Mid-Rivers Equine Centre is pleased to welcome surgeon Dr. Richard Hartman. Dr. Hartman comes to us from Purdue University where he completed a three year surgical residency. Prior to that, Dr. Hartman completed a one-year internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Hartman received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University in 2009.
Equine surgeons are rare and coveted, making Dr. Richard Hartman a welcomed and valuable addition to the Mid-Rivers Equine Centre team. The competition for placement in surgical residencies is rigorous. Only sixteen doctors in the US were accepted into Equine Surgical Residency programs in 2010, the very year Dr. Hartman began his three-year residency at Purdue University‚Äôs renowned school of veterinary medicine.
The competition for talented equine surgeons made Hartman‚Äôs choice of Mid-Rivers especially welcomed by practice owners Dr. Baxter and Dr. Ellis. ‚ÄúWe are excited to have Dr. Hartman,‚Äù stated Dr. Ellis. ‚ÄúHe allows us to expand the depth of our surgical practice.‚Äù Indeed: Dr. Hartman is a valuable asset to the equine hospital and our patients. His recounting of his intense days as a surgical resident proves he is ready for the hectic pace at Mid-Rivers. For instance, he once participated in seventeen surgeries in a single day. Talk about a workhorse!
Dr. Hartman was particularly attracted to Mid-Rivers Equine Centre as it is a ‚Äúprogressive practice that continually keeps updating‚Äù their methods. ‚ÄúIf you‚Äôre not continually changing and innovating,‚Äù states Dr. Hartman, the practice falls behind the expectations of modern equine medicine. Over time, the level of care to the practice‚Äôs equine patients diminishes. By routinely updating their equine medical practice, Mid-Rivers Equine Centre‚Äôs current and advancing approach to equine surgery appeals to equine surgeons like Dr. Hartman.
Of course, factors other than an appealing medical practice attracted Dr. Hartman to our equine medical center. Since Dr. Hartman is a St. Louis native, it was a perk to bring his wife, Jaimee, and two daughters Olivia, 5, and Rosa, 2, back to his hometown. Along with his wife and two daughters is the family dog Chaos and Ra (his wife‚Äôs cat, which he is quick to point out). And if you‚Äôre asking the classic St. Louis question, ‚ÄúWhat high school did he go to?‚Äù the answer is: Chaminade. The family seems ready for the new city and the new position.
Dr. Hartman‚Äôs status as a St. Louisian is appealing to Mid Rivers as well. ‚ÄúSince he is from St. Louis, he knows the area. This will be instrumental in helping further develop the Mid-Rivers Mobile practice,‚Äù says Dr. Ellis.
Jaimee has always wanted to ride horses and Olivia is often described as ‚Äúhorse crazy.‚Äù We are sure it won‚Äôt be long before their first horse arrives. Dr. Hartman would like to learn roping or mounted shooting but unfortunately, an equine surgeon‚Äôs schedule leaves little time to dedicate to new hobbies. So for now he will stick to bow hunting and fly-fishing.
Even though Dr. Hartman does not own any horses, his profound respect for the equine athlete became overwhelmingly evident during our talk for this article. We were discussing his internship and he asked me if I had ever seen a treadmill exam with a racehorse. When I said ‚Äúno,‚Äù his body language changed entirely. His pace quickened; he sat up higher in his seat, leaned forward, and spoke with a deeper sense of passion. ‚ÄúThere is nothing like standing next to a race horse running 40 mph on a treadmill. As you begin to hear the thunder of the hooves, the sound of their breathing intensifies and the room begins to shake. You can trace every vein and every muscle in the horse‚Äôs body. There is nothing like it.‚Äù
Dr. Hartman will tell you he is consistently ‚Äúon the move‚Äù. His veterinarian students at Purdue would joke that you could never find him in his office and needed a GPS locator to find him. In his first two weeks at the Hospital he has performed everything from lameness exams, to joint injections, to surgeries, to being the veterinarian at the Mobile Hospital at the Kansas City Royal. He is busy, busy, busy. Just the way he likes it.
Dr. Hartman‚Äôs enthusiasm for the sport horse and equine medicine makes it difficult to believe that he did not go to school knowing he would specialize in equine surgery. His initial plan was to become a small animal surgeon and critical care doctor. His back up plan was to attend culinary school. Thankfully he was accepted to veterinary school and during this equine rotation in his fourth year, he ended up in a colic surgery. He was absolutely fascinated. He couldn‚Äôt get enough of these amazing creatures and was instantly hooked: Equine surgery was his calling.