a correlation between spaying and neutering of pet dogs and cats and the pets' life span.

The report, which came out in May, draws on records of nearly 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats that were patients in 2012 at Banfield's more than 800 hospitals in 43 states.

“The 2013 report features an exclusive look at the life span of both dogs and cats and provides additional insight into the overall health of our pet population,” said Dr. Sandi Lefebvre, veterinary research associate at Banfield. “Although considerable differences in life span were highlighted in comparisons of pets by year, sex, reproductive status, breed size, and state of residence, the factors underlying these differences remain to be identified.”

Pets are living longer, according to the report. The mean life span of a cat in 2012 was 12 years, an increase of 10 percent since 2002. The mean life span of a dog in 2012 was 11 years, a 4 percent increase since 2002.

Neutered male cats live a mean of 62 percent longer than unneutered male cats, and spayed female cats live a mean of 39 percent longer than unspayed female cats, the report said. Neutered male dogs live a mean of 18 percent longer than unneutered male dogs, and spayed female dogs live a mean of 23 percent longer than unspayed female dogs.


Julius Caesar is one of Banfield's oldest patients. The 18-year-old Yorkshire Terrier lives in Rapid City, S.D. Photo by Johnny Sundby/InVision for Banfield Pet Hospital

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

Two of the five states with the shortest life span for dogs have the highest percentages of unneutered and unspayed dogs, Mississippi at 44 percent and Louisiana at 38 percent.

Dr. Lefebvre said the Banfield research team is investigating factors that might influence life span in dogs and cats. Banfield plans to share the results in early 2014.

“As a practice, Banfield is a believer that regular preventive care is essential to helping pets live happier, healthier, and longer lives,” said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, Banfield senior vice president and chief medical officer. “The key to successful early disease diagnosis involves a partnership between pet owners and their veterinarian to identify changes in a pet's overall health and behavior. Together, we hope to protect pets from preventable diseases, help detect and manage chronic conditions, and work to ensure that all pets are as healthy as possible for as long as possible.”

The State of Pet Health 2013 Report is available at www.stateofpethealth.com. The website features an interactive map providing information about pet health nationally and by state.

UGA research finds sterilized dogs live longer

Spaying and neutering of dogs is associated with an increase in life span and alters the risk of specific causes of death, according to a study published April 17 in the online journal PLOS ONE.

Researchers with the University of Georgia looked at a sample of more than 40,000 dogs that died in veterinary teaching hospitals from 1984–2004. The mean age at death for sexually intact dogs was 7.9 years, versus 9.4 years for sterilized dogs.

Dogs with functional reproduction systems were more likely to die of infectious disease or from trauma. Those that had undergone a gonadectomy were more likely to die from cancer or autoimmune disease.

“The overall average life span is likely shorter than what we would observe in private practice, because these were dogs seen at teaching hospitals, but the difference in life span between sterilized and intact is real,” said Dr. Kate Creevy, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine and co-author of the study. “The proportionate effects on causes of death are translatable to the global dog population, and it will be interesting to see if explanations for these effects can be found in future studies.”

The study, “Reproductive Capability Is Associated with Lifespan and Cause of Death in Companion Dogs,” is available at www.plosone.org by searching for “Reproductive capability.”

Small changes are helping to meet travel rules

By Greg Cima

Dr. Dave Sjeklocha's business has made small changes in how it ships dairy bull calves in response to new livestock identification rules.

Some colleagues who work with beef cattle have been “blissfully unaware” of the requirements, he said.

Since March 11, the Department of Agriculture has required identification and health documentation for most livestock that cross state lines, which is having more impact on movement of cattle than on other livestock. The requirements are intended to help trace the origins and movements of animals during a disease outbreak.

Dr. Sjeklocha, immediate past president of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and operations manager of animal health and welfare for Cattle Empire, a cattle feeding business, said his company already had been verifying the sources and ages of the calves it bought in Colorado and shipped to Kansas. The most substantial change made by his company entailed using a different type of ear tags.

The federal rules include some exemptions. For example, beef cattle younger than 18 months do not need to be identified unless they will be used in events such as exhibitions or rodeos, and neither do cattle that temporarily cross state lines for grazing.

Dr. John R. Clifford, deputy administrator and chief veterinary officer for the Veterinary Services division of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said in May that the identification would provide a good foundation for tracing the origins and movements of animals during a disease outbreak.

