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By Malinda Larkin

When the College's curriculum says one thing and the culture says another

Every veterinarian knows there's much more to the job than being able to diagnose, treat, prescribe, and perform surgery. But how do veterinary students learn to be, well, veterinarians? A veterinary college's culture shapes the way students perceive the profession, their colleagues, and themselves as well as how they interact with clients and patients. And sometimes, the informal messages students pick up on don't match the institution's stated goals and teachings. Enter the hidden curriculum, an anomaly that was discussed during multiple presentations at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges' Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, March 10–12 in Washington, D.C.

What it is and why it matters

There's the formal curriculum, with its lecture halls, syllabuses, and grading and evaluation methods. Then, there's the informal curriculum, which takes place outside the classroom among those who are teaching and trainees. In between them lies the hidden curriculum. It is, more or less, the collective messages that students unknowingly pick up from the faculty and administration. Put another way, it is the ideological and subliminal messages of both the formal and informal curricula that influence the culture of an institution (Acad Med 1998;73:403–407). It can take the form of policy development, resource allocation, activities, organizational or power structures, rituals and routines, or institutional slang and nomenclature.

Dr. Liz Mossop, associate professor of veterinary education at the University of Nottingham, has researched the hidden curriculum in veterinary programs, including her own (Med Educ 2013;47:134–143). She has found these programs tend to have a culture that normalizes disease and death, such as by euthanasia, as well as emphasizes competitiveness and hierarchy. Sometimes, a school's hidden curriculum even involves faculty teaching by humiliation.

Dr. Rosanne Taylor, dean of the University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science, says the hidden curriculum is a major contributor to the formation of professional attitudes among veterinary students, particularly during clinical training as they learn the rules of the community of practice they are joining. Often, the hidden curriculum conflicts with what is learned during formal professionalism studies, creating a dilemma for students when the behaviors they see and believe they should emulate are at odds with their understanding of best practices. For example, students may be taught to communicate clearly and empathetically with clients but may see different behavior from clinicians in the teaching hospital.

Dr. Taylor says the hidden curriculum often persists because of a reluctance by faculty, students, or administrators to give explicit, constructive, or timely feedback as well as fear of confrontation, a fear of challenges, or subjectivity.

Dr. Stephen May is deputy principal at the University of London Royal Veterinary College and co-author of a paper on the hidden curriculum, to be published this summer in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. At the AAVMC meeting, he asked the question: “Are we forgiving professional shortcomings in our role models because they are technically competent and bring in lots of money—even if they're awful to interact with, and that's not great for our students to be exposed to? What are we willing to do to develop a culture we want to be proud of?”


During the AAVMC meeting, Dr. May detailed efforts at the RVC to study its own hidden curriculum. He and fellow faculty member Dr. Carrie A. Roder interviewed, observed, and surveyed students to get a better understanding of its effects on students' concept of professionalism as they completed their final year in clinical rotations.

When it comes to the way students are assessed, the investigators found that the faculty approach to grading of rotations threatened learning, as it made students afraid of the consequences of asking questions. Plus, the instructors' lack of meaningful assessment and feedback gave students an excuse to dismiss any poor grades they received in professionalism.

Drs. May and Roder also found that when they looked at clinical service organization, the emphasis on specialists left students thinking they must specialize to be a “good” veterinarian. However, with the exception of primary care weeks, students viewed clinical rotations as unrepresentative of their career destinations. In addition, constant exposure to the treatment of patients in university teaching hospitals left students unsure of how to handle a case in “first opinion practice” as a patient's primary veterinarian.


Dr. Janet Donlin (left), AVMA CEO, talks with Dr. Eleanor Green, immediate past president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and Dr. Jim Lloyd, dean of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, during the AAVMC Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, March 10–12 in Washington, D.C.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

As for role modeling and their rotation group, students recognized that they picked up ideas about appropriate professional conduct from clinicians through “silent teaching,” and students who wanted to do general practice often couldn't find role models among faculty.

Finally, the investigators had students rank the importance of certain aspects of professionalism. Some attributes valued highly in the first year, such as social justice and altruism, were ranked low by the fourth year and replaced by professional autonomy and professional dominance, which both ranked highest.

Dr. May summarized implications of the research in the following ways:

  • Professionalism needs to be made more explicit to promote recognition and understanding of the value of diversity and various interpretations.

  • Assessment and feedback must be meaningful and two-way to be taken seriously and benefit student development.

  • Faculty and students must come to terms with their own interpretations of professionalism and the implications for their professional identity.

  • All need to recognize the complexity of professionalism in the context of modern veterinary practice so that graduates are well-equipped to avoid identity dissonance, which can impact early veterinary careers.

“The hidden curriculum is not uniform across schools. We have areas that seem to work well for students and other areas that, sadly, don't,” Dr. May said. “We've experienced painful lessons looking inward, but all of us must ask the question, ‘How do these messages and principles apply to us? Is everything mutually reinforcing, or are there conflicting messages?”'

Diversity and wellness

The hidden curriculum's impact on subconscious learning goes well beyond professionalism. Dr. Taylor says the literature shows that the hidden curriculum causes a decrease in empathy (Med Educ 2004;38:934–941) and animal welfare commitment among veterinary students. Research has also shown the hidden curriculum can cause an increase in acceptance of unethical behaviors (Acad Med 1998;73:1195–1200) as well as tolerance of harassment, bullying, and discrimination (Acad Med 2006;81:648–654).

That's backed up by a 2011 study that assessed campus climate with respect to diversity at each U.S. veterinary college (J Vet Med Educ 2014;41:111–121). It suggested that the overall climate in relation to diversity is positive and supportive. But digging deeper, the survey also revealed that veterinary students within minority groups express feelings of discrimination and lower acceptance. These groups include minorities underrepresented in veterinary medicine and LGBT populations.


Dr. Stephen May, deputy principal at the University of London Royal Veterinary College, co-authored a paper on the hidden curriculum, to be published this summer in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. He discussed the study's results during the 2017 AAVMC conference.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

The survey found nearly one-third of racially or ethnically URVM students reported hearing comments they perceived as racist from their student colleagues occasionally to very frequently. Over 20 percent of LGBT students reported hearing comments they considered homophobic from students occasionally to very frequently.

The survey also revealed that veterinary students were more likely to experience negative diversity-related experiences at the hands of their student peers than from any other group on campus. The second-highest incidences of comments considered sexist came from faculty. Just over 21 percent of female students and 23 percent of transgender students said that they heard faculty making sexist comments occasionally to very frequently.

Mike Dibler, a fourth-year student at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, said he felt the influence of the institution's hidden curriculum even before he was a student. During a panel discussion on diversity, he had asked admissions staff whether he should include mention in his personal essay that he is a transgender man. He was told not to because it wouldn't be received well.

“I said, ‘The climate sounds like, to me, that I shouldn't be out,”’ Dibler said, so he stayed closeted until this past year. By then, he said, the veterinary college's climate had changed enough, thanks in part to Dr. Jim Lloyd, who came on as dean the same year Dibler began his studies. Florida has since established a diversity committee as well as diversity training for administration and staff. The veterinary college is also working with the Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association and the Lesbian and Gay VMA to establish best practices in creating a more inclusive climate.


This year marked the 21st Iverson Bell Symposium—the oldest and largest diversity-themed event in the profession. Presenters touched on the importance of cultural competency and facilitating a positive workplace climate, among other topics.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

The impact of the hidden curriculum on students' well-being is evident. The Student AVMA Mental Health & Wellness Task Force (now a standing committee) sent a survey in 2015 to SAVMA's nearly 14,000 members to gauge their mental health. Of the 3,888 who responded, 67 percent had experienced a period of depression, and of those, 37 percent said the period lasted longer than two weeks, which meets the definition of clinical depression. Further, the rates of depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideation went up during students' clinical year. In addition, the survey found a strong correlation between students feeling that professors care about them and how comfortable students felt seeking help.

