In The News

 

Brandon Equine Medical Center, formerly Surgi-Care Center for Horses.

Help For Sick Horses in a Surgical Center
Tampa Bay Times, July 5, 2013

Neglected Horse Saved By O'Hana Rescue
Horse and Pony Magazine

Woefully Neglected and Sick Horse Rescued
St. Petersburg Times, March 7, 2010

Laser Surgery Restores Sight in Blind Horse
Horse Talk, September 11, 2007

A Way to See Him Through: The Horse Was Doomed to Blindness Unless...
St. Petersburg Times, August 24, 2007

Dodging the Bullet
Karen Gerlach, MRR Member

M. Phyllis Lose, V.M.D.
A Life of Abundant "Firsts"

According to 2012 AVMA statistics, 54% of all veterinarians in the United States are women. Of those veterinarians there are 3,821 Equine Veterinarians with 47.9% of them being women. Certainly, the field is as close to being an even playing ground amongst the sexes as you can get. Having a women veterinarian treat and/or operate on your horse is almost expected. But back in 1957 that was not the case. Then, only a handful of women were small animal veterinarians and they were relegated to the classroom or the office. The percentage of equine veterinarians that were male was 100%. But that all changed when the M. Phyllis Lose graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School Class of 1957 as the first female equine veterinarian and, that very same day, began her practice by opening the first equine veterinary clinic to be founded, owned and operated--by a woman. Her entire career, spanning over 50 years, she never worked for anyone but herself.

She was well prepared for the challenges of running an equine practice having owned and operated a 20-horse boarding business since the age of thirteen. And there's more, by the time she was nineteen years old she was the first woman, and youngest person in U.S. racing history to earn a trainer's license for both the Thoroughbred racehorse industry and the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association.

Not impressed yet? Here are more of Dr. M. Phyllis Lose's firsts and accomplishments:

You would expect a woman of these many significant accomplishments, the breaker of numerous glass ceilings, to be, well, a bit full of herself. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When Dr. Leann Kuebelbeck, herself an equine veterinary hospital and practice owner, sat down with Dr. Lose during a recent interview, it was quickly discovered that this 88 year old woman with the sparkle in her eyes of a teenager and the enthusiasm of a young veterinary school graduate, is extraordinarily humble and even a bit shy about sharing her accomplishments. Over coffee and cookies, Dr. Lose opened up and what follows are excerpts of that interview.

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Did being a woman offer you any advantages?

What were some of the most difficult hurdles for women?

You became a veterinarian when men dominated the field; now women make up the vast majority of equine practitioners. Tell us about those early days being a female equine practitioner and what drove you to break that barrier?

You are also credited with being the first woman to open an equine surgical hospital, something that Dr. Kuebelbeck certainly can relate to. You must feel a special connection to her and other women who have taken the same path.

How did you get started?

When you became a veterinarian men dominated the field, now women do.

You wrote, "Blessed are the Brood Mares" in 1978 and then followed that up with "Blessed are the Foals" in 1987---- What inspired you to write each of them?

What is the biggest mistake that horse owners can avoid when they decide to breed their mare?

Aside from your books, what's the most important thing that horse owners should have on hand when their mare is in foal?

If lucky enough to be present when a mare is delivering, how does one know when to stay back and observe and when to intervene?

You wrote that "cows and woman are tough and mares are delicate." Can you elaborate on that?

What was it like in those early years? Did you have someone to help you with those calls or was it just you?

You've dedicated your life to being an equine veterinarian. How do you feel about your clients?

It's obvious from your writings, that you consider brood mares to hold a very special place in the world. You've attended to many, many broodmares and foals. Do any stand out in your memory and why?

What advice would you give equine veterinarians coming out of school today?