Friday, April 10, 2015

Dr. William Moyer Retires from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. William Moyer retired last month after 22 years of service to the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. His writing and speaking on the subject of equine lameness in sport and racehorses, and in particular his interest in the equine foot have made him a frequent subject of Hoofcare and Lameness articles since early days. (TAMU photo)

Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas recently honored William Moyer, DVM with a retirement party. The Hoof Blog pairs some photos from the party with the University's official farewell to Dr. Moyer, who also recently served as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and is a popular lecturer on equine lameness.

From Texas A&M:

After 22 years of service, one of the most well known equine veterinarians in the nation hung up his hat and retired from Texas A&M. Dr. William Moyer, professor and former department head for the Large Animal Clinical Sciences department in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), has left an indelible mark on large animal medicine through his education, service, and research efforts.

Texas A&M hosted a western-themed party for
Dr. Moyer last month.
“Dr. Moyer is truly an icon, both at the CVM and in equine veterinary medicine across the country,” said Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine. “His leadership and service have extended the already excellent reputation of Texas A&M to new audiences around the world. At his retirement, we celebrated his achievements and express our sincere gratitude for his contributions to our college and to equine medicine. Those who know him best would be disappointed if we did not mention his zest for life and fun-loving spirit.”

Moyer arrived at the CVM in 1993 after spending 13 years on faculty with the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in the School of Veterinary Medicine. It was at the New Bolton Center where Moyer would complete both a equine surgical internship and residency after graduating with his DVM from Colorado State University in 1970. After his residency was finished, Moyer went into private practice in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania for seven years. He continued his relationship with the New Bolton Center by serving as a visiting lecturer in the Large Animal Surgery section at the Center.

When an opportunity to serve as a department head at Texas A&M became available, Moyer moved his family to Texas to join the administrative team at the CVM.

Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M, described Dr. Moyer as an icon of veterinary medicine, both at A&M and across the country.

During 22 years, there were several challenges, but none of which were overwhelming,” said Moyer. “The university and college were and remain in good shape, which has not been the case for many CVMs. I believe our department is very highly regarded nationally and world-wide, and one of the most satisfying aspects of my time at Texas A&M has been supporting efforts leading to individual and departmental excellence.”

Almost immediately upon his arrival, Moyer was tasked with working with a professor from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to develop a way to manage and distribute funds from a recently acquired donation. The result was The Link Equine Research Endowment, a program of funding equine research that remains very much the same today as it was when it started. 

Kent Carter, MS, DVM  is Professor & Assistant Department Head for Animal Resources at Texas A&M and currently serves as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Twelve years later, Moyer would lead another effort of historical proportions. Hurricane Rita slammed into the East Texas coast in September 2005 forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from the area. Given two days notice, Moyer, along with CVM faculty, staff, and students, converted the large animal hospital into a human medical facility. More than 700 evacuees were admitted over three days, many of whom had special medical needs. This response would lead to the creation of the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET), a special group in which Moyer served.

“The Texas A&M VET is leading the world in learning, teaching/training and implementing emergency response and disaster management as it effects the animal and human population,” said Moyer. “This team is an example of the spectacular commitment of the CVM to serve the community, state, and country.”

In addition to his leadership in the CVM, Moyer’s leadership has impacted equine veterinary medicine on a national scale through his service as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead through my involvement in the AAEP,” said Moyer. “I witnessed changes and growth in equine veterinary practice. I helped in addressing the issues faced on a national scale by equine practitioners. Most of all, I was able to continue my commitment to lifelong learning by engaging with my colleagues at this level.”

Dr. Moyer spoke to A&M friends from a podium set amidst historic western artifacts. 
Moyer also noted how the information base in veterinary medicine has grown significantly during his time in academic veterinary medicine, and the challenge it poses to educating the next generation of veterinarians.

“Today’s student is exposed to multiple treatment and diagnostic tools, but the curriculum length remains in place,” said Moyer. “With each addition to the curriculum a decision has to be considered as to what will be taught and what will be taught in a reduced form. It was and always will be a trade off. This is a problem faced by all CVMs. As an administrator and faculty member, I have been exposed to most all the CVMs (including those in other countries) and I have yet to be aware of one that outdoes Texas A&M with regard to its dedication to students.”

Facing exponential growth, curriculum changes, and expansion of equine research, Moyer says he wouldn’t change a thing. 

“It has been fun, challenging, and interesting,” said Moyer. “I’m very happy to have had this opportunity.”  

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