All but six veterinary schools do not have in-house counseling services specifically for veterinary students. Even if institutions were to hire a counselor or create extracurricular programs to encourage wellness, that wouldn't change the veterinary college's culture. Teresa A. Johnson, PhD, coordinator for assessment and curriculum design at The Ohio State University, pointed out during the 2014 AAVMC Health and Wellness Summit: “These counselors feel like they keep putting goldfish back in dirty water. You can't just take out a teaspoon, you have to change most of the water, and I think it's pretty clear we have some polluted water in our curricular situations.”

She said veterinary colleges should focus on creating a supportive learning environment that is interactive, lowers competition, and fosters mutual respect. This can be achieved by normalizing help-seeking from students, providing greater social support, partnering with other campus mental health resources, and creating professional development for faculty (see JAVMA, Dec. 15, 2014, page 1321).

What veterinary colleges can do

Influencing the hidden curriculum, the presenters said, requires the leadership and administration to set clear expectations, emphasize faculty development and training, acknowledge and explore the hidden curriculum, measure the culture, encourage student reflection and debriefing, mentor, and demonstrate culture by example through altruism, diversity, and service.

Dr. Kenita Rogers, executive associate dean at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, pointed out that, above all, veterinary colleges have to be deliberate in the messages they send to students and be able to back them up with their actions.

“In the case of diversity, that can mean anything from material support given to student groups, such as VOICE or Broad Spectrum, to holistic admissions practices, to mentorship provided by faculty, to inclusive language in the institution's publications,” Dr. Rogers said. “Websites and publications can represent the values and the cultural climate of a program, and veterinary colleges should pay close attention to using inclusive language that truly represents their mission and goals. It helps tremendously if college deans have a deep-seated belief in doing the right thing and provide overt leadership in this area.”

In addition, equipping faculty and staff with the important fundamental skill sets needed to promote and support a positive workplace climate has become part of the strategic diversity plan for the college. To help achieve that, TAMU offers a 40-hour conflict-management mediation course to faculty and staff, particularly those in positions of leadership. To date, 93 individuals have participated, and by May, 113 will be certified.

“To quote my colleague Dr. Nancy Watson, ‘Conflict just is'. There will be conflict every day. Forty to 60 percent of interactions in higher administration revolve around dealing with conflict,” Dr. Rogers said. “Conflict is not good or bad, but how we deal with it can be positive or negative. If I think and respond positively, then I will probably be successful because I can diffuse the situation and make a better environment for open, engaged dialogue. The consequences for not managing conflict are huge. Yes, conflict takes time and energy, but far less so if managed well.”

Some veterinary faculty have also taken to heart the modeling of how veterinary students should take care of themselves.

Dr. Arleigh J. Reynolds, associate dean of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, noticed how worn out students in the inaugural class had become since they had started in August 2015. All of them said they didn't have enough time to sleep. In fact, some students were averaging only 2 1/2 hours of sleep each night. The following spring, he started a well-being course that involved nine discussion-based sessions and three activities. He taught the students how to prepare meals and eat healthy, cross-country ski and run a dog team, value sleep and balance school and relationships, and manage conflict. Everyone got activity trackers to track heart rate, sleep, and activity.

The classes on eating and sleeping well particularly resonated with students as did the activity classes. Students went from averaging just under six hours of sleep to more than eight hours. Plus, all the student participants were taking more than 10,000 steps a day compared with hardly any before.

“My argument is you'll do everything better if you take time out to exercise 30 minutes a day. You can't say you don't have time,” Dr. Reynolds said. “The habits you set up in school are the habits you default to the rest of your life. Look at the profession, how we're struggling with burnout and substance abuse. We have to treat the cause of those, not the symptoms. The cause comes down to treating yourself, and there needs to be a paradigm shift. We need to lead by example.”

After listening to students' feedback, Dr. Reynolds also had the school's schedule rearranged so that students now get 20 minutes between classes instead of 10.

“That has helped their attitude tremendously. At the end of day, they have more energy and aren't as tired, and it's just a little shift,” he said.

Dr. Taylor says the hidden curriculum is transmitted as much by example as anything else, and sometimes it's at odds with what veterinary colleges are espousing. But she emphasizes the old maxim: Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

The three curricula

Formal: The actual course of study (teaching, evaluation methods, and syllabuses) and educational setting (lecture halls and laboratories).

Informal: Occurs in clinical settings and is opportunistic, idiosyncratic, and often unplanned. Instruction takes place among those who are teaching and trainees.

Hidden: Ideological and subliminal messages of both the formal and informal curricula. Examples are policy development, evaluation, resource allocation, and institutional slang or nomenclature.

Michael Bailey elected to AVMA Board Will succeed Mark Helfat as District II representative this July


Dr. Michael Bailey

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

Dr. Michael Bailey, a veterinary radiologist and AVMA House of Delegates member, has been elected District II representative on the AVMA Board of Directors, the Association announced April 1.

He and Dr. Robert Thompson Jr. of Delaware were both candidates to replace the current Board chair, Dr. Mark Helfat, when he completes his six-year term this July as liaison for the largest of the 11 AVMA Board districts in terms of membership.

AVMA members in District II, comprising Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, voted throughout March to elect their new Board representative. He is the first black veterinarian to serve as a district representative on the Board.

Dr. Bailey has served as Pennsylvania's alternate delegate in the HOD since 2016 and is immediate past president of the Pennsylvania VMA. He has also been on the PVMA executive committee and board of trustees for eight years.

Board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology, he works as a radiologist and project manager for Idexx and lives in suburban Pittsburgh. After graduating from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982, Dr. Bailey spent time on the faculties at Michigan State, The Ohio State, and Tuskegee universities. At Tuskegee, he was also director of the veterinary teaching hospital and head of diagnostic imaging.

From 2003–2004, Dr. Bailey was an AVMA Congressional Science Fellow in Washington, D.C. Afterward, he worked in private practice and guided imaging quality and safety improvement efforts at a large corporate practice until 2016, when he joined Idexx.

Dr. Bailey says he offers a wealth of experience and knowledge in leadership and in national and global exchanges on academic and professional education with colleagues in Asia, Europe, Mexico, and Australia.

“District II and the (AVMA have) much to gain from strong representation from an individual who understands and highlights the wide-ranging, emerging opportunities, the diversity, and trends that exist for the veterinary profession in District II and nationally, while also understanding the impact of these opportunities on the local, national, as well as the international stage, always using the concept of one health as the driving principle,” Dr. Bailey said.

Earlier this year, Dr. Ronald Gill of West Salem, Illinois, was declared elected to the Board representing District VI (see JAVMA, March 1, 2017, page 492).


The Student AVMA House of Delegates meeting at Texas A&M University set the stage for the upcoming SAVMA name change and merger with the student chapters of the AVMA.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

Student leadership, innovation on display at symposium More than 1,000 attend event at Texas A&M

By Malinda Larkin

The 48th annual Student AVMA Symposium, held March 16–18 at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, was a showcase for not only the next generation of veterinary leaders but also the veterinary college's brand-new campus.

The 1,042 student attendees went to educational sessions in the Veterinary and Biomedical Education Complex, which opened this past August. They also enjoyed “Experience Texas Night” at the new Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ‘56 Equine Complex—complete with barbecue, a mechanical bull, and roping lessons. To finish it off, the closing gala took place in the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field, the fifth-largest nonracing stadium in the world.

“Everything really is bigger in Texas,” said Lauren Thompson, fundraising chair for the symposium, in a veterinary college press release. “I know that's so cliché, but … since it's actually going to be at our school—which is completely different from symposia in the past that are normally held at convention centers—people will actually get to experience what it's like to be a student here.”

Speakers and SAVMies

The three-day program consisted of interactive wet labs, lectures, academic and athletic competitions, an exhibit hall, and the SAVMA House of Delegates biannual meeting.

Lecture tracks focused on diversity and inclusion, fostering wellness, exotics and wildlife, small animals, equids, large animals, and professional development. Members of the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division partnered with the VIN Foundation to provide an overview of the economic conditions students will face after graduating and offered strategies to increase income and better manage expenses.

