Legislative action must be taken to maintain one of Ohio’s crown jewels: Part 1

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the most venerable institutions on The Ohio State University campus. The college is:The second oldest veterinary college in the U.S., after Iowa StateThe largest veterinary college in the U.S., accepting 162 students annually from nearly 1,400 applicantsRanked in the top five of the nation’s 30 veterinary colleges for many years.And, there are many more good things I could and will share with you about the College of Veterinary Medicine in this column and in Part 2 next month.But first I want to make you aware of something that concerns me about the college. Despite its impressive standing and valuable contributions to our state, nation and world, the college lacks funding to maintain necessary staffing and programs. The college is about 80 faculty members short of what’s needed to sustain its tradition of providing high-quality education of veterinarians and conducting cutting-edge research to support food animal agriculture and protect against a growing number of potentially destructive food animal diseases. With the current shortage of faculty, burnout is taking its toll. Ten faculty members have left in the past year.Veterinary medicine is not for the faint-hearted. It requires four years of rigorous study and clinical training, after three to four years of undergraduate schooling. The first two years of vet school are intense in the medical sciences. A major portion of the clinical training starts in the third year. This covers diseases, hands-on animal care, restraint techniques, diagnosis and treatment.And this training requires tremendous resources from the college: faculty, lecture halls, exam rooms for practical training, surgery suites, animal housing, laboratories, a complete drug inventory and the latest medical equipment for treating the tiniest kitten to the biggest, meanest bull.The College of Veterinary Medicine offers several specialized programs. A couple of examples:The Galbreath Equine Center, which provides technologically advanced treatment for horses and advanced training in diagnostic services such as X-rays with dye studies, MRI and a high-speed treadmill.The Theriogenology (reproduction services) Department offers in vitro fertilization (IVF) for several food animal species.  Advanced reproductive procedures are also offered for horses. And artificial insemination and other advanced reproductive procedures are available for dogs.The Veterinary Medical Center on the Ohio State campus examines and treats about 35,000 animals a year in its Hospital for Farm Animals, Galbreath Equine Center and Hospital for Companion Animals. A large number of farm animals and horses are treated through OSU’s field services facility in Marysville by students under veterinary supervision. The facility provides large animal care for farms in 17 Ohio counties.Many OSU vet students are primarily interested in providing veterinary medicine for companion animals. But all the college’s students rotate through field services. They accompany an attending OSU veterinarian on farm calls, receiving exposure and training in medical care of all domestic large animal species.As an ambulatory veterinarian at Ohio State, I accompanied vet students on farm calls for eight years before I retired. Many students who had been totally focused on companion animals would tell me at the end of their two-week rotation how much they enjoyed providing animal care on farms. They would say, “Had I known, I might have changed my focus to a mixed practice for large and small animals.” Students focused on large animals can repeat the Marysville rotation multiple times.While I’ve focused my career on large animal care, I personally know the value of companion animals. Many experts report that pets relieve their owners’ stress. Dr. Rustin Moore, dean of the college, provides ample insight on this in an article on the Ohio State website. Here’s the link: https://www.osu.edu/features/2017/the-benefits-of-owning-a-pet.htmlBesides advancing high-tech medical care for large animals, Ohio State has advanced the state of care for small companion animals in chemotherapy, orthopedic surgery, cardiology and many other disciplines.And the Veterinary College’s research plays a very important and impactful role in bridging has even bridged animal and human medical care. The college plays a key role in Ohio State’s participation in developing One World Health. Through One World Health, the vet school collaborates with the Wexner Medical Center and OSU’s colleges of medicine; dentistry; nursing public health; optometry; pharmacy; food, agricultural and environmental sciences; education and human ecology; social work; and many more.No other university in the nation can boast of having such broad and deep collaborations with medical and other disciplines on one campus. It stands as the premiere health strategy for the future. As an example of this, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the James Cancer Center and the Veterinary College are working together to end cancer in people and animals. In the animal kingdom, dogs are especially prone to cancer, and while receiving leading-edge care through clinical trials, they are also helping people with cancer.Another program under the umbrella of The Ohio State University and College of Veterinary Medicine is the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), based in Wooster. This a collaborative program between the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine.So, as you can see, the vet school plays a vital role in agriculture and society in general and deserves the attention of Ohio’s legislators and governor for sustainability of its history of excellence and impact for the long-term future of Ohio.Next month, I’ll be back for Part 2 of this column. I’ll look more at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s critical roles in food animal agriculture. That is, preparing skilled, knowledgeable veterinarians and conducting vital research to protect and advance Ohio’s $110 billion animal agriculture industry.Plus, I’ll rally you to urge our legislators and governor to ensure the College’s ability to continue these essential roles into the future.last_img

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