MEMBER RESOURCES

Recognizing Our Life Members

Grace M Long, DVM

December 29, 2014

Dr. Grace Long Dr. Grace Long

Dr. Grace Long is a 1971 graduate of the University of Illinois. In addition to her DVM, she also holds her MS in Clinical Pathology from the University of Illinois (1974) and her MBA from Webster University (2003). She previously served as GSLVMA President from 1994-1995, and earned Lifetime Membership status in 2011. In addition to GSLVMA, she is also a member of the AVMA, MoVMA and AAVN. In her free time she enjoys swimming and playing the piano.

Please describe your career path:

Dr. Grace Long

What is your favorite memory of GSLVMA?

The Purina Farms events.

What is your favorite aspect of veterinary medicine?

Clinical pathology

Please tell us more about yourself and your family:

  • Jim (husband) Electrical engineer

  • Michael (son) Neuroscientist with lab at NYU

  • Steven (son) Computer scientist working at Epic

  • Carey (daughter) Computer scientist turn culinary professional

If you could give one piece of advice to future veterinarians, what would it be?

This profession is as much about the people (pet owners) as it is about the pets.

Marilyn Lesch, DVM

December 22, 2014

Dr. Marilyn Lesch is a 1972 graduate of Michigan State University. She is the owner of Hoof and Paw Animal Clinic in Belleville, IL. She earned her GSLVMA Lifetime Status in 2012. In addition to GSLVMA, she is also a member of the AVMA and ISVMA.

Please describe your career path:

I did mixed practice in several states before starting a practice in Belleville, Illinois with my husband Timothy.

What is your favorite memory of GSLVMA?

All the speakers are great. The last speaker was the best who talked about twitter etc. He said it's not what you say but how you say it.

Please describe your favorite aspect of veterinary medicine:

I enjoy equine work.

Do you have any funny stories from practice to share?

A black lab in Belleville came into the clinic with a bear trap on his head and the owner asked if I could get it off because his head was swollen. It was easy to get off.

Please tell us more about yourself and your family.

We were married 28 years and have one son. We have two grandchildren.

If you could give one piece of advice to future veterinarians, what would it be?

Be patient and kind to all.

H. Gordon Gilliatt, DVM

December 15, 2014

Dr. Gordon Gilliatt is a 1963 graduate of Purdue University. In addition to his DVM, Dr. Gilliatt also holds his BS degree from Purdue. He is currently a relief veterinarian who semi-retired in 2013. He earned his GSLVMA Lifetime Status in 2003. In addition to GSLVMA, Dr. Gilliatt is also a member of the AVMA, MoVMA and AAEC.

Please describe your career path:

Associate Animal Clinic of South Bend, South Bend, IN; Associate Creve Coeur Animal Hospital; Associate Cross Keys Animal Clinic; Associate Animal Emergency Clinic; Relief Services

What is your favorite memory of GSLVMA?

Dinner Meetings at various Locations around St. Louis with Social Hours in conjunction with Auxiliary

Please describe your involvement in organized veterinary medicine:

Former Secretary, Vice-President and President of GSLVMA; Organizer of first surgical demonstrations by MVMA at Mo. State Fair

Please describe your favorite aspect of veterinary medicine:

Fertility problems and exotic cats

Please describe your favorite memory or funny story from practice:

Too many to recount in their entirety!

Please tell us more about yourself and your family.

Son Jay; Four grandchildren: Taryn, Tressa, Emily, Nate

If you could give one piece of advice to future veterinarians, what would it be?

Develop good study habits-review published articles regularly

Frank McLaughlin, DVM

December 8, 2014

Dr. Frank McLaughlin

Dr. Frank McLaughlin is a 1962 graduate of Kansas State University. He received GSLVMA Lifetime Membership Status in 2002, and is also a member of AVMA, MoVMA, and AAHA. He is still working part time, and says that he still enjoys going to work every day!

Please describe your career path:

After graduation I joined a practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From there I moved to St. Louis to work for the Humane Society of Missouri where I spent about three years. From there I went to work for Dr. Don Blake at Northwest Animal Hospital in Bridgeton. I spent seven years in that six man practice before leaving to establish a new practice called Heritage Veterinary Services in Creve Coeur in January 1974. After operating the practice for twenty-nine years I sold it to Dr. Kim Sanford in January 2003. She has made the practice grow, moved it across the street to a free standing building and renamed the practice Heritage Veterinary Hospital. It has been certified as an AAHA accredited hospital since 1996.