“Is it going to be fast enough for certain diseases that can spread very rapidly, within a matter of days? It's not there yet, but, because of the bookend approach, it will definitely benefit us in our ability to trace animals,” Dr. Clifford said.

That bookend approach involves using unique numbers to show where an animal was first officially identified, such as a birth farm or ranch, and where it was slaughtered. Travel documentation will show movement between states.

Dr. William L. Brown, Kansas animal health commissioner, said three years of preparation and livestock owner education by his state's animal disease traceability working group helped ensure a smooth transition.

“Kansas is a net importer of cattle, and so that places us at a disease risk,” he said.

State officials in Kansas also have worked to minimize the cost of animal identification, and that has included distributing official USDA identification tags and allowing use of alternatives such as vaccination tags, Dr. Brown said.

Dr. Clifford said APHIS has been promoting use of the official USDA ear tags, helping create tagging sites at livestock markets, working with states on travel documents they could use as alternatives to the USDA's Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, and ensuring the identification requirements do not impede commerce.

Dr. Jim Logan, Wyoming's state veterinarian, said his state's agriculture department also has helped educate livestock owners and veterinarians, who have adapted fairly well. The state's livestock owners already had to maintain official identification on cows more than 1 year old as well as on any sexually intact cows living in the state's brucellosis surveillance area near Yellowstone National Park.

Some livestock market employees have had to spend more time to make sure cattle are adequately identified, but the burden of recording identification numbers on travel documents could be reduced through use of electronic tracking and health certification, Dr. Logan said.

“Maybe the biggest complication is that people are reading more into things than what is really there,” he said. “I think it's really a fairly simple rule if people don't make more of it than what it is.”

Dr. Tony Forshey, Ohio's state veterinarian, said he does not know of a state veterinarian who opposes the regulations. While he expects those who raise livestock ultimately will pay the added costs of identification, he expects it will help in an emergency.

“Everybody understands it, and everybody agrees with it—that it needs to happen—but nobody wants the expense and labor of doing it,” he said. “It's just one of those changes that have come about as a result of disease outbreaks.”

Ohio has spent millions of dollars on investigations following disease outbreaks, Dr. Forshey said. When the time taken for investigations and disease testing rise, so do the cost and risk that the disease will spread further, he said.

Dr. Sjeklocha expects some continued apprehension among farmers and ranchers over how deeply the federal government wants to become involved in their businesses.

“But I think, in the long run, we will benefit from animal disease traceability,” he said.

Issues: Study examines pet retention following adoption

More than one in 10 animals adopted from shelters are no longer in their adoptive homes six months later, according to a report that the American Humane Association released in May.

The AHA, with funding from PetSmart Charities, surveyed 572 people who had adopted dogs and cats six months earlier from six shelters in three cities—Charlotte, N.C.; Denver; and Fort Worth, Texas. The research is the second phase of a three-phase study on the problem of homeless pets.

“This study explores three of the greatest issues facing dogs and cats today: the lack of willing adopters, the reasons so many pets are leaving their homes, and the pressing need to create strategies to help Americans retain their new family members,” said Dr. Patricia Olson, AHA chief veterinary adviser.

The new survey revealed that, of pets no longer in adoptive homes six months later, about 42 percent were returned to the shelters of acquisition. Thirty percent were given to another person. Other outcomes included the pet being lost or dying.

Retained pets were more likely than nonretained pets to have had a veterinary visit.

“Although these data suggest a beneficial effect associated with visiting the veterinarian (i.e., animals who went to the veterinarian were more likely to be retained), we should be cautious,” according to the report on the survey. “It is difficult to discern from these data whether there was some beneficial impact associated with veterinary visits or if, in fact, some owners chose not to visit a veterinarian until they were sure they would keep the pet.”

The offer of a free examination did not increase the likelihood that a pet would have a veterinary visit.

Owners who sought advice about the pet from family or friends or from a veterinarian following adoption were more likely to retain the pet than those who sought no advice. Owners who sought advice from shelter personnel were less likely to retain the pet.

According to the report: “One possible explanation for the phenomenon is that owners will seek counsel from different sources depending upon the degree of difficulty they are having, and owners having more problems with their pets may be more likely to seek help from the adoptive shelter or as a last resort prior to returning the animal to the originating shelter.”

