Tap Into the History and Future of Veterinary Expertise

Nov 20, 2017 / Message from the Dean

[Dr. Anne Barger delivers the address to the Class of 2017 at graduation]

This message will appear in the December 2017 issue of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association Bulletin.

Illinois faculty are leaders and innovators

If you earned your veterinary degree at Illinois at any time in the past four or five decades—and even if you didn’t—you are likely to have benefited from faculty members who were leaders, and in some cases founders, of their fields of expertise.

Dr. Anne Barger provides an outstanding example. She’s been on the faculty for the past 15 years and is currently both a clinical professor and section head for clinical pathology in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. She has repeatedly been selected by Illinois students to receive teaching awards (and, as shown in the image above, the Class of 2017 selected her to give the address at their graduation ceremony). In November she received the highest award for teaching from the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology at its annual meeting.

Dr. Barger just completed her term as that organization’s president, and she is the coeditor of the first edition of Small Animal Cytologic Diagnosis, published by CRC Press earlier this year. She also happens to have been a graduate of our college, earning her veterinary degree at Illinois in 1996.

And she is not alone among Illinois faculty in having made important contributions to her field through leadership, teaching, continuing education, and publication.

Here is just a short list of Illinois faculty you may have learned from, either in the classroom or through textbooks and scholarly presentations. Each of these leaders held the position of president within the organization listed. Seminal textbooks by these faculty members are also cited.

  • Brendan McKiernan, Comparative Respiratory Society (also a founder of this organization)
  • Lloyd Helper, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology
  • [Drs. Wanda Haschek and Matthew Wallig]

    Drs. Wanda Haschek and Matthew Wallig posed with their newest textbook in the Learning Commons of the Basic Sciences Building in November.

    Ann Johnson, American College of Veterinary Surgeons; author of AO Principles of Fracture Management in the Dog and Cat and Atlas of Orthopedic Surgical Procedures of the Dog and Cat, both issued in 2005.
  • Wanda Haschek, Society of Toxicologic Pathology and Society of Toxicology’s Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section; coauthor of Haschek and Rousseaux’s Handbook of Toxicologic Pathology, first published in 1991 (Illinois faculty member Dr. Matthew Wallig was a coauthor on the expanded second edition of this text in 2002 and the even bigger third edition in 2013; Haschek and Wallig also issued the third edition of Fundamentals of Toxicologic Pathology this year).
  • Karen Campbell, American College of Veterinary Dermatology; coauthor of the seventh edition of Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology in 2013.
  • Sandra Manfra, American Veterinary Dental College (also a founder of this organization)
  • Dennis French, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
  • Laura Garrett, Veterinary Cancer Society

While all but the last two on this list have retired from our faculty, their contributions are far from ended. In fact, Dr. McKiernan is actively working with small animal surgeon Dr. Heidi Phillips to introduce in the United States the laser-assisted turbinectomy, a procedure developed in Germany to relieve respiratory distress in brachycephalic dogs and cats. Dr. Manfra recently completely revised and expanded her online dentistry curriculum available through our college. Over the past 12 years more than 10,000 veterinary students worldwide have benefited from her expertise through this online platform, filling a gap for colleges without a dentistry program.

My recent text, the two-volume eleventh edition of Veterinary Medicine: A Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Pigs, and Goats, has also had global impact. It is the most extensively cited textbook in veterinary medicine.

Illinois clinical faculty continue to lead in their fields and advance the practice of medicine. Dr. Maureen McMichael, who edited the second edition of Handbook of Canine and Feline Emergency Protocols, in 2014, is currently spearheading an initiative to address training and education of first responders who may need to deliver care to working dogs injured in the field.

In 2016 Dr. McMichael published Life-Threatening Cardiac Emergencies for the Small Animal Practitioner, written with Illinois colleague and cardiologist Dr. Ryan Fries. Dr. Fries is innovating in his specialty by bringing cardiac MRI procedures, which are the gold standard in human medicine, to the veterinary arena using the state-of-the-art imaging facilities at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Once your teachers, now your colleagues: Illinois veterinary faculty are still here for you. When you run into a clinical conundrum, remember that amazing resources exist nearby to serve you. We’re just a phone call away.

—Dean Peter Constable