The AVMA's CEO, Dr. Janet Donlin, attended the event along with nine members of the AVMA Board of Directors, including Dr. Tom Meyer, AVMA president, who gave remarks during the closing gala. Dr. Elliott Garber then delivered the keynote address. He is an Army veterinarian known for his podcasts. His blog, The Uncommon Veterinarian, details myriad opportunities available to members of the profession.

In other symposium news, the University of Glasgow in Scotland was one of the inaugural winners of the SAVMies for having in 2016 the most improved percentage of students who were members.

The AVMA Student Initiatives Team created the SAVMies in lieu of the traditional awards to chapters for membership. Dr. Anna Reddish, an AVMA assistant director for student initiatives, explained that the team decided to revamp these awards with a fun new twist. Glasgow won the membership award, and the University of Pennsylvania received the award for the most innovative ALL for Students event in 2016. The University of Illinois took the award for best symposium attendance, excluding host school attendees. The nominees were announced in the SAVMA HOD meeting and the winners at the closing gala. (For the other awards, see page 1080.)


The SAVMA House of Delegates meeting also set the stage for the upcoming transition of student chapters of the AVMA, or SCAVMAs, to SAVMA chapters.

The way it works now, the SCAVMA is the local chapter at each veterinary school that often oversees clubs and student life. The Student AVMA, or SAVMA, is the national organization whose purpose is to connect veterinary students across the country and represent students with the AVMA. While the functions of the SCAVMAs and SAVMA are different, both groups are closely tied, as local SAVMA delegates sit on their SCAVMA boards.


The 2017 Student AVMA Symposium kicked off with Diversity and Wellness Day, which included an Expert Roundtable Breakfast where everything from gender to LGBTQ issues in veterinary medicine was discussed.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

The AVMA staff, with AVMA Board approval, has developed a plan to transition SCAVMAs to SAVMA chapters, which would mean just one entity to represent students nationally and at each veterinary college. Currently, the AVMA, SAVMA, and the SCAVMAs are reviewing the documents necessary to make this transition. Once all parties have had a chance to do so, they will move forward with the goal of finalizing everything this fall.

“It's been a process, but it's just kind of a reminder that we all need to work together,” said Jeff Olivarez, SAVMA president. “Historically, there's been confusion between who had what responsibility. Now we can clarify that and, at the same time, let them know we can help each other out” at the national and local level.

Olivarez and other SAVMA executive board members met with SCAVMA presidents during the symposium to talk about the transition in addition to more ways they could collaborate. His personal crusade during his time as president is to revamp and restructure the SAVMA board's eight committees. Their main function is to present awards and scholarships.

The selection process begins with students indicating their committee preference. Students are then assigned, but they may not be matched with their top committee pick.

“They're added to a committee, and they feel as though all they do is give out awards,” he said. “I want it so if people have a new idea, they can bring it to the committee and change things up and make it their own. If they're passionate about a certain thing, they should share with us, so we can reach a broader spectrum of students with that idea.”


The three-day program consisted of interactive wet labs, lectures, academic and athletic competitions, an exhibit hall, and the SAVMA House of Delegates biannual meeting.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

The Idea competition

Another big event that took place at the symposium was the inaugural finale of The Idea, an innovation competition for veterinary students hosted by the online study tool VetPrep, SAVMA, the Veterinary Business Management Association, and ViralVet. In addition, the Veterinary Innovation Laboratory from Texas A&M joined VetPrep in supporting the yearlong competition.

The Idea, which will be held annually, originally kicked off during SAVMA Symposium 2016. More than 70 student teams applied and were whittled down to 20 semifinalists. From among them, judges and mentors chose the three final teams.

After months of team meetings and development, the three final teams each delivered a live pitch and presentation at the 2017 symposium. Judges for the live finals included Dr. Karen Shenoy of Hill's Pet Nutrition, Dr. Joel Parker of Veterinary Practice Solutions, Dr. Lori Teller of the AVMA Board of Directors, and Ira Gordon and Stephen Shaw, VetPrep co-founders.

The $10,000 grand prize of The Idea Competition was presented to Joel Helbling and Rebecca Gibbs from Colorado State University for their Pharm Armour concept. Wendy Evans and Caitlin McDaniel from the University of Missouri were awarded the $5,000 second-place prize for their House Collars concept, and Oren Offer and Jimmy Popp from Western University of Health Sciences were awarded the $2,500 third-place prize for their BeatboxECG concept. The prizes are meant to assist the winning teams in funding the ongoing development of their ideas. The Idea Competition organizer, VetPrep, has launched Season Two and is accepting applications from student innovators. The finale will take place at SAVMA Symposium 2018, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, March 15–17. A video of this year's presentation and application forms are available at https://www.vetprep.com/theidea.

Coming and going

Outgoing 2016–17 SAVMA officers are Matt Holland, University of Illinois, president; Meghana Pendurthi, University of Pennsylvania, secretary; Shawn Wharrey, The Ohio State University, treasurer; Brian Jochems, University of Missouri, international exchange officer; Michael McEntire, Texas A&M University, information technology officer; Alexandria MacLeod, University of Minnesota, editor of The Vet Gazette; Melissa Feldman, University of Florida, global and public health officer; Peter Czajkowski, Oklahoma State University, veterinary economics officer, and Kyle Hohu, Purdue University, cultural outreach officer.

Incoming 2017–18 SAVMA officers are Jeff Olivarez, Oklahoma State University, president; Katy Martin, Iowa State University, secretary; Chris Deegan, University of Minnesota, treasurer; Samantha Morici, Auburn University, international exchange officer; Marston Jones, University of Tennessee, communications and public relations officer (formerly the information technology officer; title changed at 2017 symposium); Meredith Chamberlain, University of Prince Edward Island, editor of The Vet Gazette; Elizabeth Malcolm, University of California-Davis, global and public health officer; Ori Eizenberg, St. George's University, veterinary economics officer; and Caitlin Conner, Texas A&M University, cultural outreach officer.

SAVMA president leads with passion

by Malinda Larkin


Jeff Olivarez

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

Jeff Olivarez is all ears and all smiles. His insightful observations and friendly demeanor got him elected as the 2017–18 Student AVMA president and will continue to serve him well in his term, which began this March during the Student AVMA Symposium (see page 1069).

“I feel like I'm fortunate to be in this position and veterinary school in general. Sometimes, students get caught up in all the negative messages surrounding financial debt and stress and forget the awesome opportunity we have and how fortunate we are to be here. It's a fun and unique position, and I want to remind people of that,” he said.

He's dedicated himself to “bringing the fun back to the profession” and better serving students. Olivarez says that SAVMA has been focusing a lot on wellness and educational debt, “and I think we do a good job of that, and I want to continue that work; still, I think we can do even better in being there for students.”

If he had his way, there would be even further collaboration among veterinary colleges, industry, and associations.

“There's all these subgroups of the profession, and there's a disconnect between them. Sometimes, I feel like we're working against each other, when really, everyone wants the same thing,” Olivarez said.

As an example, students often blame rising tuition rates on their veterinary college's administration. The recent Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges meeting helped Olivarez see the deans' perspective and some of their efforts to lower the debt for their students.

“But their hands are tied in some areas,” he said. “It's nice to know that they are fighting for us.”

Olivarez, a third-year student at Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, grew up in Yukon, Oklahoma.

He has always been surrounded by animals, be it the family dog or his aunt's rescued Greyhounds. Following his parents' divorce, his mom rescued a Boxer named Max. “He was like our support dog; he got us through hard times. That was my first time witnessing the human-animal bond and seeing the benefits it can provide,” he said. Olivarez wanted to be a veterinarian at a young age, but his mom talked him out of it, citing the high cost of education.

“Little did she know how bad it would get,” he said, with a laugh.

Olivarez attended the University of Oklahoma for undergraduate studies, intending to be a human doctor. But he lacked passion for what he was pursuing and knew something needed to change. He remembered his dream to study veterinary medicine, leading him to change his major to zoology.

“Once I made the decision to pursue veterinary college, everything clicked and started making sense. I had a goal to work toward and started doing better in class,” he said.

After applying three times and taking a year hiatus, Olivarez started veterinary college in fall 2014. At Oklahoma State, he felt compelled to give back and quickly immersed himself in student organizations. At the encouragement of his former roommate, Stasia Sullivan, who was president of the college's student chapter of the AVMA, he become a SAVMA delegate for his college.