The survey found no difference in pet retention between those owners who had done “much research” on a pet before adoption and got what they wanted and those owners who made a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Pet retention was less likely among owners who “always” had concerns about cost, time commitment, human or animal health issues, or behavioral issues. Issues associated with less retention of pets were unfriendly behavior toward humans, destructive behavior, disobedient behavior, house soiling, overt attention-seeking behavior, barking, or hyperactivity.

The retention rate in the survey actually might represent a “best-case scenario,” according to the report, “especially if nonparticipants and non-respondents are less likely to retain their pets than those who volunteered information.”

Researchers at the AHA will use these data from the first two phases of the study to design intervention strategies for new and prospective adopters, for implementation in the study's third phase.

“We are dedicated to finding new ways to help more Americans adopt pets and have these family members stay in their new homes forever,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, AHA president and chief executive officer. “Phase I and II of this critical study have provided us with key data about the problems, as well as hints to where solutions may lie.”

The results of the second phase of the study are available at www.americanhumane.org/petsmart.

Pandemic H1N1 influenza virus discovered in elephant seals

The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus that killed thousands of people worldwide was isolated in free-ranging northern elephant seals off the California coast a year after the pandemic began, according to a University of California-Davis study published May 15 in the online journal PLOS ONE.

It is the first report of the H1N1 viral strain in any marine mammal.

“We thought we might find influenza viruses, which have been found before in marine mammals, but we did not expect to find pandemic H1N1,” said Dr. Tracey Goldstein, lead study author and an associate professor with the UC-Davis One Health Institute and Wildlife Health Center. “This shows influenza viruses can move among species.”

UC-Davis researchers have been studying influenza viruses in wild birds and mammals since 2007 as part of the Centers of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance program funded by the National Institutes of Health. The goal of this research is to understand how viruses emerge and move among animals and people.

Between 2009 and 2011, the team of scientists tested nasal swabs from more than 900 marine mammals from 10 species off the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. They detected infection with the H1N1 influenza virus in two northern elephant seals and antibodies against the virus in an additional 28 elephant seals, indicating more widespread exposure.

Neither infected seal appeared to be ill, indicating marine mammals may be infected without showing clinical signs of illness. “Importantly, this work highlights that marine mammals may be infected with zoonotic pathogens and not show clinical signs of illness, thus being asymptomatic carriers,” the study states.

The findings are particularly pertinent to people who handle marine mammals, such as veterinarians and animal rescue and rehabilitation workers, Dr. Goldstein said. They are also a reminder of the importance of wearing personal protective gear when working around marine mammals, both to prevent workers' exposure to diseases as well as to prevent the transmission of human diseases to animals.

The H1N1 influenza virus originated in pigs. It emerged in humans in 2009, spreading worldwide as a pandemic. The World Health Organization now considers the H1N1 strain from 2009 to be under control, taking on the behavior of a seasonal virus.

“H1N1 was circulating in humans in 2009,” Dr. Goldstein said. “The seals on land in early 2010 tested negative before they went to sea, but when they returned from sea in spring 2010, they tested positive. So the question is where did it come from?”

When elephant seals are at sea, they spend most of their time foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean off the continental shelf, which makes direct contact with humans unlikely, according to the study.


New research suggests northern elephant seals can be asymptomatic carriers of the H1N1 influenza virus. Photo by Trina Wood

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8

The seals had been satellite tagged and tracked, so researchers knew exactly where they had been and when they arrived on the coast. Infections in both seals were detected within days of their return to land. Researchers believe exposure likely occurred in the seals before they reached land, either while at sea or upon entering the near-shore environment.

Donate books, journals, and supplies

Veterinarians and students in foreign countries can put the unused textbooks, journals, instruments, equipment, and other supplies cluttering up many veterinary clinics in the United States to good use.

The AVMA maintains a list of individuals and organizations that collect contributions for various countries. The list is available by visiting www.avma.org, looking under the “Member Center” tab and clicking on “Member Community & Networking.”

Individuals or organizations that collect contributions may inquire about being added to the list or updating their listings by calling (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6754, or emailing asuresh@avma.org.

Community: Midwestern closer to accreditation

By Malinda Larkin

Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine in Glendale, Ariz., is on the path to becoming accredited by the AVMA Council on Education.

Council members voted during a May 31 conference call to award the institution a letter of reasonable assurance of accreditation after conducting a site visit Jan. 21–23.

