Local veterinarian focuses on birdsWritten by David J. Coehrs | | firstname.lastname@example.org
She was considered weird in veterinary school for expressing a desire to specialize in avian medicine, then a wholly untapped and underappreciated field of study. But under the tutelage of an instructor, Susan Orosz perservered, gaining expertise in an area considered unusual even by her educators.
Now one of only two board-certified avian-medicine veterinarians in Ohio, an international speaker, and an award-winning author of two books, Orosz is satisfied she followed that path.
So are her colleagues, who presented the Curtice-area resident with the Avian Practitioner of the Year award at the Association of Avian Veterinarians meeting in August in Rhode Island.
It’s an award she helped to establish six years ago in memory of her mentor, Ted LaFeber. One of three international nominees, Orosz received a cash award and the opportunity to lecture about avian medicine at several veterinarian schools.
“It was a tremendous honor,” she said. “This is the ultimate thing to win if you’re an avian veterinarian. It’s knowing that you have spent your life on a particular course to help birds and other people recognize it.”
In addition to operating the Birds and Exotic Pet Wellness Center at 5166 Monroe St., Orosz travels worldwide to speak on avian topics, assists two area wildlife rehabilitation facilities, conducts avian research and mentors Clay High School Future Farmers of America members with an interest in pursuing veterinary careers.
It’s been a heady career for Orosz, 53, who said she struggles with other avian specialists to legitimize an area of veterinary medicine still considered a poor stepchild by some in the veterinary field.
“I’ve always wanted avian medicine to be an equal partner … and I think we’re getting closer to that,” she said. “It really is an area that has to acquire special expertise.”
A 1984 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Orosz holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Heidelberg College in Tiffin and a doctorate in human neuro anatomy from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
She practiced avian medicine in San Diego and earned a professorship and became a section chief at the University of Tennessee veterinary college before walking away to return home to the Toledo area.
“It’s such a great place,” she said of her hometown. “Compared to other cities I’ve lived in, it has everything from many perspectives. People here don’t realize what a great place it is.”
The author of two books on avian medicine, one of which won honors from The Society for Technical Communications, Orosz has never lost her fascination with birds.
“To me, they’re magical and mystical,” she said.