Please describe your involvement in organized veterinary medicine:

I served as a committee member or officer for nineteen years, serving as President in 1972-73. My favorite time was serving two years as Sunday Seminar Chairman in the 1960's and scheduling nationally known speakers for four to five annual all-day seminars. I also remember enjoying monthly GSLVMA meetings with spouses at Ruggeri's Restaurant on the Hill. After the meal we would separate for meetings/activities.

What's your favorite aspect of veterinary practice?

I've always enjoyed surgery and radiology.I remember working with Dr. J. P. Garcia at the Humane Society correcting patent ductus arteriosis cases before we got a gas anesthetic machine in the 1960's. We used pentobarbital and one of us would breathe through the endotracheal tube while the other would do the open chest surgery. We had good success.

Do you have a funny story from practice to share?

My most embarrassing moment in practice was on a hot, humid Saturday morning with a new lady client across the exam table. I kept noticing a long hair on her cheek which I thought was from a floating hair in the air. I finally said excuse me and reached up to remove the hair. To my horror I saw the skin "peak" and realized the hair was attached! I never saw her again but I learned a serious lesson.

Please tell us more about yourself and your family.

My wife Sue and I have been married for fifty-six years. We met on a blind date in 1957 in our home town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. I was home on the summer break from Pre-Vet at K-State. We have two children and four grand children.

If you could give one piece of advice to future veterinarians, what would it be?

Be open to jobs with feed companies, drug companies, and the government.

John DeGarmo, DVM

December 1, 2014

Dr. John DeGarmo is a 1966 graduate of the University of Missouri. In addition to his DVM, he also holds a B.S. in agriculture. Dr. DeGarmo worked for Alfred Moeller for the first three years following graduation, and then worked for Cap Eschenroder at Yorkshire Animal Hospital for five years. He then opened Crestwood Animal Hospital and semi-retired after 25 years. Until retirement in 2003, he worked with John Arthur at Pro Pet Center. In addition to being a member of the GSLVMA, he is also a member of AVMA, MoVMA and NEVMA. In addition to receiving Lifetime Membership in 2006, Dr. DeGarmo is also a past recipient of the St. Louis VMA Veterinarian of the Year.

Please describe any highlights from practice:

  • Was veterinarian for AB Clydesdales and helped set up breeding program in 1966. Went to Scotland to help buy breeding stock.

  • Was relief vet at St. Louis Zoo and delivered a Lesser Kudu (Zoo symbol) with Marlin Perkins watching-he named her Randy after my wife.

  • Before senior year vet school while working with Dr. Moeller removed the gall bladder of Go Go the simang monkey at zoo to cure him of salmonella-worked and he was cured. Was my senior class report and published in Zoo Veterinary Journal.

What are some of your favorite GSLVMA memories?

Receiving St. Louis VMA Veterinarian of the Year.Attending numerous social activities that were less than sedate. WE had a GOOD time!!!! Just ask Frank, Tom, and Thom.

Please describe your involvement in organized veterinary medicine:

  • President Greater St.Louis VMA

  • District Delegate MOVMA multiple term

  • One of founders St.Louis Vet Emergency Group

  • President NEVMA

  • Phi Zeta

Please describe your favorite aspect of veterinary medicine:

Surgery and treating exotics-very primitive in our approach.

Please share a funny story from practice:

Had just read a funny story from a vet's wife. Her husband had vaccinated a very small canine that the VERY large owner insisted on holding close to her chest. The vet gave the shot and several hours later the owner called the vet's wife explaining she had a small lesion in her breast and thought she may have received the vacc instead of her small dog. The wife said bring your dog back and we will be sure the dog gets the vacc. My next client was a VERY large women(and a very good long time client) with a very small dog due vaccs. It was all I could do to bite my tongue and not laugh.

Please tell us more about yourself and your family:

Married to Randy for over 50 years. Daughter Lisa lives with husband Brad in suburb north Phoenix AZ and has 3 boys 17, 16, and 13 and daughter 6. Have 2 horses, chickens, dogs and cats. Son Kevin lives in Ballwin and has 2 boys 9 and 7. Randy and I left the big city and live on a 150 acre farm 25 miles west of Hannibal. Have 10 laying chickens, 8 pygmy goats, 3 horses, 1 pony, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 tractors and are extremely active in community.

If you could give one piece of advice to future veterinarians, what would it be?

