Dr. James Smith

American Association of Equine Practitioners 2003

Dr. James SmithKansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Veterinary Medical Alumni Association honored Dr. James Smith, a 1958 graduate of Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, with the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award. The Award was presented to Dr. Smith on November 22, 2003, at the alumni reception of the annual meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana.

While growing up in Hutchinson, Kansas, Jim first became interested in veterinary medicine while working on his uncle's farm the summer after his seventh grade school year. Smith always imagined himself as a mixed practitioner, with an emphasis in cattle, but during his senior year at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine he became more interested in horses, which has been his sole focus for the past 43 years.

Dr. Smith has enjoyed a long and successful career since his graduation in 1958. Dr. Smith first worked at a general practice in Hutchinson, Kansas before returning to K-State as a Large Animal Clinician in the Department of Surgery and Medicine. Next, Dr. Smith ran an equine practice in Wichita, Kansas from 1960 to 1962 until he accepted a position with the equine practice, Hagyard-Davidson-McGee in Lexington, Kentucky.

Hagyard-Davidson-McGee, founded in 1876, is an international leader in equine veterinary medicine and employs more than 40 veterinarians. Dr. Smith is currently a senior partner and practicing veterinarian in theriogenology and ophthalmology at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee. Dr. Smith's position there will take him to Panama City, Panama in January to speak at a symposium hosted by the firm. The symposium will feature hands-on wet labs and lectures highlighting the most recent diagnostic and treatment techniques in reproduction, medicine, ophthalmology and lameness as well as programs on nutrition and vaccination. The firm has hosted numerous similar conferences in Lexington, Kentucky, but this will be the first time the firm has provided a program of this nature outside the United States. Dr. Smith will give two lectures and a lab: Ophthalmology (Examination and Diagnostic Techniques to Eye Problems), Vaccination Protocols, and an Ophthalmology lab.

Dr. Smith has been an extremely active member of both the veterinary and civic world serving as president to the Kentucky Equine Practitioners Association, as well as board member, secretary and treasurer of the AAEP. Smith has also been active in Rotary, the Kentucky Harness Commission, the Kentucky Equine Drug Council, the Fayette County Board of Education, Kentucky Equine Practitioners Infectious Disease Committee, Quality Assurance Program of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, the Jockey Club Medication Commission, and the Bluegrass Boys Ranch. Dr. Smith was honored for his work as a racing commissioner in 1990 when he received the Pew Award for Racing Commissions, and again in 1992 with the E.R. Frank Award for Meritorious Service from the Kansas State University Veterinary Medical Alumni Association.

Of all of Dr. Smith's many achievements, he is most proud of his work with young veterinarians that have spent time at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee. Dr. Smith's firm is host to young veterinarians and veterinary students from around not only the country, but also the world. Dr. Smith has enjoyed helping these young people, and feels that this has been one if his most important roles.

In addition to Dr. Smith's extremely active career, he has managed to find time for family – a lot of family. Jim and his wife Judy have raised eight children: Laura, Kelley, Jeffrey, Timothy, Amy, Edward Profitt, Jonathan Profitt, and Madison. The Smith family has owned and raised thoroughbred horses since 1978, creating a strong interest in horses in all of Jim and Judy's children.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is in grateful recognition of the time and effort devoted to advancing the profession of veterinary medicine and for being an exemplary role model for future alumni of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in a professional and community setting. Since his graduation in 1958, Dr. James Smith has demonstrated these values through his servitude to both the veterinary profession and society.