It’s a family business
Michael Rogers is a fourth-year veterinary student and president of the student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) at Oklahoma State University’s (OSU’s) College of Veterinary Medicine. Rogers found his passion early, helping his grandfather with the family business raising Quarter horse racehorses as a young boy. When the family was away, he’d help in the evenings by checking on the horses, especially the foaling mares.
His interest in Quarter horse breeding remains strong today. It led him to OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine Ranch, a 640-acre ranch where he works with mares and stallions in his study of equine theriogenology. He and his wife, who is also interested in a career in veterinary medicine, live at the ranch and take care of the horses in the evenings and on weekends. Both have first-hand experience in horse ranch and breeding management. Rogers has worked at the ranch with Reed Holyoak, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, and Chelsea Makloski, DVM, Dipl. ACT, since the summer before his first semester in vet school. “The various wet labs — to be able to put some of that classroom knowledge to work, to get your hands dirty — they have hooked me,” says Rogers.
Besides his extensive experience with horses, Rogers also credits the people at the national AAEP office for influencing him to pursue a career in equine medicine. Both the student and national AAEP groups encourage students to get involved and understand all the options the profession offers. “There are quite a variety of aspects to equine practice,” Rogers says. “Even if you do concentrate in one area, there is always a sick foal or a stallion to take care of.”
Rogers expects to intern at OSU while his wife pursues her degree at the College of Veterinary Medicine there. She is three years behind him, so that gives him time to complete the internship while she goes to school. OSU also offers two equine theriogenology residency positions, another potential goal for Rogers after completing his internship. Eventually, he plans to work as a large-animal practitioner, probably in a rural community.