Initially, he thought he wasn't outgoing or qualified enough to run for SAVMA president.

“But I wanted to give back to students as much as I could, and I thought the president was the best position for that,” he said. So, Olivarez put his name in for consideration, and at the 2016 SAVMA Symposium, he was voted president-elect of SAVMA.

“I love that I get the opportunity to serve the students and really find out what they need to be done and what they want out of their vet school experience, and trying to help them with that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Olivarez will also be busy with clinical rotations. He plans to serve an externship with Dr. Karen Bradley, AVMA Board of Directors member from District I, then an AVMA headquarters externship this fall.

When asked what kind of veterinarian he wants to be, Olivarez says his plan is to not have a plan.

“It's a double-edged sword with the profession because you have so many options, so it makes it hard to decide,” he said. “It's good not to have a plan, to be flexible and be adaptable and go with the flow. You find yourself with really interesting opportunities that you never knew existed unless you just put yourself out there.”

AVMA releases report on veterinary markets

The AVMA has released the 2017 AVMA Report on Veterinary Markets, the first of four economic reports in the 2017 AVMA Economic Report Series.

The new report addresses key economic indicators relative to the markets for veterinary education, veterinarians, and veterinary services and reports on data related to the mental well-being of veterinarians. The report summarizes research presented at the annual AVMA Economic Summit in October 2016, discusses general U.S. economic conditions, and offers perspectives relative to the performance of veterinary practices in the United States.

Among the key findings in the report are the following:

  • The total number of new veterinarians entering the profession in 2016 was 4,477, as represented by the number of test takers who passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. This number remained about the same as the previous year.

  • Mean debt acquired in veterinary college by 2016 graduates was $141,000. While 11.2 percent of students reported that they were graduating without college debt, 5 percent reported student debt totaling more than $300,000.

  • When compared with the national labor market, the market for veterinarians was slower to react to the recession, has a smaller variation in the supply-demand ratio, and is considerably more volatile month to month.

  • A veterinarian's satisfaction with current employment and how well prepared a veterinarian felt for a career in veterinary medicine were associated with both gratification drawn from work and burnout in 2015 and 2016. The number of hours worked per week was also associated with burnout in both years.

  • Following a trend seen in the robust market for veterinarians, veterinary practices' revenue growth and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization have continued to show strong growth since 2013. The 2017 AVMA Report on Veterinary Markets is available for free download by AVMA members at http://jav.ma/2017markets, and the report series is available for purchase by others at www.avma.org/products. The upcoming economic reports will cover the market for veterinary education, market for veterinarians, and market for veterinary services.

Association seeks more practices for program on profitability

The AVMA is seeking one practice owner or senior associate and one practice manager from each of 50 clinics to participate in a program dedicated to driving and measuring practice financial performance over a 12-month period.

The program debuted at AVMA Convention 2016 with a pilot group of participating practices. This group was monitored in the following months for outcome management and program feedback. Subsequently, the AVMA has partnered with two state VMAs to offer variations of the program, refining the program and improving efficacy.

At AVMA Convention 2017 this July in Indianapolis, practice owners and managers from 50 clinics will form a working group and complete a core curriculum of 12 hours of continuing education on practice profitability, part of the Practice Management Section. For up to 12 months, program participants will receive ongoing support through the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division and other consulting partners to implement tactics obtained from the sessions. These same sessions are open to other convention attendees for the same CE credit on a first-come, first-served basis.

The AVMA continues its collaboration with the Veterinary Management Groups, Banfield Pet Hospital, and Henry Schein Animal Health on the core curriculum. The focus areas of this customized CE are finance, operations, strategies, and economics and markets. Some enhancements for 2017 include a dedicated session on budget development and a tool developed by the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division to map market share.

The program for the 50 clinics capitalizes on the partnership between practice owner and practice manager, pairing them up to learn and use simple techniques to assess and build practice profitability. Each clinic participating in the working group that completes the curriculum and is part of the follow-up effort will receive a full refund on the registration fee for the practice manager.

June 1 is the deadline to enroll. Email avmaecon@avma.org to request an application or more information.


Millennials now primary pet-owning demographic

The American Pet Products Association reports that millennials are now the primary pet-owning demographic, at 35 percent of U.S. pet owners to baby boomers' 32 percent.

According to the APPA, U.S. pet ownership overall increased between 2014 and 2016, and spending in the U.S. pet industry—including spending on veterinary care—increased between 2015 and 2016.

The APPA biennial survey of pet owners found that 84.6 million U.S. households owned pets in 2016, up 6.1 percent from 2014. Millennials account for half of the owners of reptiles; small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, and gerbils; and saltwater fish.

The annual APPA report on pet spending found that overall spending in the U.S. pet industry increased 10.7 percent between 2015 and 2016 to $66.75 billion.

“While this shows a significant increase over last year, it is more reflective of an adjustment in data reporting than actual growth,” said Bob Vetere, APPA president and chief executive officer, in an announcement about the report. “Actual growth, when compared to previous reporting methods, is closer to 4 percent.”

Spending on veterinary care increased 3.4 percent to $15.95 billion in 2016. The APPA predicts a 4.2 percent increase in spending on veterinary care for 2017.

Spending on pet food increased 22.5 percent to $28.23 billion in 2016. The noticeable increase resulted primarily from the APPA accounting for new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which indicated previous figures might have been too conservative.

In the category of pet supplies and over-the-counter medications, spending increased 3 percent to $14.71 billion. Spending on pet services such as grooming, boarding, walking, training, and day care increased 6.5 percent to $5.76 billion in 2016. Spending on purchases of pets decreased for the third year in a row, down 0.9 percent to $2.1 billion.

Thyroid hormones in food sicken dogs

At least three dogs developed hyperthyroidism after eating food containing active thyroid hormones, prompting two recalls March 17.

In a March 27 letter to veterinarians, Food and Drug Administration officials said the dogs, which live in separate homes, had unusual clinical signs including increased thirst, increased urination, restlessness, and weight loss. Thyroid panel results were most consistent with an external hormone source, and the dogs' clinical signs improved over three to four weeks with a change in diet.

Product tests revealed thyroid hormone and excess iodine were present in unopened cans from the same product lines fed to the dogs, likely because the foods contained thyroid gland tissue, agency information states.

The sickened dogs are a 4-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, an 8-year-old Tibetan Terrier, and a 15-year-old Labrador Retriever.

One recall affects one lot of Blue Buffalo Company's Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs; cans from that lot will have a UPC of 840243101153 and a best-sold-by date of June 7, 2019. The other recall affects WellPet's Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs in 13.2-ounce cans with best by dates of Feb. 2, 2019, Aug. 29, 2019, and Aug. 30, 2019.

The agency letter indicates the unique illnesses in these dogs “reinforce the importance of practitioners getting a detailed dietary history, including the type and amount of food as well as frequency of consumption.” Veterinarians who suspect a dog has such an external source of hyperthyroidism may want to run a full thyroid panel “including T3, free T3, T4, free T4, TSH, thyroid autoantibodies, and iodine,” the letter states.

FDA officials also asked that veterinarians report any laboratory results and clinical signs consistent with exogenous hyperthyroidism.

The letter to veterinarians is available at http://jav.ma/FDAthyroid.

Screwworm again eradicated in Florida

by Greg Cima

New World screwworm, a deadly pest of warmblooded animals, is again removed from the United States after an eradication campaign in and near the Florida Keys.

Most of the animals known to have been killed during the infestation with screwworm fly larvae, which eat living flesh of infested animals, were Key deer, an endangered sub species of white-tailed deer. Small numbers of other animals also were affected, including at least three dogs, two cats, a pig, and a raccoon with confirmed infestations, according to information from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Diane Borden-Dilliot, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the screwworm response, said the service estimates 135 Key deer were killed by infestation, reducing the population to about 740. About 125 of those killed were bucks, which were in rut during the infestation and had wounds that made them more susceptible to infestation.

Screwworm flies target open wounds and mucous membranes as egg-laying sites.

