Richard DeBowes

Richard DeBowes

Professor, Director of Professional Life Skills Development Program, Diplomate ACVS



University of Illinois, DVM, 1979
Washington State University, Internship, 1980
Washington State University, Residency, 1982
Washington State University, MS, 1982
American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Board Certifications
Center for Applications of Psychological Type, MBTI Certified 2004


Dr. DeBowes previously served as the Associate Dean for Veterinary Development and External Relations. He served previously as the Chair of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Washington State University (2000-2005) and the Chair for Clinical Sciences at Kansas State University (1994-1999). His current responsibilities include directing the professional life skill development program within the college that teaches veterinary students about leadership and communication.

Dr. DeBowes' veterinary interests include equine general and orthopedic surgery, lameness diagnosis, and joint biology. Dr. DeBowes' administrative interests include faculty and program development, fund raising, and the promotion of nontechnical competencies (life skills), medical communications and personal/servant leadership. He teaches and coordinates the practice management course (VM 591) and co-directs with Drs. Kurtz and Cary and teaches in the Veterinary Clinical Communication course (VM 502).

Dr. DeBowes is an active member of numerous veterinary and professional associations. He is a member of the AAEP, ACVS, AVMA, KVMA and the WSVMA. He currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association. He is also a past president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians and continues to serve on their executive board as the AAVC's delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. Dr. DeBowes is a former member of the Board of Regents for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dr. DeBowes is a also a former member of the Board of Directors for the Eastern States Veterinary Association and has twice served as President of the NAVC Board of Directors and their founding Director of Education.

Dr. DeBowes works closely with faculty and staff from around the College to promote a professional leadership program for both incoming Washington State students (Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience: COLE) and at the international level for students, techs practitioners and faculty from around the world. This later program, theVeterinary Leadership Experience (VLE) was co-developed by Dr. DeBowes with Dr. Kathleen Ruby and is presented annually as the AVMA VLE to colleagues from around the world. To support these enterprises (COLE: 10 years; VLE: 8 years; College Leadership Program: 3 years) and the communications program, Dr. DeBowes has raised over $3,800,000.00 of extramural support from corporate partners and donors.

Research Interests

Dr. Richard DeBowes has surgical research interests centered primarily in the area of equine clinical orthopedics and more specifically, in the areas of fracture fixation and the properties of normal and arthritic articular cartilage. Past collaborations involve an ongoing clinical investigation using an "immobilization followed by exercise" model for production of degenerative joint disease in young adult horses (Lillich et. al) and in vitro assessment of a circular ring fixator (Valentino et. al). Previous work has focused on the biomechanical properties of equine articular cartilage, the effects of methylprednisolone acetate on normal equine articular cartilage (Murray et. al), the biomechanical merits of a novel orthopedic screw (Murray et. al) and the effects of hydroxyapatite coating of orthopedic implants (Anderson et. al). Dr. DeBowes currently serves on 1 MS committee and has served on or chaired graduate program committees for 15 Masters and 2 doctoral candidates.

Select Publications
  • Zenner D, Burns GA, Ruby KL, Debowes RM, Stoll S. (2005) Veterinary students as elite performers: preliminary insights. J Vet Med Educ. 32(2):242-8. PMID: PMCID:
  • Murray RC, Znaor N, Tanner KE, DeBowes RM, Gaughan EM, Goodship AE. (2002) The effect of intra-articular methylprednisolone acetate and exercise on equine carpal subchondral and cancellous bone microhardness. Equine Vet J. 34(3):306-10. PMID: PMCID:
  • Frees KE, Lillich JD, Gaughan EM, DeBowes RM. (2002) Tenoscopic-assisted treatment of open digital flexor tendon sheath injuries in horses: 20 cases. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 220(12):1823-7. PMID: PMCID:
  • Van Harreveld PD, Lillich JD, Kawcak CE, Gaughan EM, Mclaughlin RM, Debowes RM. (2002) Clinical evaluation of the effects of immobilization followed by remobilization and exercise on the metacarpophalangeal joint in horses. Am J Vet Res. 63(2):282-8. PMID: PMCID:
  • DeBowes RM. (2000) Setting the standards for internship programs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 216(2):175-6. PMID: PMCID:
  • Sayegh AI, Anderson NV, Harding JW, Cerpovicz P, DeBowes RM, Ritter RC, Baker GJ, Reeck G. (1999) Purification of two equine pepsinogens by use of high-performance liquid chromatography. Am J Vet Res. 60(1):114-8. PMID: PMCID:
  • DeBowes RM, Gaughan EM. (1998) Congenital dental disease of horses. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 14(2):273-89. PMID: PMCID:
  • Murray RC, DeBowes RM, Gaughan EM, Zhu CF, Athanasiou KA. (1998) The effects of intra-articular methylprednisolone and exercise on the mechanical properties of articular cartilage in the horse. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 6(2):106-14. PMID: PMCID:
  • Murray RC, Gaughan EM, Debowes RM, Hoskinson JJ. (1998) Biomechanical comparison of the Herbert and AO cortical bone screws for compression of an equine third carpal bone dorsal plane slab osteotomy. Vet Surg. 27(1):49-55. PMID: PMCID:
  • Anderson DE, St-Jean G, Richardson DC, DeBowes RM, Roush JK, Lowry SR, Toll PW, Aberman HM, Van Sickle DC, Hoskinson JJ. (1997) Improved osseointeraction of calcium phosphate-coated external fixation pins. Studies in calves. Acta Orthop Scand. 68(6):571-6. PMID: PMCID: