N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: October 24, 1981
Discipline / contribution: Veterinary medicine
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Douglas Charles Blood, Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Doug was born in England and received his elementary education in Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree in 1942. Immediately after graduation he enlisted in the Australian Army and was stationed in Northern Australia until the end of the war.
In 1945, he was appointed to the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, where he taught large animal medicine until 1957. During these years he distinguished himself as an outstanding veterinary clinician and teacher.
In 1957, he and his family immigrated to Canada, to Guelph, Ontario, where he was appointed Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College.
The arrival of Doug Blood gave the College an injection of "new blood" which revolutionized the teaching and practice of large animal medicine in Canada. Here was an excellent classroom teacher, a scientific clinician and a master of the veterinary literature in large animal medicine.
He taught, and students teamed, how to examine an animal in a systematic manner and to make a logical clinical diagnosis using one's five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch - combined with the use of a thermometer and stethoscope. He also taught that the sixth sense should not be intuition, but rather experience and learning from one's mistakes.
This dedication to teaching of farm animal medicine led him, with the assistance of Dr. J.A. Henderson, to write and publish, in 1960, the First Edition of Veterinary Medicine - A Textbook of the Diseases of Cattle, Sheep, Pigs and Horses. The book is a standard reference and teaching textbook used universally by veterinary students and practitioners and has been revised every five years. The Sixth Edition is now being prepared while he is on sabbatical leave at the University of Saskatchewan. The book has consistently brought together in a concise form the large amount of literature which has been published in the field of farm animal medicine. It has also been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Japanese.
In 1962, Professor Blood returned to Australia to establish a Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne and to become its first Dean. Under his leadership, a Preventive Medicine Unit was started and soon developed an international reputation for research in preventive medicine of farm animals. The concept that subclinical disease was economically more important than clinical disease, and that major economic gains for the farmer could be made through planned animal health and production programs which identify and correct subclinical disease in livestock herds was established through field research projects. An effective planned animal health and production program requires good record keeping and regular analysis of animal performance, and Professor Blood was among the first to use the computer for this purpose. The computer software programs developed there are now being used in systems in operation in Australia and England, and currently being developed in Canada.
After establishing the Veterinary Faculty at Melbourne and being Dean for six years, and feeling that he had become too detached from his real vocation with veterinary students and food-producing animals. Professor Blood left the Deanship and returned full-time to the Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies where he has been Professor and Head since 1969. He has published many original research papers on preventive medicine and has given invited lectures on the topic internationally.
Doug Blood is a founding Fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists, a professional body whose major objective is to improve the quality of veterinary medicine by formal examination of veterinarians for membership or fellowship. He was the Chief Examiner of the College for ten years. He is also a member of the Council of the Australian Veterinary Association.
In 1981, he was made an Honorary Associate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons of Great Britain, and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for outstanding service to veterinary science.
In addition to his five years in Canada from 1957 to 1962, Doug has visited Canada on four other occasions and he assures me that he looks on Canada as his second home. He has participated in two short courses on preventive medicine held at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and has given one of the D.L.T. Smith Distinguished Lectures. Doug Blood is a dedicated, outstanding, veterinary teacher and clinical researcher who pursues excellence in his work and has made major contributions to veterinary medicine.
He has a most gracious wife, Marian, who has been his biggest supporter and helper throughout his career, and she and Doug has found enough time to raise five daughters.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Douglas Charles Blood and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Otto Radostits
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