Dr. Eric Ratliff
My path to a career in veterinary medicine was different. While most of my colleagues started with a house full of animals, my path began on a “snow day” when my mother, a home economics teacher, and I were home from school. To entertain me she asked what I was going to do when I grew up. I shared that being the bass drum player in the marching band looked pretty good, but Mom had bigger plans. Working our way down from President, mom was probably getting a little desperate when she pointed out that I really loved our dog, a wonderful hunting English setter named King. Perhaps I should become a veterinarian? My real interests were in wildlife, fishing, all things outdoors and sports. Human medicine had already been crossed off the list because dealing with death was a little too intimidating for a 9-year old, but operating on animals sounded about right – so I was going to be a veterinarian! Over the ensuing years I grew more interested in endangered species preservation which reinforced my goal.
I grew up in Lucasville, a small village in southern Ohio where I loved to read and play music, wrote part of our senior class play, and eventually became my school’s first National Merit Scholar. I chose The Ohio State University for undergraduate studies, and then graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. While at OSU I was also a 4 year All-Big 10 athlete on the Varsity Rifle team, 3-time Scholar Athlete, won the OSU intramural championship in billiards and bowling, and played in OSU’s military band. Being a member in Omega Tau Sigma, a veterinary fraternity, and serving as their representative on the College Honor Council were high points of my time in veterinary school, and I have since been awarded their Gamma Award for Alumni service.
Graduation from college saw me back in southern Ohio for a year of mixed animal work before returning to Columbus to become the lead surgeon in a 3-doctor practice. In 1988, I co-founded what became Lighthouse Veterinary Personnel Services — a professional temporary agency. At the same time I started to narrow my practice focus to small animal surgery. About 15 years ago I officially limited my personal practice to orthopedic and non-elective soft tissue surgery, while also spending a lot of time working on the business side of medicine. Now leading the surgical team as a partner in Cryan Veterinary Hospital, I have also worked as a professional consultant in veterinary medicine, been published in Veterinary Economics, served as a contributing editor to Flex-Vet, and currently serve on the board of directors for Alumni Society of College of Veterinary Medicine.
My wife Diane holds an MBA and owns her own financial and administrative support business. We enjoy our home in the woods, and our pets are the many wild animals we see every day. Playing bridge, attending theatre and musical performances, softball, scuba diving, fishing, bowling and cooking also fill our time. Personally I still love to read, dabble in music, and develop innovative business systems.