WESTVILLE, Ind. -- The idiom "wild horses couldn't drag her away" could be personified in veterinarian Dr. Carol Bloom. Her passion for veterinary medicine during a time where women did not pursue that career path meant she had to overcome many hurdles to attain her dream. 'The first time I was interviewed, it was three gentlemen there, and they said, "No we just don't take women." And I said "Okay. Okay. But Ill be back." She was, and Dr. Bloom has since been a pioneer in the veterinary profession for 57 years, serving as an inspiration for women in the field.
"Being born on a big farm in Michigan as I was, we had all the horses and the cattle and everything, that's all I ever knew." The exposures to animals in that environment would open up a world for Dr. Bloom to pursue her passion for horses. She competed in equestrian events at an early age, winning the American Royal at only 8 years old and an international event hosted in Chicago at 14.
At the time she was in school, Dr. Bloom was discouraged from pursuing a veterinary career. 'I can remember when I was in high school, I had a superintendent, a wonderful lady Mrs. Allen. And she would always bring me into the office about once a week and set me down and say, "Carol, ladies don't become veterinarians. You need to pick another profession." Despite the warning, Dr. Bloom never wavered, and she earned her veterinary license in 1966.
Carol and her husband, Donald Bloom, purchased Bloom Farms in the late 1960s. The horse farm soon became known for treating racehorses. "We always laughed at the horse tracks, because the horses would come out here and have such a great time, and feel so good, and go back to the racetracks and win." Today, Bloom Animal Clinic raises Angus cattle and treats various animals.
Being a veterinarian, especially when involving large animals such as horses, can be dangerous, and Dr. Bloom has had her fair share of accidents during her years of practice. "I had a horse that we didn't realize was an outlaw at the time, and he came up and he hit me right in the head." The horse left a hoof print shaped bruise on her head that could be seen in the X-Ray.
The surgical knowledge and experience Dr. Bloom gained throughout her career is extensive. In addition to orthopedic and functional operations, she performs plastic surgery on areas where the horses were visibly hurt.
Dr. Blooms commitment to her field and her profession led her to be a pioneer in veterinary technology. In addition to her many tools, Dr. Bloom has used laser technology since the 1970s. She had the opportunity to test a prototype laser and determine how it may be best used for veterinary practice, documenting each use and reporting her findings to the lasers issuing company. Years later, a man came to sell Dr. Bloom the product that she had tested years ago. "So, I went back, and I pulled my laser out and he fell off his chair." The development of this technology has revolutionized the field, and still amazes her.
In addition to equine practice, Dr. Bloom treats all kinds of animals at Bloom Animal Hospital, such as dogs, cats, cattle, and even zebras. She does, however, draw the line at one particular animal. "I don't do snakes," she said with a laugh and a smile.
Dr. Blooms passion and drive have not only been the driving force in her career, but it also applies to her marriage. "She bit on like a bulldog and I've got to admit, she was the first one I ever fell in love with," said husband Donald Bloom. The pair will celebrate their 50th anniversary this February, a partnership that has enriched both their personal and professional lives.
At age 84, Dr. Bloom shows no signs of slowing down, and her passion is an inspiration for all those who work with her, especially the women. "She is probably the best working woman I have ever met, and she is the best boss," says Vet Tech Student, Cali Hendon.
"Your passion is the most important thing for your profession," said Dr. Bloom. Throughout her career, she has worked with many women of many different professions, but her advice remains the same. "To be passionate about what you're doing and have a love for it, that's what is going to keep you going every day."
Bloom Animal Hospital
Address: 722 N 625 E, Westville, IN 46391
Phone: (219) 462-5328
Donald Bloom sadly passed away at 78 years old on Friday, Jan. 5. Donald's love and passion was raising Angus cattle, which took him many places and provided many friendships over the years. His funeral is on Thursday.