Posted August 22, 2022
Featuring Hayley Gallaher
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Meet Hayley Gallaher, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA, assistant professor for the Michigan State University Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and clinician for the Soft Tissue Surgery Service.

Many veterinary medical students enter their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program (DVM) knowing what they want to do once they’re done—run their own mixed animal practice, be a small animal emergency vet, or pursue a specialty. For Gallaher, that thing was dairy medicine. “One of the things I always liked about dairy medicine was that you get to do surgery every day. Plus, you get to work with farmers,” says Gallaher, who studied Spanish in undergrad (University of Wisconsin-Madison) with the goal of working in the field with farmers and farm workers, many of whom speak Spanish.

That was until the last clinical rotation of her fourth year of vet school. “See, I always knew I liked surgery, but soft tissue surgery was sort of a love at first sight,” says Gallaher. Once she completed two small animal internships (rotating and then surgery) a companion animal surgery fellowship (Louisiana State University), and then a small animal surgery residency (Mississippi State), she found another love: teaching.

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“Teaching is definitely my favorite aspect of my work,” says Gallaher. “My professional goal is to help people achieve their highest potential; I don’t think there’s anything more rewarding.”

As an educator, surgeon, and researcher, Gallaher is all about the details. In vet school, she enjoyed her parasitology and bacteriology courses, as well as microscope work. “I really like gross things, but I also like the intricacies that those disciplines provide. The details make up the big picture, which is what I truly teach our students, residents, and interns.

In addition to an eye and appreciation for detail, Gallaher is all about collaboration, something Spartans are no stranger to. “I love working and collaborating with other specialists across domains different than my own, which is why I love soft tissue surgery so much,” says Gallaher. “You get to work with internists, criticalists, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, oncologists, dermatologists, you name it, and we all have the same goal: to provide really excellent patient care.”

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When Gallaher isn’t providing excellent patient care, teaching, or performing surgery, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her husband, children, and “mediocre mutts,” a golden retriever, pug, and an orange tabby cat who actually are “very excellent.”

Go Green and Go Dr. Gallaher.