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Swaim Fund For Excellence

Dr. Steven F. Swaim retired from Auburn University in 2003 after a 34-year career in veterinary medicine.  He is a world-renowned scientist in the field of small animal wound management and reconstructive surgery.  A pioneer in veterinary wound management and reconstructive surgery, he has advanced the science of wound management, practiced the art of reconstructive surgery on horribly injured dogs, cats and horses and trained the next generations of veterinary surgeons who will carry this specialty forward for the benefit of companion animals.

About Dr. Swaim

Dr. Swaim was recruited to Auburn University in 1969 by Dr. Benjamin F. Hoerlein, the founder and first Director of the Scott-Ritchey Research Center.  Dr. Swaim rose through the ranks, becoming a full Professor in 1984.  Initially his interest and training through Dr. Hoerlein was in neurosurgery and he made a number of important contributions to the scientific literature in this area of research and patient care.  But in the late 1970's, he became interested in wound management and reconstructive surgery as a new discipline in veterinary medicine.  Over the next decade, his contributions to this exciting new field became recognized widely and he authored the first textbook on this topic in veterinary medicine entitled, “Surgery of Traumatized Skin: Management of Reconstruction in the Dog and Cat”, published by W.B. Saunders in 1980.  In 1984, he started contributing chapters and papers on techniques for wound management and reconstructive surgery to various textbooks and journals on small animal surgery.  In 1990, he co-authored with his colleague, Dr. Ralph Henderson, the definitive text on “Small Animal Wound Management” which is now in its second edition.

One of the talents that distinguishes Dr. Swaim from most scientists is his effort and success in translating his research findings to the clinical care of patients.  The clinical aspects of his efforts would not be complete without saying that Dr. Swaim invests enormous compassion and concern for his patients, many of whom were injured so desperately that most clinicians would have taken the easier path.  Dr. Swaim’s diligence, concern and skill usually resulted in recoveries which astounded others, but he took it as a matter of faith.  Of course, his active involvement in patient care is also key to the education of veterinary students in the Teaching Hospital who are instructed in procedures that almost no other veterinary students have the opportunity to learn.

In addition to his contributions to research and patient care, he has mentored many postdoctoral, graduate and professional veterinary students.  In 1999, his excellence in teaching was recognized by the Auburn Alumni Association with the Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award.  He was also recipient of the SmithKline Beechan Research Excellence Award, named Veterinarian of the Year by the American Animal Hospital Association and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Merit Award in 2003.

In retirement Dr. Swaim continues to consult with practicing veterinarians on clinical cases and with companies on research in developing new wound management materials.  He also continues to do some professional writing as reflected by his coauthoring of the textbook “Small Animal Bandaging, Casting and Splinting Techniques”, published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2011.

This endowment is established by gifts from friends of Steven F. Swaim, D.V.M., M.S., for the purpose of providing funds for excellence in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  It is an endowment which recognizes Dr. Swaim’s contributions to the veterinary profession, companion animal practice, research and teaching.  It is the hope of the Scott-Ritchey Research Center and the College of Veterinary Medicine that this endowment will provide the foundation for the continuation of Dr. Swaim’s work by the establishment of a residency program with a focus on wound management.

Donations may be made to the Auburn University Foundation and sent to Sam Hendrix, 317 S. College Street, Auburn University, AL 36849.  Please specify on the check that it is for the Swaim Endowment.  For more information, call 334-844-1446.

Dr. Steve Swaim

What Others Are Saying...

“In his 30 plus years at Auburn University, he has personally taught over 3000 veterinarians just through his daily activities.  More importantly, he has been a role model as to how to balance being a veterinarian, caring for animals and developing a novel avenue of treatment for wounds and reconstructive surgery.” ~AR Dillon

“In my short 4 years working with Dr. Swaim, I witnessed more dramatic recoveries than I thought I would see in a lifetime.” ~JT Winkler

“Dr. Swaim is a gifted man, able to design and implement research that makes wound management and reconstructive surgery accessible to the veterinary practitioner.” ~DM Bradley

“As a teacher, Dr. Swaim is phenomenal, once in his presence, his passion and enthusiasm for wound healing and reconstructive surgery was contagious.” ~DD Myer

 
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