Borden-Dilliot, citing a refuge biologist, said the Key deer population had been rising prior to the screwworm infestation, and the deer were in good condition.

Dr. Jack Shere, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief veterinarian, said in a March 23 announcement from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service that the eradication effort involved the release of 154 million sterile flies, 17,000 animal inspections, and about 700 hours of surveillance.

Dr. Shere thanked collaborating partners for their tireless work that “has allowed us to eliminate New World screwworm from the United States once again.”

The sterile flies are effective because a female screwworm fly mates one time. They have been used to eradicate screw-worms in North America and Central America, and the U.S. and Panamanian governments work together to produce about 2 billion sterile pupae each year and maintain a barrier against screwworm fly entry to Central America at the Panama-Colombia border, APHIS information states.

In backcountry areas of the Florida Keys, the Fish and Wildlife Service built bins along deer trails, filled them with sweet feed mixes, and lined the edges with paint rollers that spread a topical antiparasitic drug onto the necks and chests of feeding deer, according to Borden-Dilliot and FWS information. In neighborhoods, the service found that doughnut holes were the best medium to deliver the antiparasitic doramectin to deer, which were marked with livestock paint when they received a dose.

The APHIS announcement states that no screwworm infestations have been reported since Jan. 10, but, at press time, the agency planned to continue releasing sterile flies through April 25.

Self-sustaining screwworm populations were eradicated in the U.S. by 1966, although reinfestations occurred through 1982, and two isolated infestations occurred in dogs in 2007 and 2010, USDA information states. Both dogs had traveled to or through Florida.

School kids help find invasive fish in New York waters

by Greg Cima

Hundreds of grade school and high school students are evaluating environmental DNA by collecting water samples to identify spread of invasive fish species in New York as part of a Cornell University project.

Donna Cassidy-Hanley, PhD, a senior research associate in the College of Veterinary Medicine, said the students are helping test for the presence of round goby, sea lamprey, snakehead fish, and four species of Asian carp across the state as well as developing probes for a few species of Asian swamp eels that have started to migrate from the south and New York City. Results of quantitative PCR analysis of the students' samples have revealed, for example, the presence of round goby in the same Erie Canal and Oneida Lake locations where professional scientists have identified them as well as in several sites where they had been undetected.

Dr. Cassidy-Hanley said the results have shown that, with the right structure and presentation, schoolchildren can contribute useful scientific data.

“Many people question the legitimacy of citizen science, especially with students—especially with something this sophisticated,” she said.

About 60 schools are participating in the project, with contributions from more than 1,500 students since October 2014, Dr. Cassidy-Hanley said. Those students have ranged from fourth-graders to high school seniors.

The students have collected water samples at about 200 sites from Long Island to the Canadian border, Dr. Cassidy-Hanley said. The results are displayed on maps that teachers can show students and students can use to tell their parents about their contributions to a scientific project.

The university provides single-site environmental DNA sampling kits, which contain equipment including flasks, forceps, glass fiber filters, gloves, water collection bags, hand-operated pumps, and the plastic crates used to ship the water samples and controls of tap or bottled water to Cornell's Aquatic Health Program laboratories. Cornell also gives teachers information they can use to incorporate the research into curriculum on ecology, environmental stewardship, and bioinformatics.

The project is funded through September by a grant from the Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, which provides money to local projects. The project is intended to develop and test a collaborative education resource, validate use of quantitative PCR assays to assess invasive species presence, and integrate the project data with other invasive fish species data.


Bretton Woods Elementary School students prepare a control filter near the Nissequogue River on Long Island, New York, where they collected water samples for environmental DNA testing in search of invasive fish species.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

Dr. Cassidy-Hanley has heard from teachers that their students are engaged in the work, even some who are less interested than others in science but enjoy fishing or have family members whose livelihoods depend on waterways.

“Those kids will become much more interested in science because it has real-life implications,” she said.

Veronica Weeks, a teacher at Bretton Woods Elementary School in Hauppauge on Long Island, is one of two teachers of a fifth-grade class that is raising brown trout that will be released into the nearby Nissequogue River, where the trout population has declined because of habitat loss and chemical pollution. Her students have been enthusiastic about their contributions to the Cornell project, which provided some assurance they would be releasing their fish into waters free of sea lamprey and round goby, which could prey on the trout and their young.

Weeks said about 15 students have come to the river with their parents to collect water samples in each of the past three years.

The Cornell project has sparked curiosity and excitement among her students, she said. “They had a real-world question they wanted an answer to, and they wanted to know their fish were safe.”

Texas veterinarian charged with murder for hire ends own life

by R. Scott Nolen

Dr. Valerie Busick McDaniel, the 48-year-old owner of a small animal hospital in Houston, leapt from her parents' seventh-floor condominium to her death March 27 while awaiting trial for allegedly plotting the murders of her ex-husband and her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend.

Inside her parents' condominium, where Dr. McDaniel was living while free on bail, police reportedly found a note with the veterinarian's final wishes and sealed letters addressed to her family.

According to The Montrose Veterinary Clinic website, Dr. McDaniel received her DVM degree from Texas A&M University in 1997 and had owned the clinic since 2000.

Dr. McDaniel and her boyfriend, 39-year-old Leon Jacob, were arrested in a sting March 10. Police say the couple had hired a third party to retain the services of a hit man to kill their former partners. The third party instead alerted police, who worked with the intended targets to stage their murders.

When an undercover police officer posing as the hit man showed Dr. McDaniel and Jacob photos of the fabricated murder scenes, they allegedly tried paying him $20,000. The couple was taken into custody, each charged with solicitation to commit capital murder. Dr. McDaniel was released on a $50,000 bond while Jacob remained in the Harris County, Texas, jail without bond.

Dr. McDaniel and her ex-husband had an 8-year-old daughter together. The ex-husband reportedly feared for his safety and was in the process of obtaining a protective order against Dr. McDaniel when she killed herself. They had been scheduled to appear in court the day after her death.

Police do not suspect foul play in Dr. McDaniel's death.

WVC conference ends with eye on expansion

More than 14,000 veterinary professionals gathered March 5–9 in Las Vegas for the 89th annual meeting of the Western Veterinary Conference, held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

The WVC's flagship event offered participants the opportunity to earn up to 57 continuing education hours in topic areas including small animal, equine, food animal, and avian and exotic animal medicine as well as courses specific to veterinary technicians and practice management.

Conference highlights included the announcement of plans to expand the Oquendo Center veterinary training and education facility to more than double its current size by 2019; the general session speaker, National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore; more than 500 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in the veterinary industry; and over 1,000 hours of CE.

Partners for Healthy Pets conducted a four-hour symposium as part of the Practice Operations CE track. The case-based course focused on practical strategies to attract and retain clients. It also walked participants through many of the tools and resources offered by PHP.

The WVC honored 38 award recipients. The Dr. W. Bruce Wren Food Animal Incentive Award, which takes its name from the longtime WVC food animal program manager and industry leader, was awarded to five postgraduate students for demonstrating leadership in this practice area. They are Drs. Kathryn Anderson, Mississippi State University; Sydney Crosby, University of Georgia; Addie Felten, Tufts University Ambulatory Service; Jenna Funk, Iowa State University; and Lacy Robinson, Kansas State University.

Another 32 students were recognized for their school involvement and overall leadership potential with the Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award. A Special Service Recognition Award was given to veterinary technician Linda Markland for her service to the WVC.

In addition to those 38 award recipients, six educators were voted by WVC participants as 2017 Continuing Educators of the Year for their innovative methodologies that enhance animal health within their specialty. They are Dr. Douglas Mader, avian and exotics; Dr. Anne Wooldridge, equine; Dr. Robert Sager, food animal; Dr. Karen Felsted, practice management; Dr. Etienne Cote, small animal; and Heather Prendergast, veterinary technology.

Dr. W. Mark Hilton of West Lafayette, Indiana, assumed the WVC presidency for 2017. Dr. Hilton is a technical consultant for Elanco Animal Health's beef team and a clinical professor emeritus of beef production medicine at Purdue University, where he received his DVM degree in 1983.

