Don Batten interviews veterinarian, Dr Jean Lightner

By age 13, Jean Lightner wanted to be a veterinarian. She did well in high school, even taking some college (i.e. tertiary) courses while still in school. Jean augmented those courses to gain a B.S. in agriculture before undertaking her degree in veterinary science at Ohio State University (OSU). Jean and her husband were surprised when she fell pregnant before she graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). Jean commented: “Oops! It’s a bit hard to get a job in large-animal medicine when you have this belly!” So Jean took the opportunity to get a Masters degree also.

Her supervisor was in the family way too, so she was quite sympathetic to Jean’s family commitments, which Jean appreciated.

In the Masters program, Jean spent a lot of time evaluating research papers and discovered that the conclusions were often much stronger than the experiments justified. This seemed particularly so with research in human disease. Jean experienced this personally with her next pregnancy, when her doctor wanted to test her for a disease for which she had no risk factors. After Jean checked the research that supposedly justified this test, she declined it. Jean commented, “I don’t like being a pincushion, having needles stuck in me for no good reason. I don’t do that to the animals I care for.”

So Jean ended up with three degrees; whereas she had planned only to get a D.V.M. to enable her to practise veterinary medicine. She sees these opportunities as gifts from God that equipped her to contribute scientifically to the creation movement. Jean particularly valued the Masters program where she learned research and analytical skills that enabled her to evaluate scientific claims critically….

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