The Past, Present, and Future of Equine Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Roberta Dwyer takes a look at what’s changed in veterinary medicine and what’s stayed the same.
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“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

I will add another certainty to Benjamin Franklin’s observation, and that is change. Recently attending my 30-year veterinary school class reunion made that abundantly clear.

When I attended veterinary school, the board certified radiologists were learning how to use the newly acquired, latest imaging technology—the ultrasound machine. Pain management for horses primarily consisted of flunixin meglumine, phenylbutazone, and narcotics. The rapid, specific test called polymerase chain reaction was in no one’s vocabulary (yet).

People communicated via mail, telephone, or the radio in the veterinary practice vehicle. When having a meal with a friend or colleague, no one was interrupted by a text, cell phone call, or “bling” of an incoming email or social media post. Computers had disk operating systems (MS-DOS) and a basic personal computer cost $2,300 ($4,200 in today’s dollars)

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