Dr. Hilton is a professor who is passionate about mentoring veterinary students to help them succeed. “I could not be more thrilled to be president of the WVC in this exciting time of growth and expansion. With a focus on people, vision, and mentorship, I look forward to leading WVC into its 90th year,” Dr. Hilton said.

Newly elected WVC board members are Dr. Theresa W. Fossum, Glendale, Arizona; Dr. Morgan McArthur, New Berlin, Wisconsin; and Heather Prendergast, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Dr. Fossum is vice president for research and strategic initiatives and a professor of veterinary surgery at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. She has authored or co-authored more than a hundred manuscripts in refereed journals and is the author of “Small Animal Surgery,” now in its fourth edition.

Dr. McArthur is a professional speaker and former world champion of public speaking with Toastmaster's International. He works part time for the University of Wisconsin Extension program.

Prendergast is a registered veterinary technician with more than 25 years of experience in small animal practice. She is an instructor and serves on several advisory committees, including the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America's National Credentialing Task Force. Prendergast is currently editor-in-chief of the NAVTA journal.

“The annual conference is a culmination of the expertise and efforts of the WVC board, committees, and staff who work tirelessly year-round to produce our flagship event,” said WVC CEO David Little. “The variety and depth of the 2017 program was appreciated by over 6,000 veterinarians, more than 1,400 veterinary technicians, and 360 practice managers.”

Association of senior veterinarians retires itself

Citing declining interest and membership numbers, the American Association of Senior Veterinarians board of directors has dissolved the organization established roughly 31 years ago as a forum for retired veterinarians wanting to stay active in organized veterinary medicine.

The unanimous vote by the board occurred ahead of the March 6 general meeting of the AASrV membership, held in conjunction with the Western Veterinary Conference's annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Also approved was a plan for transitioning ownership of all AASrV documents, domain name, and website to the AVMA for archival purposes and in case the organization is re-established at a future date.

And finally, the board voted to donate all the organization's remaining assets—approximately $17,000—to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation's general fund.

The American Association of Retired Veterinarians was formed in 1986 with 609 veterinary members.

It was renamed and designated as a public charity in 2009, at which time the AASrV had approximately 350 lifetime and regular annual members.

Since 2009, the AASrV had difficulty acquiring and maintaining a viable level of membership to sustain itself. Although a robust website for communication among members was created with the aid of a $5,000 donation from AVMA Life, few members availed themselves of the site.

In the months leading up to the AASrV's dissolution, membership had fallen to approximately 180 paid members and little chance of attracting new ones.

“It is becoming more difficult for not-for-profit organizations to gain membership in this world of readily available travel and the internet communication possibilities,” said AASrV president Dr. Bruce W. Little. “People stay connected with colleagues without belonging to a structured organization. Unless a group has definite value, potential members simply do not join.”


Dr. Bruce W. Little, AASrV president and past AVMA CEO

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

AAVMC acknowledges contributions from veterinary faculty, student

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges recognized the 2017 recipients of five awards during its Annual Conference March 10–12 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Steven L. Stockham (Kansas State ‘72) received the Distinguished Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis. Dr. Stockham, who retired in 2016, is professor emeritus of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. His teaching philosophy involves engaging and motivating students through real-life clinical situations, allowing them to acquire clinical reasoning skills that lead to rewarding, lifelong professional careers, according to an AAVMC press release.

He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and an honorary member of the European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

Dr. Edward B. Breitschwerdt (Georgia ‘74) was honored with the Excellence in Research Award.

Dr. Breitschwerdt is a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and adjunct professor of medicine at the Duke University Medical Center. He directs NC State's Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory in the Comparative Medicine Institute. His research focuses on proving the link between biting insects and hard-to-culture intravascular and intracellular organisms as well as creating reliable diagnostic methods, according to an AAVMC press release.

His laboratory is currently exploring the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which chronic infection with vector-borne pathogens lead to disease, including human disease.

He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dr. Allen Cannedy (Tuskegee ‘94) is the recipient of the Iverson Bell Award. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding leadership and contributions in promoting opportunities for underrepresented minorities in veterinary education. Dr. Cannedy is responsible for securing over $800,000 in diversity-related scholarship funds for underrepresented veterinary students at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he lectures, recruits, mentors, and advises students. He has developed innovative programs to promote diversity and inclusion throughout his institution and the profession, according to an AAVMC press release. Thanks to his efforts, the college's 2019 class is the most diverse in its history, with 29 percent minority enrollment.

Dr. Francisco J. Trigo Tavera (UNAM ‘73) received the Billy E. Hooper Award for Distinguished Service. Dr. Trigo is vice provost for international affairs at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He founded the Mexican Society of Veterinary Pathologists and has been a leader in advancing and promoting a strong accreditation system in Mexico and Latin America.


Dr. Steven L. Stockham

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Dr. Edward B. Breitschwerdt

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Dr. Allen Cannedy

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Dr. Francisco J. Trigo Tavera

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Erin Black

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

Dr. Trigo has published 102 scientific papers in national and international journals, including the first reports on six veterinary diseases in Mexico.

He is the former president of the Mexican Veterinary Academy and was appointed by the Mexican secretary of agriculture as honorary president of the National Council on Animal Health, which provides advice on animal health to the Mexican Department of Agriculture.

Erin Black (Texas A&M ‘17) was awarded the Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship, which recognizes veterinary students who have demonstrated promise as future leaders and have made substantial contributions to enhancing diversity and inclusion in academic veterinary medicine.

Black's many efforts to promote diversity at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences include mentoring minority students and being selected as the liaison for the Student AVMA and the national organization Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity. She also serves as the president of the TAMU student chapter of the Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative and is a member of Project Diversity, which reaches out to undergraduates at historically black colleges and universities to encourage students to consider a career in veterinary medicine.

Students honor faculty at UC-Davis, Mizzou

The Student AVMA House of Delegates presented awards during its annual session March 16–18 at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Jim Clark (California-Davis ‘88), a clinical professor at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has been recognized with the SAVMA Teaching Excellence Award. Students who nominated him noted his ability to engage students and encourage their learning and development of problem-solving skills. He also developed and currently leads “exceptional” communication and business courses at the institution.

Using an interactive, small-group approach, students review and discuss a series of cases that incorporate entry-level business concepts and skills. Each student also completes a Personal Business Plan assignment that includes an industry analysis, salary estimation, personal budget, and personal debt management plan.

Dr. Clark, who also received an MBA from San Diego State College in 2002, has practiced emergency and critical care medicine for about 20 years. He co-founded and is a partner in three emergency-specialty veterinary practices in the northern San Francisco Bay Area. He joined UC-Davis on a part-time basis in 2010.

The SAVMA Community Outreach Excellence Award went to Dr. Carolyn Henry (Auburn ‘90), associate dean for research and graduate studies at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Henry has worked to advance collaborations in human and animal medicine at Mizzou. She holds the title of associate director of research at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and associate director of the Tom and Betty Scott Endowed Program in Veterinary Oncology. Plus, Dr. Henry is faculty adviser to the Students for One Health Club and sits on the veterinary college's Graduate/Resident Training, Research, and Diversity committees.


Dr. Jim Clark

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Dr. Carolyn Henry

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

Dr. Henry joined the faculty at Missouri in 1997 after stints in private practice, a residency in veterinary oncology at Auburn, and time on the veterinary faculty at Washington State University. In 2001, she received a dual appointment with the MU School of Medicine and veterinary college as professor of oncology.

She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialty of Oncology.

