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New column explains the present and envisions the future, using the richness of our past experiences as a guide

SmithVeritas is pleased to announce Perspectives in Veterinary Medicine, a new feature of the online continuing education partnership between academia and industry. Each week throughout the remainder of 2013, Veritas will present stories that analyze 150 years of progress in veterinary medicine, offer thoughts on the future of the profession, and share evidence-based insights anticipating the path forward. Launching April 15, 2013, Perspectives stories are written by Donald F. Smith, professor of large animal surgery and Dean Emeritus at Cornell University, and can be found at

“When we examine the history of veterinary medicine, we look at people and events as snapshots in time, considering how we arrived at the present and anticipating the future,” said Smith.

Dubbed The History Guy, Smith’s stories are expected to cover issues like these: Why did Harvard close its veterinary college after only 20 years? Why has feline medicine taken a back seat to canine medicine? Why has our commitment to public health been so poorly funded by governmental agencies? How can animals help us to improve the human health condition and add prospects for new roles for veterinarians related to the human health profession?

Dr. Andre Moul Ross, the only woman in the Cornell veterinary class of 1943, with classmates. Photo by Dr. Moul Ross, from the collection of her daughter, Ms. Carol Shank.

“Veterinary medicine finds itself in a time of transition and dislocation, and it's oddly comforting to look back at our past,” observes Dr. Douglas Aspros, AVMA President. “As humans, we crave continuity and stability; they make the risks and rewards of life (including professional life) easier to manage. Understanding our history helps to bring today into sharper focus; knowing how and why we got here makes it easier to see a different future for ourselves.

“Anniversaries are good times to take stock, and the AVMA's 150th birthday is the right time for the profession to better understand our past and use those tools to boldly face our challenges and our opportunities.”

Veritas is a groundbreaking partnership between the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health). This unique partnership between academia and industry will deliver the universities' expertise in medicine and teaching, supported by Zoetis information delivery and customer service know-how. Veritas offers veterinarians, veterinary technicians and paraprofessionals, web-based, continuing education programs and features utilizing the latest advances in online teaching technologies.

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