You have my sympathy. Profession is under attack by gov, HSUS, too many grads, and big conglomerates. Educational debt is a BIG concern. With salaries available it is difficult to obtain lifestyle we grads of years ago obtained. GOOD LUCK!!!! Is was a great ride but retirement is FANTASTIC!!!

Dr. Michael D. Klinger

November 24, 2014

Dr. Michael D. Klinger is a 1971 graduate of the University of Missouri. In addition to his DVM, he also holds a B.S. degree in agriculture. He is the owner of Klinger Veterinary Group, PC. He is a member of AVMA, MVMA, AAHA and AAFP. He shares his home with his wife Stacy and three children.

Please describe your career path:

After graduation I worked with Dr. Richard Riegel in Maplewood. I started my own practice in January 1976 in Richmond Heights. During the 70's and 80's Dr. Kenneth Cohn (Affton Vet Clinic) and I owned practices in University City and South St. Louis (Bevo Mill area). Animal Clinic South was started in 1986 and Valley Veterinary Clinic in 1996. The Richmond Heights practice was sold in 2000 to Dr. Gavin Hooks. I am currently working part time at the Valley Veterinary Clinic in Valley Park, MO.

What is your favorite memory of GSLVMA?

My family has always loved the socials at Purina Farms. We have made the vast majority of them and they are a tradition for us.

When I was speaker chairman of the GSLVMA I decided to invite Bob Broege, a well-known sports commentator from KMOX radio to speak at a Friday night meeting as a "change of pace". The men thought he was very interesting but the women (just a few in the 70's) didn't even know who he was. Mr Broeg wasn't sure what to talk about and was a little embarrassed too. In the end he gave an good talk which was enjoyed by most.

Please describe any roles you have held in organized veterinary medicine:

I have been privileged to serve as President of AAFP and the Midwest Small Animal Hospital Assn.

What's your favorite part of practice?

Internal Medicine is my forte. I enjoy in-depth case analysis. I also enjoy educating clients and sharing descriptive pathologic physiology.

Can you describe a favorite memory or funny story from practice?

After a long surgery that Dr. Cohn and I shared (on a chylothorax case) it was late but we were too amped-up to go home. It had snowed so we grabbed a sled and went to Art Hill to do some sled riding! We had a great time (we went to "suicide hill") until we crashed and I knocked out one of my front teeth!

Please tell us more about yourself and your family.

My wife Stacy and I have been married for 20 years and we have three great kids. Jessica is 19 and studying special education at college, Melissa is 17, on the varsity cheerleading team at Parkway South and will someday take over my practice, and Zach is 15 (Sophomore at Parkway South) and playing varsity hockey.

If you could give one piece of advice to future veterinarians, what would it be?

Don't refer everything you don't know how to diagnose or treat. There are many veterinarians that are glad to help the younger ones and teach surgical techniques and give advise on medical cases. Never stop learning! Always question your assumptions!

As veterinarians we should concentrate most on getting people to be aware of a need for our services, and least on competing with one another. Too many people never bring their pets to us for medical care. Giving away our services without justification of need only continues to lessen the image of our profession.

Alvin Kreher, DVM

November 17, 2014

Dr. Alvin Kreher is a 1974 graduate of the University of Illinois. He also holds a B.A. in Biology from SIU Edwardsville. He earned GSLVMA Lifetime Member Status in 2014. In addition to GSLVMA, he is also a member of AVMA, MoVMA and ISVMA.

After graduation, Dr. Kreher worked for two years at Lakeview Animal Clinic in East Peoria, IL with Dr. Duane Huwe. He then worked for eight years at Surburban Animal Clinic with Dr. Paul Belkin. For the past 30 years, he has owned and operated Overland Animal Clinic.

Dr. Alid H. Shariff

November 10, 2014

Dr. Alid Shariff is a 1965 graduate of the University of Banglore, India. He also holds his M.S. degree from the University of Nebraska. He is also a member of AVMA and MVMA. He earned his lifetime member status in 2005, and retired in 2010.

After graduation, Dr. Shariff worked with Melman Animal Hospital in Washington D.C for a year, then worked with Johnson Animal Hospital in Salsburry, MD. After moving to St. Louis, Dr. Shariff worked with the Humane Society of Missouri before opening his own clinic, Murphy Animal Hospital in High Ridge, MO. Dr. Shariff owned Murphy Animal Hospital for more than 27 years and sold the practice in December of 2010. He now works as a relief veterinarian.

