Pulse - August 2021 - 10

SCVMA PROFILE JIM BELL
Since 1981, Dr. Sullivan
Has Been Giving Back to the
Veterinary Profession
D
r. Richard Sullivan is clearly one of organized
veterinary medicine's most ardent
proponents in Southern California and
he has the resume to prove it.
It all began in 1981, he said in an interview, when
he was asked if he would be interested in serving on
the SCVMA Board of Trustees. " I thought why not
give it a try? That's how it got started. I literally got
hooked on it. It seemed like a very good way to give
back to the profession.
" That stuck with me the whole time. I got interested
in it, it seemed worthwhile and I just kept going with it. "
Dr. Sullivan began the latest " give back " step in his
career when he began his six-year term as District X
representative on the AVMA Board of Directors at the
end of July. He represents California, Nevada and Hawaii
and is one of 15 voting members.
The job requires " some travel and a lot of hours, " he
said, " not only going to board meetings but representing
the board on different committees or councils. " He
is " getting an exit strategy in place " for his retirement as
a practicing veterinarian so he can devote more time to
his new role.
Dr. Sullivan is co-owner with Dr. Norma Rios of Bay
Cities Pet Hospital in Torrance. He said that he will miss
working there with DVM graduates. " It's always a good
working relationship. We like training them in how our
clinic operates and they challenge us with all the questions
they ask. If I can't answer all their questions, I have
to get back to the books or get online to figure out
what's going on. "
Dr. Sullivan served as SCVMA president in 1987. " I
worked on the Peer Review Committee for SCVMA for
a number of years, too, and that was a great experience.
Later a position came open on the CVMA board and I
went that direction. I was president of CVMA and I got
on the CVMA legislative committee very early on and
have been on it ever since.
" Legislative and regulatory issues interested me very
much so I kept pursuing those avenues. You have to have
an interest in it because it takes time to read about the
issues and study them, particularly on the regulatory side.
You've got to read regulations to understand them and
know how they affect the profession.
" In 2010 I started on the VMB's Multidisciplinary
Advisory Committee (MDC) and was appointed in 2012
by Gov. Jerry Brown to the Veterinary Medical Board. I
10
served on the VMB six years and am now back on the
MDC. This work is essential to make laws and regulations
more practical and functional for veterinarians, while still
protecting the public, " he said.
The young Dick Sullivan grew up on a small dairy
farm in Wisconsin. " It was a family farm. We had pigs
and sheep as well as dairy cows. We did 4H and FFA and
all the stuff that farm kids do. It was a great foundation
for becoming a veterinarian, " he said.
" My hero was Dr. Robert Keith, our local veterinarian.
We had some sheep that we would show at county
fairs and the state fair. We would spend Thanksgiving at
the International Livestock Amphitheater in Chicago
showing sheep. We didn't have a lot of animals and Dr.
Keith made the mistake of giving us his home phone
number. I would call him and he would come out at any
time. He was very instrumental in my interest in veterinary
medicine. "
Dr. Sullivan earned his DVM degree at Purdue University.
" After I graduated, I was still young and maybe a
little immature and I decided that, once I got into practice,
I probably wouldn't have the courage to take off and
do any traveling. So I decided to join the Peace Corps.
" I spent two years in the southwestern part of Brazil
in the early 1970s as an extension veterinarian in an area
that was not very developed agriculturally. I didn't know
any foreign language and no one in the town where I
ended up spoke English so I learned Portuguese quickly.
It was a great experience.
" There was a new veterinary school about 90 miles
away in the major city nearest me. The instructors were
all recent graduates like me. And a lady who went into
the Peace Corps at the same time I did was a
AUGUST 2021
con gtinued
PULSE

Pulse - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - August 2021

August 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
Pulsepoints
SCVMA Profile
Everybody’s Hiring... or Trying To
Practical Pathology
Medical Leeway
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Angel Fund
Dear Tabby
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
AVMA Diplomates
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Resources
Disease Table
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - August 2021 - August 2021
Pulse - August 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - August 2021 - 1
Pulse - August 2021 - 2
Pulse - August 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - August 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - August 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - August 2021 - 6
Pulse - August 2021 - 7
Pulse - August 2021 - 8
Pulse - August 2021 - 9
Pulse - August 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - August 2021 - 11
Pulse - August 2021 - Everybody’s Hiring... or Trying To
Pulse - August 2021 - 13
Pulse - August 2021 - 14
Pulse - August 2021 - 15
Pulse - August 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - August 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - August 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - August 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - August 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - August 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - August 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - August 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - August 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - August 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - August 2021 - 26
Pulse - August 2021 - 27
Pulse - August 2021 - 28
Pulse - August 2021 - Resources
Pulse - August 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - August 2021 - 31
Pulse - August 2021 - 32
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Pulse - August 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - August 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - August 2021 - Cover4
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