American College of Veterinary Surgeons

The American College of Veterinary Surgeons certified 80 new diplomates following the board certification examination it held Feb. 6–7 in San Diego. The new diplomates are as follows:

Small animal

Shiori Arai, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Elizabeth Arthur, Rockville, Maryland

Shiara Patricia Arulpragasam, Howell, New Jersey

Ingrid Margaret Balsa, Davis, California

Noah B. Bander, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Laura Barbur, Atlanta

Katie Barry, Phenix City, Alabama

Jerome Benamou, Montreal

Judith Bertran, Columbus, Ohio

Seth Nigel Bleakley, Folsom, California

Jamie C. Brown, San Antonio

Joshua A. Bruce, Louisville, Kentucky

Alexander Maxwell Bush, Ballston Spa, New York

Kristin Ashley Coleman, Brooklyn, New York

Diana Davila, Denver

Jason Duell, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Daniel James Duffy, Lafayette, Indiana

Kimberly Egeler, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Rebecca Essig, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Owen Thompson Fink, Potomac, Maryland

Daniel Frem, Las Vegas

Dominique Gagnon, Newmarket, Ontario

Justin Ganjei, Potomac, Maryland

Mishka N. Gonsalves, Burbank, California

Megan Alexis Griffin, South Hadley, Massachusetts

Kevin Haynes, Playa Vista, California

Brian P. Heiser, Olympia, Washington

Melissa M. Hobday, Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

Louisa K. Ho Eckart, Ames, Iowa

Germaine Hung, Calgary, Alberta

Timothy W. James, Suwanee, Georgia

John Edward Kiefer III, Toronto

William W. Kimberlin, Fenton, Missouri

Erin Kishi, Columbia, Missouri

Kevin Kroner, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Andy Law, West Lafayette, Indiana

Jessica Obrinsky Leasure, Annapolis, Maryland

Jessica Joy Leeman, Kirkland, Washington

Jeffrey Daniel Maclellan, Reno, Nevada

Abigail Donahue Mariano, Norwell, Massachusetts

Heidi McDevitt, Chicago

Laura Ann Mitterman, New York

Christopher Paul Potanas, Miami

Jennifer Kathleen Reagan, Plantation, Florida

Eric Rowe, Cincinnati, Ohio

Barri Sarowitz, Red Bank, New Jersey

Dominique Sawyere, Simpsonville, South Carolina

Megan Schaible, Anthem, Arizona

Jennifer Ann Schultz, Glenpool, Oklahoma

Suzanne Skerrett, Tacoma, Washington

Kyle Andrew Snowdon, Knoxville, Tennessee

Jennifer Song, Woodridge, Illinois

Natalia Soto, Calabasas, California

Lillian Su, Portland, Oregon

Jesse Terry, Heber City, Utah

Kim Tong, San Francisco

Rachel Tulipan, Atlanta

Mandy Wallace, Athens, Georgia

Richard Wong, Worcester, Massachusetts

Eric Michael Zellner, Ames, Iowa

Large animal

Ellison Aldrich, Ashhurst, New Zealand

Amanda Bergren, Somerset, Pennsylvania

Nathan Chase Canada, Bryan, Texas

Christopher Caniglia, Parkton, Maryland

Pablo Espinosa Mur, Davis, California

Alexandra M. Gillen, Auburn, Alabama

Caroline C. Gillespie Harmon, West Lafayette, Indiana

Kati Glass, Bryan, Texas

Jennifer L. Godfrey, Pullman, Washington

Amanda Hartnack, College Station, Texas

Carrie Jacobs, Cochranville, Pennsylvania

Helene Larde, St. Hyacinthe, Quebec

Emma Marchionatti, St. Hyacinthe, Quebec

Gil Oreff, Golan Heights, Israel

Jessica Lynn Partlow, Flushing, Michigan

Magdalen Peitzmeier, Exeter, California

Jennifer Raffetto, North Ward, Australia

Pavlina Ruzickova, St. Hyacinthe, Quebec

Benjamin Duane Shrauner, Prairie Village, Kansas

Andrew D. Smith, Gainesville, Florida

Indiana VMA

Event: 133rd annual meeting, March 2–5, Indianapolis

Program: The meeting drew more than 360 veterinarians and 198 veterinary technicians and assistants. On offer were accreditation modules, a behavior forum for the public, and in excess of 190 hours of continuing education.

Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Lori Thompson, Indianapolis, for cumulative service and accomplishments benefiting the veterinary profession, organized veterinary medicine, and community. A 2000 graduate of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology, Dr. Thompson owns Animal Allergy & Dermatology Center of Indiana in Indianapolis. She previously worked as a veterinary technical consultant for Elanco Animal Health, helping establish its Companion Animal Health Division, and owned and served as managing partner of Animal Dermatology Clinic in Indianapolis. Dr. Thompson serves as a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network and Antech Diagnostics. A past president of the Indiana VMA and a past chair of the AVMA Task Force on Veterinary Compounding Legislation, she serves on the IVMA Audit/Budget and Legislative committees and is a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology. President's Award: Lisa A. Perius, Indianapolis. Perius, executive director of the Indiana VMA since 1996, is the first nonveterinarian to receive this award, given in honor of exceptional contributions to the association while in office. She was recognized for cumulative service and commitment to the IVMA and organized veterinary medicine. During Perius' tenure, the association has grown into a dynamic and active organization with increased volunteer involvement. Volunteer of the Year Award: Dr. Kristy Graham, Carmel, for leadership or service in a project or program of the association. A 1995 graduate of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Dr. Graham works as a consultant for Idexx Laboratories. She is co-chair of the IVMA Continuing Education Committee and a member of the IVMA Annual Meeting Committee. Dr. Graham has coordinated speakers and topics for the annual meeting for the past 11 years. Achievement Award: Dr. Kyle Shipman, Indianapolis, won this award, given to an IVMA member who has graduated within the preceding five years and has displayed outstanding accomplishments in veterinary research, civic activities, academia, or organized veterinary medicine. A 2015 graduate of Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Shipman is director of avian health and field operations for the Indiana Board of Animal Health. He co-chairs the IVMA Membership Committee; serves on the IVMA board of directors, representing public health; and is a past member of the IVMA Governance Task Force.

Officials: Dr. Maria Cooper, Noblesville, president; Dr. Nathan Rich, New Castle, president-elect; Dr. Matt Cantrell, Zionsville, vice president; Dr. Aaron Smiley, Anderson, treasurer; Dr. James Stepusin, Indianapolis, immediate past president; and Lisa K. Perius, executive director

Oregon VMA

Event: Oregon Veterinary Conference, March 3–5, Corvallis

Awards: Veterinary Service Award: Dr. Benjamin Braat, Albany. A 1966 graduate of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Braat owns Linn Veterinary Hospital in Albany. He also provides care for the animals at the Linn County 4-H Club and National FFA Organization Fair and works closely with the county's animal shelter. Dr. Braat serves as treasurer of the Northwest Equine Practitioners Association, an organization that he helped establish. He is a past member of the OVMA Continuing Education Committee. Practice Manager of the Year: Dena Coyner, Redmond. Practice manager for Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic in Redmond, Coyner is in charge of employee recruitment and compliance with federal, state, and professional regulations. She also oversees the clinic's financial operations, computer systems, website, and social media presence. President's Award: Judy Tate, Portland. Tate is a certified veterinary technician at Fremont Veterinary Clinic in Portland. She has served on the OVMA State Fair Committee for almost 30 years and helped establish the Veterinary Paraprofessional Association, an organization that broadens the education and training of veterinary assistants and technicians.

Business: Discussions were held on Oregon senate bills 222 and 785, the former being the state's version of the Fairness to Pet Owners Act and the latter being restriction of the judicious use of medically important antibiotics in food production. The association is opposed to both bills as presented. Also discussed was the AVMA's federal legislation on drug compounding, with the OVMA supporting practitioners having access to compounded medications, including having some stock on hand for emergency cases. With the support of the Animal Health Foundation of Oregon, the association is developing a packet on disaster preparedness as well as developing and recording a daylong presentation on veterinarians' role in identifying and documenting animal neglect and abuse.

Officials: Drs. Bob Franklin, Portland, president; Amelia Simpson, Portland, president-elect; Jay Fineman, Newport, treasurer; and Jean Hall, Corvallis, immediate past president


Dr. Bob Franklin

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Dr. Benjamin Braat

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Dena Coyner

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Judy Tate

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062


Dr. Amelia Simpson

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250, 10; 10.2460/javma.250.10.1062

Obituaries AVMA member AVMA honor roll member Nonmember

Robert L. Bay

Dr. Bay (Ohio State ‘44), 97, Delta, Ohio, died March 25, 2017. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Delta for 44 years. Dr. Bay was a member of the Ohio VMA.