Dr. Donald Bridges

November 3, 2014

Dr. Donald Bridges is a 1971 graduate of Kansas State University. He is currently working at High Ridge Animal Hospital. He is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. His favorite aspect of membership in the Greater St. Louis Veterinary Medical Association has been the continuing education. He earned lifetime membership in our organization in 2011. Dr. Bridges also sites working with people as being the best memory from practice!

Ghulam Malik, DVM

October 27, 2014

Dr. Ghulam Malik Dr. Ghulam Malik

Dr. Ghulam Malik is a 1966 graduate of the University of Veterinary Sciences of Lahore Pakistan. After graduating, he worked as a large animal veterinarian under Pakistan's Livestock Department. After moving to the United States, he worked as a histologist in Rockville, MD and completed his internship for the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG). After becoming licensed, he moved to Missouri and worked for the Humane Society for six years. In 1986, Dr. Malik started his own small animal practice in Dellwood, MO. He still works part-time at Dellwood Animal Clinic and plans to retire at the end of 2016. Dr. Malik earned GSLVMA Lifetime Member Status in 2006, and is also a member of the AVMA and MoVMA.

What is your favorite memory of GSLVMA?

Excellent organization, good educational seminars, good friends specially from the Humane Society.

Please describe your favorite aspect of veterinary medicine:

Small animal medicine and soft tissue surgery.

Do you have a funny story from veterinary practice?

Not a particular story, but quite a few times owners would bring kittens with female names turned out to be male cats.

Please tell us more about yourself and your family.

We raised a son and a daughter. My son Hassan Malik is a physician and has his practice in Akron OH. My daughter Yasmin Malik is an Art Therapist in Portland Oregon.

If you could give one piece of advice to future veterinarians, what would it be?

Future is good if you love animals but no good if you love money.

John Clark, DVM

October 20, 2014

Dr. John Clark Dr. John Clark

Dr. John Clark is a 1974 graduate of the University of Missouri. In addition to his DVM, he also holds a B.S. degree in Agriculture from MU. In addition to his GSLVMA membership, he is also a member of the AVMA and the MoVMA. Previously, Dr. Clark was a member of AAHA, the California VMA and the Southern California VMA.

Please describe your career path:

What is your favorite memory of GSLVMA?

We changed from the monthly veterinarian and spousal social and short scientific meetings to the current monthly 2-3 hour scientific meetings in 1977. A lot of spouses and some veterinarians were not happy about the change. Nationally known speakers were easy to get back then and we had plenty of them talk to us. In our conference rooms we always had cocktails and some socialization before the meeting. Food was light.

Please describe your involvement in organized veterinary medicine:

  • 1977: Program Co-Chair, GSLVMA

  • 1978: Board of Directors, Animal Emergency Clinic

  • 1985-1989: Appointed AAHA Member Representative, Eastern MO and Western IL

  • 2000-2001: Vice President, GSLVMA

  • 2001-2002: President, GSLVMA

  • 2002-2003: Board of Directors, GSLVMA

  • 2009 - Present: MVMA Scope of Practice Committee

Please describe your favorite aspect of veterinary medicine:

Small animal medicine and work with native wildlife thru Wildlife Rescue when they were located in Kirkwood. We saw everything(crows, hawks, geese, eagles, owls, coyotes, foxes, beavers, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, a badger, turtles). We let the Wildlife Rescue people reach into the crates to get them out. Our livelihood was based on the use of our hands! We had a lot of fun.

Please describe your favorite memory or funny story from practice:

We had a client who ate a large heartworm pill called "Filaribits." The pill is an inch square, huge, and brown like a Pet Tab. The client said she got it mixed up with her pills. She was mixed up alright!

What advice would you share with young veterinarians:

  • Always recommend the best treatment for an animal, then give alternative choices if they just can't afford the best. Remember do what is right and best for the pet.

  • Give the "warm fuzzys" to patient and client.

  • Don't let "crazies" ruin your practice and your esteem. It's OK to send them on their way to some other place.

  • We all make mistakes. Learn from it and don't do it again.

  • Patience.

  • Keep your hospital super clean. It is an indication on how you practice medicine.

  • Stay up-to-date and buy good equipment. It will make life easier and it will pay for itself.

  • Mentor young veterinarians so they will become good veterinarians. Don't hog all of the glory.

  • Don't stay at work so you don't have to face family problems. Family comes first.

  • Veterinary medicine has changed dramatically during my 40 years of practice. Furthermore, you too will be saying the same thing after your 40 years of practice. Just stay up-to-date with your knowledge.

  • And remember, one day you will look around and you'll find that you're the oldest one at the meeting. It all goes by so quickly.