MONMOUTH — Ken Lindsay will retire at the end of the month after 47 years as a veterinarian, 38 of those in Monmouth.
Lindsay knew from a young age he wanted to practice medicine.
“I chose animal medicine over human medicine,” he said.
As a child, Lindsay always had pets, he said, even two chipmunks.
“He found it rewarding to maintain and restore the health and well being of both large and small animals for their sake and the sake of their owners,” his wife Lynne said.
Ken Lindsay graduated from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1973.
He worked at an office in Raymond, Wash., where he and Lynne, also a WSU grad met. She was a teacher at the high school.
They were married in 1975 and moved to Monmouth and purchased Central Veterinary Hospital in 1982.
He’s seen a lot of changes in medical and communication technology.
“Since my graduation, they have invented ultrasound, CAT scans and MRI,” Lindsay said. “And that is only in the imaging area. We used to have to wait on the mail to get any lab result, which could be weeks. Now lab results are mostly in-house and available within minutes.”
It’s easier to connect with patients too.
“All three veterinary hospitals I was associated with did both large and small animals,” Lindsay said. “In Raymond there were three doctors at Vetter’s.”
All three worked days, one was on night call duty and one was on backup duty in case the on-call was 70 miles away on a farm call, he said.
“There were no cellphones, no pagers, no answering service, no veterinary emergency hospitals,” Lindsay said. “We had a party line that rang at the hospital and all three doctors’ homes. You could not run to the store, had to keep the door open if you went out for firewood or to shower. It was confining back in the day.”
As he gets closer to retirement on July 31, Lindsay is hoping to find a veterinarian to carry on the business. As of Friday, a new owner had not been confirmed.
Lynne retired from Western Oregon University in 2015, and now that Ken is retiring they plan to travel together. They don’t have any definite plans yet, and options are limited because of the restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Lindsay said what he’s enjoyed most is “providing affordable, practical care for (his) patients.”
They wanted to have an open house to thank their patients, but were not able to because of state restrictions on gatherings.
“I would just like to say ‘thank you’ to all my clients for the last 38 years,” Lindsay said.