Active in his community, he served on the Delta School and Park boards and Fulton County Fair Foundation, and was a member of the Delta Rotary Club, Delta Chamber of Commerce, and Delta City Council. Dr. Bay was inducted into the Fulton County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1984, was named Delta Citizen of the Year in 1990, and received the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District Award in 2015. An Army veteran of World War II, he was a member of the Delta American Legion.

Dr. Bay is survived by two sons, a daughter, six grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Delta United Methodist Church, 101 Northwood Drive, Delta, OH 43515, or The Open Door of Delta Inc. (a nonprofit helping people in need become self-sufficient) at 104 Monroe St., Delta, OH 43515.

Raymond O. Benson

Dr. Benson (Minnesota ‘66), 92, Tulsa, Oklahoma, died Jan. 21, 2017. Following graduation, he established a mixed animal practice in Clarissa, Minnesota. After earning a master's in science at the University of Minnesota in 1970, Dr. Benson taught at Washington State University for four years.

He then returned to Minnesota to practice primarily small animal medicine in Hermantown. Dr. Benson later taught at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine for almost 20 years, focusing on orthopedic surgery.

His two children, four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild survive him. Dr. Benson's brother-in-law, Dr. Al Anderson (Minnesota ‘66), is a veterinarian in Tennessee. Memorials may be made to St. Adrian Catholic Church, 512 Maine Ave., Adrian, MN 56110.

Roger E. Brannian

Dr. Brannian (Iowa State ‘72), 69, Ankeny, Iowa, died Feb. 3, 2017. He was a veterinary medical officer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Ames, Iowa. Prior to that, Dr. Brannian served as head veterinarian at the Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City, Missouri, for 12 years. Early in his career, he practiced small animal medicine in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.

Dr. Brannian was a diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine. His wife, Deborah, and a son survive him. Memorials may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, 5452 NE 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313.

Michelle L. Gorbutt-Pascarelli

Dr. Gorbutt-Pascarelli (Virginia-Maryland ‘00), 42, Savoy, Massachusetts, died Feb. 26, 2017. A small animal veterinarian, she practiced at Greylock Animal Hospital in North Adams, Massachusetts. Dr. Gorbutt-Pascarelli volunteered at the Berkshire Humane Society for more than 10 years. Earlier, she worked at Wood Hill Veterinary Clinic in Chatham, New York.

Active in canine sports, including agility and flyball, Dr. Gorbutt-Pascarelli was part of the North American Flyball Association National Championship teams in 2012 and 2013. She is survived by her husband, Dan, and a daughter. Dr. Gorbutt-Pascarelli's brother, Dr. Ryan K. Gorbutt (St. Matthew's ‘09), is a small animal veterinarian in Naples, Florida.

Memorials may be made to PopCares Inc. (a nonprofit helping cancer patients) at P.O. Box 482, Williamstown, MA 01267, www.popcares.org, or Berkshire Humane Society, 214 Barker Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201, www.berkshirehumane.org.

Jerry C. Haughn

Dr. Haughn (Ohio State ‘69), 73, Chandler, Texas, died March 8, 2017. Following graduation, he served two years in the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Haughn then returned to Ohio, where he was a partner in a mixed animal practice in Leipsic until 1978. He subsequently moved to McAllen, Texas, practicing mixed animal medicine until 1982, when he joined North 23rd Street Veterinary Clinic, a small animal practice. Dr. Haughn retired in 2009. He was a member of the Texas and Valley VMAs.

Dr. Haughn is survived by his wife, Nancy; a daughter and a son; and three grandchildren. His daughter and son-in-law, Drs. Melinda A. Hill (Texas A&M ‘97) and John C. Hill (Texas A&M ‘97), are small animal practitioners in Grapevine, Texas.

Paul J. Hirt

Dr. Hirt (Ohio State ‘61), 87, Greensburg, Indiana, died March 6, 2017. A mixed animal veterinarian, he began his career at the Greensburg Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Hirt later co-established the Tri County Veterinary Clinic in Batesville, Indiana. He also raised Angus cattle. Dr. Hirt served 26 years on the Decatur County Animal Control Board and was a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. In 1994, the Indiana Beef Cattle Association awarded him the Friend of the Beef Industry Award, and, in 2017, he received the Historic Indiana Angus Herd Award. Dr. Hirt

was active with the 4-H Club and the Decatur County Fair. He served in the Army during the Korean War.

Dr. Hirt's two sons, four daughters, 11 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Decatur County Animal Control, 1635 W. Park Road, Greensburg, IN 47240.

Mira J. Leslie

Dr. Leslie (Virginia-Maryland ‘94), 61, Seattle, died March 10, 2017. She most recently served as a veterinary public health epidemiologist with the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture in Abbotsford.

Following graduation and until 2002, Dr. Leslie worked for the Arizona Department of Health Services. During that time, she earned a master's in public health from the University of Arizona (2000), worked as an epidemiologist, and eventually became the state's public health veterinarian. Dr. Leslie was also an adjunct instructor in veterinary sciences at the University of Arizona. From 2002–2006, she was with the Washington State Department of Health, serving as senior epidemiologist and state public health veterinarian. Dr. Leslie also served as an adjunct associate professor at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She joined the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture in 2007.

Dr. Leslie was a longtime member of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and a past chair of the Rabies Compendium Committee. She was also a member of the Arizona VMA, receiving the association's Veterinary Profession Service Award in 2002.

Dr. Leslie was active with the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Freedom Project Seattle. She is survived by her mother and two brothers. Memorials may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union, c/o Gift Processing Department, 125 Broad St., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP Development Department, 4805 Mount Hope Drive, Baltimore MD 21215; or Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

Glenn R. Pape

Dr. Pape (Texas A&M ‘78), 61, San Marcos, Texas, died Nov. 7, 2016. A mixed animal veterinarian, he owned King's Highway Animal Clinic in San Marcos. Dr. Pape is survived by his wife, Barbara, and a son.

Memorials may be made to National Brain Tumor Society, 55 Chapel St., Suite 200, Newton, MA 02458, www.braintumor.org.

Sandra L. Parker

Dr. Parker (Texas A&M ‘81), 60, Simonton, Texas, died Feb. 26, 2017. A mixed animal practitioner in Simonton, she focused on equine medicine for more than 20 years. Dr. Parker was a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Her husband, Tom Harkness; two stepsons; and four grandchildren survive her. Memorials may be made to the AAEP Foundation, 4033 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511; Simonton Community Church, 9703 FM 1489, Simonton Road, Simonton, TX 77476; or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

Allan J. Paul

Dr. Paul (Illinois ‘77), 65, Champaign, Illinois, died Feb. 12, 2017. From 1980–2015, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. During that time, Dr. Paul served as associate dean for public engagement, professor of pathobiology, section head for parasitology in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, companion animal extension veterinarian, and executive secretary of the college's alumni association.

He received the University of Illinois Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching Award in 1993, the veterinary college's All-Around Excellence Award in 2000, and the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2016. Prior to joining the university, Dr. Paul practiced small animal medicine in Madison, Wisconsin, and served as a research scientist at the University of Wisconsin.

He is survived by his longtime companion, Jeanne Schacht; a daughter and a son; and two grandchildren. Memorials may be made to VetMed Achievement Fund/Dr. Paul, 3505 Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana, IL 61802, http://vetmed.illinois.edu/allan-paul/.

Robert F. Schneider

Dr. Schneider (Iowa State ‘43), 97, Postville, Iowa, died Oct. 7, 2016. He practiced mixed animal medicine in Postville prior to retirement in 1986. Dr. Schneider served on the Postville Community School and Hospital boards, Postville Telephone Company and State Bank boards, and Allamakee County Assessor's Board of Review. He was a member of the American Legion and volunteered with Meals on Wheels.

Dr. Schneider's wife, Bernice; two sons and two daughters; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to Postville Good Samaritan Center, 400 Hardin Drive, Postville, IA 52162, or St. Paul Lutheran Church, 116 E. Military Road, Postville, IA 52162.

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