SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Fallbrook resident Dr. Norm Rantanen was presented with The College of Veterinary Medicine’s Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus Award in San Antonio, Texas in November. The award is given to honor distinguished DVM graduates for veterinary excellence in practice or teaching and research. Information on Rantanen’s excellent in teaching and research was presented by Washington State University’s (WSU) College of Veterinary Medicine.
Presenters said Rantanen “played a pivotal role in advancing diagnostic imaging in the veterinary profession.” He graduated from WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1967 and began serving in the U.S. Veterinary Corp first at Walter Reed Army Hospital and later in Southeast Asia and Europe.
Rantanen completed a master’s degree at WSU while on active duty and after completing his service, he returned to WSU in 1976 and joined the Diagnostic Imaging staff as an assistant professor. He rapidly advanced his knowledge and abilities securing Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Radiologists.
“Rantanen worked tirelessly as a teacher and diagnostician,” it was noted. “During his academic career; he authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications on diagnostic ultrasonography alone. He developed numerous techniques for identification of soft tissue injuries, respiratory lesions, and the acquisition of tissue biopsies, obtained by ultrasonic guidance.”
In 1983, Rantanen left WSU to begin a private imaging practice. For the last 19 years he worked in an exclusive equine practice in Fallbrook.
“Like all good pioneers, Rantanen committed considerable effort to sharing what he knew through numerous workshops, continuing education formats, and the development of two textbooks on the subject of diagnostic ultrasound,” they said. “He has lectured from Australia to North America and on to Africa and the Middle East educating thousands of colleagues.”
In 1988, he received the Pioneer Award given at the History of Medical Ultrasound meetings in Washington, DC. In 2003, he was acknowledged by his equine practitioner colleagues for his lifetime of contributions to diagnostic imaging with the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s Distinguished Educator Award.
It was noted that Rantanen brought colleagues together around the multifaceted domain of diagnostic ultrasonography. He served as an organizing force for the creation of the Large Animal Diagnostic Imaging Society within the American College of Veterinary Radiologists. The organizing committee elected Rantanen as their founding president.