“I have two grandchildren. Both their grandpas, both parents and three uncles are veterinarians—all Oklahoma State grads. We’re pretty much in love with veterinary medicine and Oklahoma State,” said Dr. Paul DuBois of Cameron, Okla., during his 50th class reunion in May 2017. “My father-in-law had three daughters, all of those went to Oklahoma State, all the sons-in-laws did, all the grandchildren did and now a great grandchild is there. So we can’t separate an OSU pep rally from a family reunion.
“I actually wanted to be a Vo Ag teacher. My Ag teacher said he often wished he had tried to go to veterinary school and that he thought I could do that. It was not any life-long thing but I’m very thankful and I recognize that he was one of the most influential people in my life other than my family.
“I had already started planning to go to Oklahoma State to major in vocational agriculture. It was the only opportunity in this state. The same was true with veterinary medicine and I’m grateful I came here. Maybe it was part of God’s design because I met my wife the first week I was in Stillwater.”
Veterinary medicine provides lots of opportunities, lots of careers and DuBois has experienced several of those following his graduation in 1967.
“After spending a few months in practice, I was in the military for two years. Part of the time I was doing food inspection, procurement inspection and then I spent a year in Vietnam. After the military, I returned to mixed practice. I thought every drug salesman knew more about the immune system than I did so after being out of school nine years, I went to graduate school to earn a degree in immunology. I also did board certification in theriogenology and then taught in Georgia’s veterinary school a little over two years.”
A conversation he overhead with his oldest son and a neighbor kid convinced DuBois to change his career path again.
“He said, ‘when I get big, I’m going to be a veterinarian. My dad used to be one.’ So I went back into private practice for 21 years. The next nine years I was manager of veterinary services for Cargill Pork. In addition to managing herd health, I spent time on animal welfare issues for Cargill, on the social issues surrounding food animal production. I’m still involved in doing some consultation.”
Unlike most veterinarians, DuBois doesn’t claim to be an ‘animal lover.’
“Over the years people would say you’ve been a veterinarian, I bet you just love animals. I’d say, no, I love people; I hope I’m remembered for loving people. I like to be able to serve people and help people who have animals. We all ought to contribute to society to make it a better place.
“I had the opportunity to lecture this past spring to third year vet students. We talked about swine respiratory disease. I told them that when I was in school, none of these disease agents were there. We had a different set of agents but the principles of disease control across all species are not unique to one species. It’s critical to learn the principles so you’re prepared for whatever changes.”
One thing won’t change for sure and that’s the connection the DuBois family has to OSU and veterinary medicine!