Purdue Profiles: Henry Green

October 1, 2013  

Henry Green

Dr. Henry W. Green III, professor of cardiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. (Purdue University photo/Sam Royer)
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As a young veterinary medicine student, Dr. Henry W. Green III became fascinated with the prospect of a career in veterinary cardiology -- one that involved practicing, teaching and conducting research.

Since joining Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 as a professor of cardiology, Green has excelled in all three areas. He is an in-demand cardiologist and interventionalist, an award-winning mentor and teacher, and a researcher who collaborates with professors and veterinarians across the country.

What are your daily responsibilities at the College of Veterinary Medicine?

I spend half my time supervising fourth-year veterinary medicine students as they work on various cardiology cases. These cardiology clinicals, as we call them, are electives that any veterinary medicine students can take. Each year, about 35-40 students participate. Additionally, I lecture in several cardiology and pharmacology classes for veterinary medicine and veterinary technology students.

I also have my own clinical responsibilities. For three days each week, I see cardiology patients -- usually five to eight cases a day. For two days each week, I perform interventional procedures, usually about two each week.

Where do your cardiology patients come from?

At the College of Veterinary Medicine, most of our cardiology patients are referred from veterinarians in Indiana and Illinois. But we've  also had referrals from all over the country -- from North Carolina, Connecticut, Michigan and Texas, for example. Our success rate for interventional procedures is high, and our facilities and equipment are top-notch, hence our wide range of referrals' origins.

Most of our cardiology patients are dogs and cats, but we've also treated horses, cows, rabbits, ferrets and birds. We treat everything from congenital heart defects to abnormal connections between cardiovascular vessels to diseases that animals have acquired as they've gotten older.  We commonly implant pacemakers when necessary.

How do you mentor young veterinary medicine students?

Along with the other doctors here at the college, I have an open-door policy -- I welcome any student who wants academic or career advice. More specifically, I mentor one to three students on a one-on-one basis from each class, as all veterinary faculty do. I also serve as a mentor for the college's Multicultural Scholars Program, which is funded through a federal grant and mentors four veterinary medicine students who are members of communities that are underrepresented in veterinary medicine.

The most enjoyable part of teaching and mentoring for me is the satisfaction of seeing students mature during their years with us. It's very rewarding to know you've had a big part in someone's growth as a professional, and I'm always proud to hear about my students' achievements.

In 2010, I also received the college's Raymond E. Plue Outstanding Teaching Award. I'm very proud of that because a recent graduate nominated me for the award due the impact of my mentoring inside and outside of the classroom.

What are some of the topics you're researching?

Right now, I'm working with a colleague at Michigan State University to research the heart's sinus node. Specifically, it can be difficult to detect when that node is malfunctioning in animals, so we're looking at a new way of performing an underutilized detection test. Another project I'm working on involves collecting data about Irish wolfhounds and a heart disorder they're predisposed to develop. For that project, I'm working with a veterinarian who has a private practice in Virginia.

Why did you decide to pursue cardiology?

When I was pursuing my doctorate of veterinary medicine at Louisiana State University, cardiology honestly wasn't on my radar. Then, one day, someone placed a flier about a program called the National Institutes of Health Minority Summer Research Training Program. I thought it sounded interesting, so I applied and was placed in a lab that was studying the heart's muscle physiology at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. I had such a great experience there that I returned the next summer and I decided to pursue a residency in cardiology, which I completed here at Purdue under the guidance of Dr. Dan Hogan. I just found cardiology to be a fascinating field. The idea of a career in it was exciting -- and I've never looked back since.

Writer: Amanda Hamon, 49-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu

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