Brian Whitlock

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Assistant Professor
  Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Office: C222 Vet Hospital
Phone: (865) 974-5703

Focus: Field Services, Theriogenology

Biographical sketch

Dr. Brian Whitlock, Section Head of Field Services in Large Animal Clinical Sciences, is a tenure-track Associate Professor and a board certified veterinary theriogenologist. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Campbellsville University and his M.S. in animal science from Michigan State University. After working almost exclusively on dairy and beef cattle while in private practice, Whitlock completed a residency in theriogenology at Auburn, followed by a Ph.D. with an emphasis in reproductive neuroendocrinology.

Having been raised on a small tobacco and dairy farm in Kentucky, Dr. Whitlock’s background was the biggest influence on his career choice. The interactions he witnessed between farmers and the local veterinarian, as well as the impact that veterinarian had on farmers’ lives and animals, made him passionate about helping them improve their operations so they can become more profitable and economically stable. He tries to instill that passion in his students by preparing them to be practice-ready when they graduate.

Dr. Whitlock envisioned and initiated a novel way to help students improve their understanding of all aspects of food animal medicine, including routine and emergency health care, as well as production and preventive medicine. Students on their fourth-year Field Services clinical rotation experience a lot of down time in the ambulatory truck driving from farm to farm. He uses that time to engage students in unique ways. Thanks to Dr. Whitlock’s vision, the ambulatory truck now has touchscreen monitors, computers, and “clickers” (student response system) to accompany learning modules. This technology allows the professor to quiz the students. So, as this mobile classroom traverses the roads, Dr. Whitlock is able to determine if the students on board are comprehending the learning objectives for the day, and he adjusts his teaching as needed.

“It’s one thing for our students to have head knowledge and apply it in a hospital setting with all the technical support they need,” says Whitlock. “It’s a completely different scenario to take students into the field where we don’t always know what we are facing until we arrive. At times, it does put students in difficult situations they can’t anticipate and forces them to apply knowledge in a unique environment. I think it pushes them further and is the closest thing they will experience to private practice while in vet school.”

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