2017 will mark the 125th year of veterinary education at Auburn University. That’s the equivalent of five generations of students, faculty, mentors, practitioners, researchers, and leaders who have built Auburn’s reputation in veterinary medicine. The college’s origin and evolution have been guided by a commitment to serving the state’s needs in veterinary medicine, and by a responsibility to extend those valuable capabilities throughout the region, nation, and world.
This issue of the Auburn Veterinarian presents numerous accomplishments of the Auburn veterinary family and recent activities in the college, creating an interesting perspective of our direction as an institution and profession. Here are a few:
Auburn’s Food Animal Service is continuing a tradition of excellence as an educational resource and referral center established through the careers of familiar names like Walker, Hudson, Winkler, Poe, Carson, Wolfe, and Riddell (and many others). The service is positioning itself for continuing success based on a hospital caseload that was the highest in the nation in 2015, construction of a new state-of-the-art food animal research facility, mentorship of a repeated national championship student palpation team, and a commitment by Dr. Woody Bartlett ’69 to establish a major scholarship endowment for the benefit of students interested in large animal medicine, surgery, and theriogenology. The Sugg Laboratory, headed by Dr. Paul Walz, maintains strong extramurally funded research programs in reproductive infectious diseases of cattle and now manages two supporting farms in Winfield and Camp Hill. In October 2016, the college added a third ambulatory service and hired two new faculty members dedicated to food animals.
On Oct. 24, 2016, the College of Veterinary Medicine announced plans to establish a satellite veterinary referral center in Gulf Shores as a component of a university-wide educational initiative in partnership with the City of Gulf Shores. The referral center will provide greater support for regional veterinarians by offering convenient access to specialty services linked to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Auburn, located 250 miles away. At the same time, students and faculty will gain greater practical exposure to challenging cases by working closely with private practitioners within the referral radius. Given the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with the referral base, governing principles will include: (1) specialty services will operate on a referral-only basis and primary care will not be provided; (2) patients will be returned to the primary veterinarian after the presenting problem has been satisfactorily addressed; and (3) center professionals will work hard to establish a trusting, mutually beneficial relationship that will be viewed as an asset to the region’s practice community.
To prepare women for leadership roles in the veterinary profession, Auburn hosted the Women’s Leadership Development Workshop on Oct. 29, 2016, for students, faculty, alumni and practitioners. Led by an internationally recognized group of speakers from the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI), the AVMA, the AU Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Institute, and faculty from Auburn and Tuskegee, more than 120 participants developed plans for cultivating and promoting leadership across all sectors of the profession. The workshop was generously sponsored by Zoetis, Merial, Royal Canin, WISE, and units of the AU
I want to thank each of you for supporting the College of Veterinary Medicine through financial gifts, research sponsorship, student mentorship, case referrals, or trusting your animals to our care. The collective support of the greater Auburn Family is certainly felt by all faculty, staff, and students, and I invite you to visit our college at the next opportunity.