Reasonable assurance is not a pre-accreditation action by the AVMA COE. Rather, for a new institution seeking initial accreditation, such a letter indicates there is reasonable assurance of future accreditation if the program is established according to plans presented to the COE and if the institution is able to demonstrate a realistic plan to comply with the standards of accreditation.

Essentially, then, this first step in the AVMA accreditation process puts MWU on target for provisional accreditation with the acceptance of its first class of students in fall 2014 and for full accreditation in 2018 at the time those first students are graduating.

The university has already joined the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges' Veterinary Medical College Application Service to start accepting applications.

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, PhD, Midwestern University president and CEO, said that she was pleased with the COE's decision and the university had worked hard to get to this point.

The more than $144 million veterinary campus will have three buildings in which to practice and teach veterinary medicine. Construction of a 76,000-square-foot classroom building, a 109,000-square-foot veterinary teaching hospital, and a 36,000-square-foot large animal teaching facility is under way. The university is in the process of designing a center for integrative research. It also plans to build more student housing and a parking deck. In all, there will be eight construction projects.

Class size is projected at 100 for Midwestern, and tuition has been reported in the range of $50,000 per year.

“We do have an active financial planning department, and students, as they come in the door, will benefit from the work we already do,” Dr. Goeppinger said.

Midwestern announced this past November that the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education had issued formal approval for the university to open Arizona's first college of veterinary medicine. It was officially established April 24, 2012.

Dr. Brian K. Sidaway was announced as the founding dean in January; MWU is now in the process of recruiting and hiring faculty, who will total 50. In addition to the faculty on-site, the veterinary college will employ a distributive clinical model to supplement on-campus clinical instruction. This includes a large contingent of adjunct faculty who will provide clinical instruction under the supervision of MWU faculty.

The university itself is more than 100 years old and is known for offering 12 health science-related master's and doctoral degree programs. Currently, about 2,500 students attend the Downers Grove, Ill., campus and another 2,600 the Arizona campus. The private, not-for-profit college was founded in 1900 in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago and moved to Downers Grove in 1986. The Glendale campus opened in 1996; both locations have expanded at a fast clip. The university opened a clinical psychology program in 2010 at the Arizona campus followed by a dental program in 2011, and a speech-language pathology program is anticipated this fall at the Illinois campus.

When asked why the university was opening a veterinary college, given the current excess capacity in the veterinary workforce, Dr. Goeppinger responded that the university can't predict who will be in the profession and when.

“I don't know what the future is going to bring, like when people will start retiring. We know we have a great deal of interest to encourage students in large animal medicine, and we will continue planning that we'll build a quality school,” Dr. Goeppinger said.

Asked to elaborate on providing incentives for students to pursue large animal medicine, she said it was too early to talk about incentives from the state or university, and that university administrators would have a better understanding when they have a handle on the applicant pool and direction of the veterinary college.

“We plan on moving ahead with a quality program that will make the profession proud,” Dr. Goeppinger said.


The Glendale, Ariz., campus of Midwestern University is home to the institution's new College of Veterinary Medicine, which received a letter of reasonable assurance of accreditation recently from the AVMA Council on Education. Courtesy of Midwestern University

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243, 1; 10.2460/javma.243.1.8


AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

Anthony W.P. Basher

Dr. Basher (LON '81), 54, Tucson, Ariz., died Nov. 9, 2012. Following graduation from the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London in 1981, he worked at the college; practiced small animal medicine in Calgary, Alberta; and was a professor and clinician at the Atlantic Veterinary College on Prince Edward Island in Canada. In 1996, Dr. Basher joined The Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., where he practiced for 15 years. Most recently, he was working for Eye Care for Animals at clinics in Tucson, Ariz., and in California at Temecula and Santa Monica.

