According to Zippia and the database of 30 million profiles they researched and analyzed, there are over 49,434 veterinarians currently employed in the United States and 62.9% of them are women. Today, ACF would like to acknowledge a few of those women who have been especially influential and have paved their way in the industry.
Dr. Annie Harviclicz
Dr. Annie Harviclicz, who graduated from the Virginia Tech School of Veterinary Medicine, is the Chief Medical Officer of the Animal Wellness Centers in LA. This foundation works to ensure that when the “last resort” of a low-income family or kill-shelter seems likely, they are not forced into euthanizing an animal. Instead, they can call the Animal Wellness Center and they have another option. Dr. Harviclicz made it the mission of the foundation to find “forever homes” for these pets across the U.S. They have since saved hundreds of pets from the LA area. She has received multiple awards for her work such as the Sherrie Clark Compassion and Caring Award and the Tobey Award which recognizes her for aiding deserted, lost, or homeless dogs. Annie has also been a part of the national leadership council of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Justine Lee
Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, who graduated from Cornell University, is a board-certified veterinary specialist in both emergency critical care (DACVECC) and toxicology (DABT). Her passion for all-things animal and veterinary medicine shines through not only this, but also through her business VETgirl. She is the Director of Medicine and founder of this subscription-based online veterinary continuing education service for veterinary professionals. Dr. Lee is a well-known speaker, scientist, blogger, and author throughout the emergency, critical care, and toxicology veterinary world. She was the co-host analyst on Nat Geo Wild’s Animal ER LIVE. Dr. Lee has written two books geared towards the average pet owner to help them learn about how to keep their animals safe, with a good dose of humor thrown in. Her impact on the veterinary world and the lives of countless pet owners is clear.
Dr. Jane Hinton
Dr. Jane Hinton, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948, became one of the first two African American women to earn a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating, she worked as a small animal veterinarian until 1955, and later that year, joined the Department of Agriculture as a federal government inspector who researched and responded to outbreaks of disease in livestock. Prior to earning her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Hinton was a pioneer in the study of bacterial antibiotic resistance. When she worked at her father’s laboratory at Harvard as an assistant to John Howard Mueller, she co-developed the Mueller-Hinton agar, a medium that isolates Neisseria, which is the bacteria that causes gonorrhea and meningococcal meningitis. Dr. Hinton passed away in 2003, but leaves behind an inspiring legacy of scholarship and perseverance.
Written by Olivia Gullickson
ACF is proudly celebrating Black History Month through the stories of empowering pioneers in the field. We’ve chosen to highlight three highly accredited black veterinarians and their extraordinary contributions to society. Continue reading to learn about these figures and how they shaped the future of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Alfreda Johson Webb
Dr. Alfreda Johson Webb. Dr. Webb received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1949 from Tuskegee’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She was the first woman to receive her DVM from Tuskegee as well as one of the first black women to earn a DVM in the United States (along with Dr. Jane Hinton)! The two were also the first Black members of the Women’s Veterinary Medical Association, paving the way for the inclusion of many more black female veterinarians. Dr. Webb went on to become a professor at Tuskegee and later North Carolina State University, where she inspired many students. She was on the planning board for the new veterinary school at North Carolina State University that opened in 1981. Dr. Webb empowered and inspired black women to enter the field of veterinary medicine and she remains an inspiration to many to this day.
Dr. Frederick Douglass Patterson
The American activist and educator Fredrick Douglas Patterson had a career with numerous trajectories, however his career roots stem back to veterinary medicine. In 1923, Dr. Patterson was the first black man to earn a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University. After a number of successful years as a veterinarian, the young academic went back for more school, earning a plethora of degrees from various institutions. Dr. Patterson’s greatest contributions pertain to the establishment of the United Negro College Fund and founding of the Tuskegee Institute (now University). Dr. Patterson was appointed president of the Tuskegee Institute in 1934; his leadership inspired black students to take charge in any and every field possible. He was a champion for human rights, equality and opportunity for all. A year before his death in 1987, Dr. Patterson was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His vision and courage continue to inspire others today.
Dr. Lila Miller
Dr. Lila Miller graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1977. She has been extremely open about the racism she experienced as a student while enrolled there and the pressures put on her as one of the first two black women admitted to their under-graduate pre-vet program. Upon her graduation she decided to work in an animal shelter, something that at the time was unprecedented. Working with her mentor, Dr. Miller began to make incremental changes to improve the lives of the abandoned and forgot pets she was working with. As a result of these changes and the processes they developed, she had a dramatic impact on the reimagining of how shelters operate and the creation of a new specialty within veterinary medicine, shelter medicine. She taught the first course in shelter medicine at Cornell in 1999. Going back to the school that treated her so poorly was a challenge but one Dr. Miller chose to take on because of the potential good it might bring about. And she was right, soon after she taught the first course, other schools began to include shelter medicine in their curriculums. Dr. Miller continues to be a role model for many both because of her ability to overcome adversity and her work to improve animal welfare.
Written by: Gracie Butler and Heather Mains
Animal Care Foundation
Providing elderly and disabled community members access to veterinary care for their beloved pet.