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Gentle Doctor (2)

For nearly four decades it stood outdoors on the north end of campus. After passersby had worn down the nose of the puppy in the doctor’s arms, a bronze replica took its place.

The original entered protective custody in the Scheman Building at the Iowa State Center.

Last summer The Gentle Doctor moved back to his spiritual home when the Dr. W. Eugene and Linda Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center (Lloyd VMC) opened its new Small Animal & Exotics Hospital.

That completed the penultimate phase of a six-year, $120 million renovation and expansion that has already changed both the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the way that Iowans look at the veterinarian profession.

Owners of patients are greeted by bright, new reception areas, waiting rooms, exam rooms, in-patient wards, surgical rooms (with windows), intensive care units, and offices.

“The old building was constructed to withstand tornadoes. It’s mostly cinder blocks with almost no windows,” explains Lloyd VMC Executive Director Dr. Rod Bagley.

“Now the light shines in through all this glass. That’s inspiring to all of us.”

It’s certainly inspiring to visitors. The Gentle Doctor greets patients behind floor-to-ceiling windows.

Waiting areas are divided by species so that sick dogs need not be stressed out by sick cats and exotic pets, and vice versa.

Children have their own separate waiting area for a similar reason. Reduced waiting time — thanks to an increase in exam rooms from 9 to 22 — helps, too.

Mirrors are placed outside each room so that doctors can make sure they look gentle and reassuring before meeting with animals and their owners.

(Read more about The Gentle Doctor)

Centuries of Care
The R. Allen Packer Heritage Room has a collection of more than 2,000 books and periodicals (many works authored by faculty and alumni) highlighting veterinary medicine from the late 1700s through the mid-1900s. Display cases of animal health medications, products, and instruments traverse decades of evolving veterinary practice in Iowa.

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