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UW Changes Lives: School of Veterinary Medicine has big impact in Wisconsin

April 23, 2019

Mark Markel, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, talks legislators and staffers during a tour of the Veterinary Medicine Building on March 12. Photo: Bryce Richter

From February through June, we will be highlighting the ways that UW–Madison changes lives for the better throughout the state of Wisconsin. March’s theme is Working for Rural Wisconsin. Watch for more at #UWChangesLives on social media. And here’s how you can help.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) has trained more than 50 percent of the veterinarians practicing in the state of Wisconsin, with more than 1,200 spread all over the state.

Nearly 800 participants from across the state took part in courses offered by its Office of Continuing Education in 2017-18.

Its teaching hospital, UW Veterinary Care, helped treat the animals of more than 7,850 Wisconsin residents in 2017-18. UWVC handled nearly 27,000 total patient visits in that fiscal year (the hospital was built to see 12,000 patient visits annually, one reason the SVM’s proposed building expansion is so critically needed). The school’s specialists provided guidance to the state’s veterinarians and farmers in areas of expertise ranging from anesthesia to food animal production to zoological medicine.

Studies by SVM scientists, who conduct 75 percent of the infectious disease research at UW–Madison, have provided new insights into disease treatment, prevention and control. And the school and its faculty serve Wisconsin’s animal production industries in a variety of ways, benefiting the state’s livestock and farmers and training the next generation of specialized veterinarians who will continue to advance animal agriculture in the state.

Two graduates reflect on what the school and their careers mean to them:

“At Dairy Doctors, our dairy clients demand industry-leading service and knowledge from our veterinary staff to help their businesses succeed. The UW SVM has helped us meet these expectations with five UW SVM grads on staff and consistent creation of new resources, such as the Dairyland Initiative, to assist in continual improvements.”

  • Chris Booth, Plymouth, ‘00 graduate , veterinarian and practice owner at Dairy Doctors:

“Working in veterinary medicine ended up being one of the great blessings of my life. As a dairy practitioner, I really came to appreciate how my role as an animal care provider had a positive impact on the financial wellbeing of my clients’ and their family’s lives, as well as the health status of the individual animals that I treated. My ‘job’ as a veterinarian evolved into a lifestyle of enjoyable service that after more than 30 years of practice is still an honor to pursue.”

  • John Been, Prairie Du Sac, ’88 graduate