Gary R. Johnston, DVM, MS, has joined Western University of Health
Sciences (WesternU) as the University’s first professor in its new College
of Veterinary Medicine, scheduled to open in fall 2001.
Dr. Johnston comes to WesternU from the College of Veterinary Medicine at
Washington State University. He is a board certified radiologist, and
successfully worked toward incorporation of radiology concepts into the
curriculum of first-year veterinary students at Washington State, a
concept he also hopes to implement at WesternU.
“”IT was a whole new slant for the first-year anatomy program, to bring
radioographic anatomy into the freshmen curriculum,”” Dr. Johnston
said. “”The sooner the students have an understanding of radiology and
normal radiographic anatomy, the better they will be prepared for courses
in the second and third years where radiographic examples of disease
conditions are presented.””
Dr. Johnston currently is working to create a database of software
programs available for veterinary teaching, and examining those programs
to see how they could fit into the WesternU curriculum. He also is working
on a Web site for the College of Veterinary Medicine.
He earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Washington State
University, and his master’s in science from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Johnston also is a diplomate of the American College of
Veterinary Radiologists and a member of the American Veterinary Medical
Association. He has received numerous research grants, and has published
more than 100 articles in scientific publications.
WesternU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will be the first veterinary
school to open in Southern California and the first in the United States
According to a Veterinary Medicine Task Force Report produced by WesternU,
Southern California is the last major metropolitan area in the United
States without the direct presence of a program to educate veterinarians.
Although the region hosts a rich supply of animals, supporting virtually
every element of veterinary practice, the number of veterinarians in the
western United States remains low in comparison to national averages.
California has 1.64 veterinarians per 10,000 people – substantially less
than the national average of 2.16 veterinarians per 10,000 people.
WesternU President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, has said the University intends
to create a distinctive veterinary school of which the entire profession
will be proud.
“”To undertake such an effort, it must mesh with our university’s primary
care, student-centered culture and humanistic environment while
significantly advancing veterinary medicine and veterinary education,”” Dr.
Dr. Johnston lives in Claremont with his wife, Shirley, who is the
founding dean of WesternU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The couple has
“”It is really good to have the whole family here together,”” Dr. Johnston
said. “”This is a wonderful chance for us to do something special: to build
a veterinary college from scratch.””