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October 15, 2020

American Veterinary Medical History Society

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Virtual annual meeting, July 31


The president of the AVMHS, Dr. Zbigniew Wojcinski, welcomed the virtual attendees. Dr. Meg Sutherland-Smith, director of veterinary services at the San Diego Zoo, presented “History of the San Diego Zoo: A Veterinary Perspective.” The presentation, accompanied by illustrations and photographs, detailed the founding of the zoo; the contributions of the zoo’s first veterinarian and former director, Dr. Charles R. Schroeder, and other veterinarians; developments and changes to the physical structure, including veterinary facilities; advances in diagnosis and treatment of pathological conditions; and the knowledge acquired with regard to zoo animals’ behavior and nutrition.

Anastasiya Missan
Anastasiya Missan
Anna L. Adams
Anna L. Adams
Polly Weldon
Polly Weldon
Jennifer Chong Fan
Jennifer Chong Fan


J. Fred Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest, sponsored by the Donaldson Charitable Trust
First place—Anastasiya Missan (Prince Edward ’22) for “The Un-BEE-lievable History of Beekeeping”; second place—Anna L. Adams (Purdue ’21), for “For the Love of Bastet: A History of Cats in Ancient Egypt”; third place—Polly Weldon (Florida ’22), for “Looking Across Species: How One Veterinarian Revolutionized the Field of Public Health and Made Government Agencies Eat Crow”; and fourth place—Jennifer Chong Fan (Cornell ’21), for “A Strange Bellwether: The Mysterious Incident of 6000 Sheep in the Desert”


Similar to previous years, members had been sent a postcard prior to the meeting. This year’s postcard, courtesy of the San Diego Zoo, featured a photograph taken in 1932 of Dr. Charles Schroeder administering oral medication to a dromedary. Dr. Jerry M. Owens, immediate past president of the AVMHS, spoke on his activities to increase membership and promote history during the past year. Reports on ongoing AVMHS activities were presented, including the publication of two issues of the bulletin Veterinary Heritage in November 2019 and June 2020; the distribution of more than 100 certificates to veterinary hospitals and clinics as part of the society’s Registry of Heritage Veterinary Practices, which honors veterinary hospitals and clinics nationwide that are more than 50 years old; the addition of stories to the AVMHS Time-Bites, a series of historical ministories, links to which are regularly published in the Veterinary Information Network’s email newsletters; and the 2020 J. Fred Smithcors Student Veterinary History Essay Contest. It was announced that Dr. Kevan Flaming, Ames, Iowa, will continue to provide support for the AVMHS website, which has a new article on past veterinary colleges.

Dr. Susan Aiello, Townsend, Tennessee, editor of the Guideposts book project, provided a progress report on the project. Inspired by the one-health teachings of William Osler, MD, the project will provide a pocket-sized book to veterinary students at their white coat ceremonies. The book is organized into five sections and comprises 30 chapters compiled by veterinarians and other professionals involved with animal health and welfare, focusing on topics intended to inspire and guide students as they enter the veterinary profession. The project is expected to launch in late October.

Dr. Wojcinski
Dr. Zbigniew W. Wojcinski
Dr. Kennedy Arrington
Dr. Pat Kennedy Arrington


Dr. Zbigniew W. Wojcinski, Ann Arbor, Michigan, president; Dr. Pat Kennedy Arrington, Louisville, Kentucky, program chair and president-elect; Dr. Jerry M. Owens, Glen Ellen, California, immediate past president; Susanne K. Whitaker, Ithaca, New York, secretary-treasurer; and members at large—Drs. Fred J. Born, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; John H. de Jong, Weston, Massachusetts; Candace A. Jacobs, Olympia, Washington; and Robert E. Treat, Manchester Center, Vermont