During his career, Dr. Basher consulted for the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego and worked with rescue groups in that city. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, he was a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Canadian VMA, and San Diego County VMA. Dr. Basher's former wife, Dr. Kim Basher (PEI '97), is a small animal veterinarian in Boulder, Colo. Memorials may be made to the Coral Reef Alliance, Coral Membership, 351 California St., Suite 650, San Francisco, CA 94104, www.coral.org; or Snow Leopard Trust, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Suite 325, Seattle, WA 98103, www.snowleopard.org

Mark A. Cunningham

Dr. Cunningham (PUR '82), 56, Lebanon, Ind., died Jan. 5, 2013. He owned All Animals Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Lebanon, since 1991. Earlier in his career, Dr. Cunningham practiced in Seymour, Ind. He was a member of the Indiana VMA. A past member of the Boone County Health Board, he was active with the 4-H Club. Dr. Cunningham's wife, Beverly; two daughters; and a son survive him. One daughter, Dr. Devin N. Kistler (PUR '11), has practiced at All Animals Veterinary Clinic since 2011. Memorials may be made to the Dr. Mark Cunningham 4-H Memorial Fund, 1300 E. 100 S., Lebanon, IN 46052.

Donald E. DeTray

Dr. DeTray (OSU '40), 95, Hilo, Hawaii, died April 5, 2013. He retired in 1973 as regional livestock adviser for the Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources after a 22-year involvement with efforts to eradicate rinderpest. At retirement, Dr. DeTray saw near completion of the 12-year Joint Campaign Against Rinderpest in Africa, a program put together by several countries and the United Nations, in which he played an important role. He began his career in private practice in Ohio with his father, the late Dr. Ervin DeTray. In 1947, Dr. DeTray joined the Department of Agriculture, moving to Mexico soon after to work on foot-and-mouth disease control. He was then stationed in Beltsville, Md., where he conducted research on brucellosis for a few years.

In 1951, Dr. DeTray joined the staff of what was known as the USDA Animal Disease and Parasite Research Division and worked for 10 years at the Kabete and Muguga Veterinary Research laboratories in Kenya, researching rinderpest and African swine fever. He then returned to the United States and served as assistant to the director of the ADPRD, and, in 1963, was named associate director of the division. He returned to Africa in 1966, representing the U.S. Agency for International Development. In his new role, Dr. DeTray assisted with the efforts against rinderpest and ASF and coordinated animal disease programs in several countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia. He also served as a consultant with the USDA during this time.

He retired to Medford, Ore. Dr. DeTray is survived by two sons.

Duane F. Diemer

Dr. Diemer (ISU '56), 80, Britt, Iowa, died April 2, 2013. He owned a mixed animal practice in Britt for almost 50 years. Dr. Diemer served on the Britt School Board and City Council and was a member of the Britt Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club. His wife, Beverly; two sons; and a daughter survive him. One son, Dr. James D. Diemer (ISU '82), is a mixed animal veterinarian in Britt.

Stephen K. Ellis

Dr. Ellis (COR '70), 67, Vassalboro, Maine, died April 10, 2013. From 1980 until retirement in 2009, he worked for the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. During that time, Dr. Ellis was involved with animal disease control in the United States, South America, and western Europe. Toward the end of his career, he led a successful campaign to control infectious salmon anemia in Maine. Prior to joining the USDA, Dr. Ellis practiced small animal medicine in Plattsburgh, N.Y.; served as a partner in a large animal practice in Oakfield, N.Y.; and worked for the Maine Department of Agriculture. An avid orchard grower, he volunteered at the Maine Coastal Botanic Gardens and was active with the Friends of Baxter State Park.

Dr. Ellis is survived by his life partner, Rose Rodrigue; two sons; and a daughter. Memorials may be made to Augusta Nature Education Center, P.O. Box 5335, Augusta, ME 04332; Friends of Baxter State Park, P.O. Box 609, Union, ME 04862; or Maine Appalachian Trail Club, P.O. Box 283, Augusta, ME 04332.

Gregory J. Fleming

Dr. Fleming (PEI '98), 46, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., died March 9, 2013. A diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine, he was a veterinarian with Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla. Dr. Fleming was active with the Turtle Survival Alliance and was a past member of the TSA Steering Committee. He was known for his expertise in turtle breeding, managing one of the few successful breeding groups of Sulawesi Forest Turtles in the United States. Memorials toward a scholarship fund in Dr. Fleming's name may be made c/o Jennifer Robson, P.O. Box 1120, Carstairs, Alberta, Canada TOM ONO.

John D. Goebel

Dr. Goebel (COR '45), 89, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., died Feb. 7, 2013. He practiced mixed animal medicine in New City, N.Y., for almost 50 years, first at County Animal Hospital and later at Goebel Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Goebel was an Army veteran of World War II. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; a daughter; and two sons. Memorials may be made to Another Step Inc., 706 Executive Blvd., Valley Cottage, NY 10989.

