Getting to know Dr. Gary Brown
The AVMA Convention is just a few weeks away, and Dr. Gary Brown, one of the candidates for AVMA President, is counting the days until the big vote. A West Virginia native, Dr. Gary Brown received his DVM from the University of Georgia in 1984. He has served in various leadership roles both professionally and locally for many years, including two terms as AVMA Vice President. In 2013, he was honored with the West Virginia VMA Veterinarian of the Year.
Learn more about the man behind the stethoscope:
If I wasn’t a veterinarian, I would be:
I would be doing something mechanical with my hands. I grew up having to work on farm equipment. I drove cross country hauling steel and freight throughout school. And now has special interests in orthopedic surgery.
The best career advice I ever received:
Be honest and remember the other side of the exam table. Veterinarians have the technical knowledge but our real compassion is when we feel and understand what our clients feel. This is true for the large animal veterinarian as well with a metaphorical table.
The three qualifications that got me to the place you I am today:
Thinking with innovation and the future in mind; Thoughtful listening to understand; and the willingness to help with the hard work toward success.
The most agonizing career decision I ever made:
The medical decision to discontinue large animal practice was most agonizing. Disappointing long-time clients was mentally taxing. Performing a C-section on a cow or cleaning out a horse hoof would cause me great pain and sometimes, I wouldn’t be able to feel my hands the next day.
The moment I felt that I made it:
There are many of these and each a stepping stone to the next. Just a few are graduation, our wedding day, starting our own practice, getting that official farm call truck, hiring another veterinarian, adding advanced ratings to my pilot's license, for example. As I like to say "On the other side of this moment, great things are going to happen".
The easiest career decision I ever made:
Becoming AVMA Vice President. Students look to you for guidance and mentorship yet they fill you with inspiration that lasts a lifetime. It is remarkably heartwarming to be able to stay in touch with so many and continue to be inspired by what they have done.
How I made my first dollar:
My grandmother had WV's largest flower shop and greenhouses. Started there as soon as I could walk, stack pots and tend plants. Took a bunch of nickels and pennies to make that first dollar though!
How you clear you head after a bad day:
I go home and lean on my wife. Then I help take care of the poultry and pets who seem to care for you in the moment and make you realize your day wasn't really that bad.
The person I admire most:
I most admire the ones that undoubtably have influenced me the most. My wife (Mitzi), my sister (also a veterinarian), my mother and my grandmother. I have luckily had some very strong women influencing me throughout my life.
What's on the top of my bucket list
Taking an RV trip across the US including Alaska (my only unvisited state) with time to experience some lesser traveled paths.