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Remembering Dr. 'Gary' Gourley

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Dr. Gary Gourley at the 2007 dedication of the Ira M. "Gary" Gourley Clinical Teaching Center.

Ira Malcolm “Gary” Gourley, an emeritus faculty member and esteemed veterinary surgeon, passed away on August 18, 2013 at the age of 84. The school’s Gourley Clinical Teaching Center was named in his honor after completion in 2007 to recognize his contributions to veterinary education and student surgical instruction. 

A DVM graduate of Washington State University, Gourley obtained his Ph.D. in surgery from the University of Minnesota. He was one of the early diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 1968 and served with distinction for 23 years.

"The quality that defined Dr. Gourley as an educator," said Dean Bennie Osburn in a 2007 article, "was his extraordinary dedication to surgical teaching. A demanding and effective instructor, Dr. Gourley made special efforts to involve students in surgical procedures and maximize their surgical experience."

Gourley also served by example to turn the Small Animal Surgery service in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) into one of the finest small animal surgical referral centers in the United States. Among his many publications, Gourley co-authored the books General Small Animal Surgery and the Atlas of Small Animal Surgery.

Due to his expertise in plastic and reconstructive surgery, particularly in microsurgery—he was once one of only two microsurgeons in the state—Gourley became responsible for microsurgical training in both the School of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Medicine, where he also held an appointment. Gourley performed the first successful feline kidney transplant in 1987.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah or to the Judith A. and I.M. Gary Gourley Scholarship through the UC Davis Foundation, please make checks payable to the UC Davis Foundation with Dr. Gourley in the memo line and mail to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, PO Box 1167, Davis, CA 95617. The gifts will be directed to the Judith A. and I.M. Gary Gourley Endowed Scholarship.

Obituary may be found here.