U of M professor advocates 'serve rather than be served'
posted August 15, 2005
The Society of Veterinary Medical Ethics presented Dr. Carl A. Osborne with the Robert R. Shomer Award for his outstanding achievements in veterinary medical ethics. A professor of internal medicine at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Osborne was honored during the society's meeting at the AVMA Annual Convention in July.
"It fills one with appreciation to be recognized by one's peers, especially when that recognition is linked to the legacy of Bob Shomer. I express my deep appreciation to you all," Dr. Osborne said. Named after the first president of the society, the Shomer award is presented to individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the field of veterinary medical ethics.
Dr. Osborne said receiving the award led him to reflect on a discussion he had with a graduate student about the purpose of life. "Our mission is to serve rather than be served," he said about society. "(W)e must uphold the traditional value of sharing and caring by avoiding the contemporary code of making and taking, with indifference to the needs of others.
"Being guided by the enduring principle that there is greater happiness in giving than receiving, it becomes apparent that our greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more. ... What we do for ourselves dies with us. It is what we do for others that lives on."
Dr. Jeffrey S. Klausner, dean of the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine, commented on Dr. Osborne's accomplishments. "Dr. Osborne is an outstanding individual who has had a distinguished career as a leader in the field of veterinary medical ethics through scholarship, advocacy, and mentorship," he said. "Throughout his career as a researcher, teacher, and scholar, he has contributed enormously to the veterinary profession."
Drs. Patricia Olson, executive director of the Morris Animal Foundation; Robert J. Washabau, chair of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at U of M College of Veterinary Medicine; Sherry Sanderson, assistant professor of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, and others also paid tribute to Dr. Osborne during the award ceremony. Dr. Osborne's acceptance was followed by a standing ovation.
Since graduating from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1964, Dr. Osborne has taught more than 3,000 veterinary students, and helped train 160 clinical interns and 100 clinical residents. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
In 1981, Dr. Osborne developed the U of M's Minnesota Urolith Center, which works to develop noninvasive methods that will consistently and safely prevent and cure diseases of the urinary system in companion animals.
As a tribute to the value of compassion in veterinary medicine, Dr. Osborne established the Compassion Collection, a collection of volumes at the U of M Veterinary Medicine Library that offers information on all aspects of compassion as it relates to humans and animals.
Dr. Osborne served as president of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association from 1982-1984, the Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology from 1974-1975 and 1981-1982, and the ACVIM from 1973-1974.
He has co-authored numerous journals, authored three textbooks, and edited 20 books. He has received invitations to present at nearly 600 international continuing education seminars.