Elbert B. Jasper

Dr. Jasper (OSU '49), 89, Berea, Ohio, died March 5, 2013. Prior to retirement in 1971, he worked for the Department of Agriculture in animal inspection and quarantine services. Early in his career, Dr. Jasper did tuberculosis testing in southwest Ohio and served as an assistant veterinarian for the state of Tennessee. He was a member of the Cleveland Zoological Society, Great Lakes Historical Society, and Masonic Lodge. Dr. Jasper served in the Army during World War II. Memorials may be made to Columbia United Methodist Church, 25453 Royalton Road, Columbia Station, OH 44028.

John O. Mason

Dr. Mason (UP '53), 86, Boone, N.C., died April 30, 2013. Prior to retirement in 1988, he owned a mixed animal practice in Norwich, N.Y., for more than 30 years. Dr. Mason was an Army veteran of World War II. His wife, June, and four sons survive him. Memorials may be made to Medi Home Hospice, 136 Furman Road, Suite 2, Boone, NC 28607; or Hospitality House, P.O. Box 309, Boone, NC 28607.

David K. Rice

Dr. Rice (UP '45), 91, Warren, Pa., died Nov. 30, 2012. Prior to retirement in 1992, he owned a practice in Warren, initially focusing on small animal medicine and later working with large animals. Dr. Rice was a past president of the Pennsylvania VMA and served on the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine for six years. He was a veteran of the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of captain.

Active in civic life, Dr. Rice was a past president of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Commissioners and a past chair of the Warren County Board of Commissioners. He served on the Conewango Township and Warren County school boards. Dr. Rice's wife, Alice; three sons; and a daughter survive him. One son, Dr. Robert M. Rice (UP '73), is a veterinarian in Rockville, Md. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Warren County, 2 W. Crescent Park, Warren, PA 16365; Rouse Memorial Fund, 701 Rouse Ave., Youngsville, PA 16371; or Irvine Presbyterian Church, National Forge Road, Irvine, PA 16329.

Susan Saueressig-Riegel

Dr. Saueressig-Riegel (MUN '53), 88, St. Louis, Mo., died Feb. 8, 2013. She moved to the United States in 1955 following her graduation from Ludwig Maximillan University in Munich and joined the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis. During her 55-year career with the HSMO, Dr. Saueressig-Riegel served as chief of veterinary services for 32 years. She wrote the “Ask the Pet Doctor” column for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat from 1979–1985 and campaigned for the need to spay and neuter pets. In 1972, Dr. Saueressig-Riegel was named Woman Veterinarian of the Year by what is now known as the Association for Women Veterinarians Foundation. She was honored as a leader and inducted into the Young Women's Christian Association Metro St. Louis Academy of Leaders in 1983. Dr. Saueressig-Riegel is survived by her husband, Dr. Richard T. Riegel (MO '57), a small animal veterinarian in St. Louis. Memorials toward the Cinderella/Chief Fund may be made to the Humane Society of Missouri, 1201 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110.

James A. Walsdorf

Dr. Walsdorf (KSU '56), 86, New Holstein, Wis., died March 10, 2013. From 1956 until retirement in 1987, he practiced large animal medicine at St. Anna Veterinary Clinic, a practice founded by his father, the late Dr. I.A. Walsdorf in St. Anna, Wis., in 1921. Dr. Walsdorf was a lifetime member of the Wisconsin VMA. Active in civic life, he was a 50-year charter member of the East Shore Lions Club and volunteered with Meals on Wheels. Dr. Walsdorf's wife, Ruth; three daughters; and a son survive him. Memorials toward diabetes research may be made c/o Charmaine Jankowski, Director of Fund Development, St. Nicholas Hospital, 3100 Superior Ave., Sheboygan, WI 53081.

George D. Whitney

Dr. Whitney (AUB '43), 94, Brattleboro, Vt., died Feb. 21, 2013. Following graduation, he co-founded a practice with his father, the late Dr. Leon F. Whitney, in Orange, Conn., where he practiced mostly small animal medicine for 50 years. Dr. Whitney also helped establish the New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Known for his expertise in herpetology, he was a member of the Eastern States Herpetological League and Connecticut Herpetological Society. Dr. Whitney was also a member of the Connecticut VMA, Naugatuck Valley Audobon Society, and Coalition to Abolish the Leghold Trap. He was a past president of the Orange Rotary Club and was active with the Brattleboro Rotary Club. Dr. Whitney's three daughters and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire, P.O. Box 976, White River Junction, VT 05001; or The Brattleboro Historical Society, 230 Main St., #301, Brattleboro, VT 05301.

