Dyer named 2024 Ohio veterinarian of the year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 9, 2024

PROCTORVILLE — When Dr. Mike Dyer found out he had been named 2024 Veterinarian of the Year by Ohio Veterinary Medical Association it was in the middle of a hardware store.

“I was standing in Lowe’s and got a call from the executive director of the board and told I was the Veterinarian of the Year,” Dyer said. “I was a little bit overwhelmed. I never thought I would be selected for anything like this.”

Part of his surprise was that he is based in southern Ohio, not one of the state’s big metropolitan areas.

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“So, it is a huge honor,” Dyer said. “I was almost brought to tears, to be honest, because of the magnitude and what it meant to me.”

He said his story is a little different than that other veterinarians in that he wasn’t the best student when he was doing his undergraduate studies at Marshall University.

“It took me three tries to get into veterinarian school,” Dyer said. “And now I teach veterinarian students and have eight hospitals with my partners. We have 24 veterinarians working for us and over 100 employees.”

And what turned him around to get such a high honor?


After his advisor told him he would never get into veterinarian school, Dyer said he thinks being told that he couldn’t do it may have motivated him to work harder.

He buckled down and got his undergraduate degree in zoology in 1985 from Marshall University and got a master’s degree in animal science and reproductive physiology from The Ohio State University in 1989.

“I got rejected a second time and, finally, the third time, they either got tired of looking at me or finally saw something in me,” Dyer said, with a laugh. “It just makes the victory all the sweeter, I guess.”

He graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 and started working at Colonial Animal Clinic in Flatwoods, Kentucky, where he had a truck and treated large animals, like cattle, although he saw a variety of animals like llamas, emus and ostriches too.

His bosses started the Proctorville Animal Clinic.

“I always had my eye on Proctorville. I thought just out of school I can’t start a new one, so I went to work for them,” Dyer said. “I did mixed practice for 18 years, which is creatures great and small — horses, cats, dogs, everything.”

Now, he works primarily on small animals, but still has the occasional large animal patient. His main job is surgery these days.

“We probably have the biggest veterinarian practice in this immediate area,” Dyer said.

Another sweet victory was when he was asked by one of his former professors to come in and teach a class on parasites. After the class in the science building, he ran into his old advisor who asked what he was doing there.

He explained and the advisor asked what his job was.

“And I said ‘I’m a veterinarian over in Proctorville,” Dyer said. “He said ‘Oh, you made it.’ Yeah, so victory was sweet there, too.”

The Veterinarian of the Year is selected by the president of the OVMA board who makes inquiries of people at veterinarian schools and other people on the board and then makes an assessment.

Dyer said that the recognition probably came because he serves on several boards, including the veterinary school at The Ohio State University, Frank Stanton Foundation Advisory Board and is on the OVMA Board.

“All the stuff done outside being a veterinarian probably put me in a different circle because there are a lot of great veterinarians in Ohio that deserve recognition,” Dyer said. “I think part of it is having a great staff, because they carry the load, I can do other things, so I have to give them credit.”