Claude G. Wilkes

Dr. Wilkes (GA '52), 90, Jefferson, Ga., died Jan. 26, 2013. From 1965 until retirement in 1986, he worked nationwide as a technical field specialist, first with Merck Sharp & Dohme and later with A.H. Robins and Roche. Dr. Wilkes began his career in mixed animal practice in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. After obtaining his Master of Science degree in public health and parasitology at the University of North Carolina in 1960, he took over the operation of the North Carolina state poultry laboratory in Murphy. From 1964–1965, Dr. Wilkes worked at the state of Georgia poultry laboratory in Gainsville, Ga.

A veteran of World War II, he served as a captain in the Army Air Corps. Dr. Wilkes is survived by his wife, Nina Jonette; a daughter; and a son. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

George O. Winegar

Dr. Winegar (MSU '62), 78, Howell, Mich., died April 20, 2013. Following graduation, he joined the Veterinary Services division of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as a veterinary medical officer in south-central Michigan. Dr. Winegar's work at the time focused on the eradication of bovine brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis. From 1967–1973, he served as the USDA representative at Michigan State University, working on a tuberculosis research project. During that time, Dr. Winegar also obtained his master's in microbiology from the university and worked as an epidemiologist and diagnostician during a hog cholera outbreak in Virginia. From 1973–1975, he served with the USDA in Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, in the prevention, control, and eradication of foreign animal diseases.

He then returned to the United States, working with the USDA in Michigan from 1975–1983. In those years, Dr. Winegar directed field operations during a hog cholera outbreak in New England, served as the agency adviser to the Dominican Republic during an outbreak of African swine fever, tested cattle for importation into the United States from Brazil, and traveled to Chile to develop an ASF prevention program and to Argentina to evaluate its foot-and-mouth disease vaccine.

From 1983–1990, Dr. Winegar served as leader of the USDA's export animal staff in Hyattsville, Md., analyzing and negotiating export animal health protocols with other countries. He served as assistant deputy administrator of veterinary services in Washington, D.C., from 1990 until retirement in 1995.

In retirement, Dr. Winegar contracted with the Michigan Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Control Division in epidemiology. He was active with the U.S. Animal Health Association, serving as vice chair of its import-export committee for several years. Dr. Winegar was a past president of the Animal Transport Association and served on the board of directors of the Livestock Exporters Association. He was a member of the Farm Bureau, National Association of Federal Veterinarians, and Livingston County Farm Association. In 2012, he was inducted into the American Veterinary Epidemiological Society. Dr. Winegar was a past president of the Livingston County Genealogical Society and a member of the Howell Masonic Lodge and Farmers Club. He is survived by his wife, Lois; a daughter; and three sons. Memorials in his name may be made to the Fowlerville Alumni Association, 6436 N. Burkhart Road, Howell, MI 48855; or Livingston County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1073, Howell, MI 48844.

William G. Winkler

Dr. Winkler (TEX '61), 81, Stone Mountain, Ga., died March 17, 2013. From 1986 until retirement in 1988, he was deputy director of the Global Intelligence Service Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. During his 25-year tenure with the CDC, Dr. Winkler served as chief of the Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch and was liaison officer for veterinarians. His work focused on rabies epidemiology and ecology and the human rabies vaccination. Dr. Winkler was a past chair of the U.S. Animal Health Association Rabies Committee, an honorary life member of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, and a member of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society. He served as a captain in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service and was a lieutenant in the Air Force. Dr. Winkler received an Outstanding Service Medal from the USPHS, an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, and a World Health Rabies Award. In 1989, he was the recipient of the AVMA Public Service Award in recognition of outstanding achievements in public health and regulatory veterinary medicine. Dr. Winkler is survived by his wife, Elaine, and three sons. One son, Dr. Kevin P. Winkler (GA '89), is a veterinary surgeon in Atlanta.

Obituary notifications

Please report the death of a veterinarian promptly to the JAVMA News staff via a toll-free phone call at (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6754; email at news@avma.org or fax at (847) 925-9329.

For an obituary to be published, JAVMA must be notified within six months of the date of death.

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