Our Veterinarians

Dr. Randy Thompson

DVM

Dr. Randy Thompson’s earliest memories involve animals and veterinarians. He was destined to become a veterinarian. Dr. Thompson grew up on a farm near Franklin, Indiana. That farm was purchased by his Poppa Selch in 1929, one week before Black Friday. He struggled through the great depression and somehow managed to pay the bills and keep the farm. In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, the farm was expanded and operated by Dr. Thompson’s parents.

He grew up on that original homestead with both sets of grandparents residing just 2 miles away on adjoining farms.  It was an unusual day that he did not see at least one of his grandparents! The farm was typical of its era in that it was diversified. They raised chickens, beef cows, dairy cows, hogs, corn, soybeans, and wheat. Dr. Thompson’s father taught him to operate a tractor when he was just 6 years old and had him doing field work by age 8. He and his 2 brothers helped with all aspects of the farm. Today the farm is operated by the youngest Thompson brother, although Dr. Thompson still enjoys returning in the fall to help with harvest.  

His fondest childhood memories involve sick animals that required a visit from Dr. Morris, the local veterinarian. A few occasions stand out in his memory and caused him to regard that vet as a hero, deeply influencing his choice to become a veterinarian. One such event occurred when Dr. Thompson was about 5 years old and his dad had a sow that could not deliver her piglets.  Dr. Morris was called and young Randy was in the farrowing house when he arrived. The sow was lying down, peaceful yet struggling to deliver her pigs. Dr. Morris got in with the sow, she jumped up, grabbed the vet by the leg and did not let go for what seemed like forever!  Miraculously he was not badly hurt and was able to deliver the pigs. Until that point, Dr. Thompson had never seen anything like that before. It was exciting, and no doubt is the seed that led him to become a veterinarian. Years later, Dr. Morris wrote a letter of recommendation for his application to veterinary school.

Throughout secondary school, Dr. Thompson was always good at math and science, which are the foundation of all medical curriculums.  After high school, he enrolled in Purdue University where he took biology, calculus, chemistry and physics (pre-anything medical) classes.  At the end of the first year, he was accepted into pharmacy school. It was in pharmacy school that Dr. Thompson met Gina, his future wife. They were lab partners in Nuclear Pharmacy class. He also took  Animal Reproductive Physiology and several genetics classes as electives. In taking these classes, Dr. Thompson realized that he was meant to be a veterinarian, so he applied and was accepted into Purdue’s veterinary school. His favorite classes in vet school were small animal surgery and cattle reproduction. His favorite time was his externship, which was in a mixed animal practice in the mountains of east Tennessee. It was a very poor area but the quality of medicine was excellent and he learned practical veterinary medicine there.  

After graduation, Dr. Thompson moved to Sullivan, IL, working on Amish farms, treating draft horses and dairy cows. A few years later a job opened up here at Northside and as they say, the rest is history.

Veterinary medicine is constantly evolving and Dr. Thompson’s career is a good example. From starting with draft horses and dairy cows, he now works mostly with pets. He still does some large animal work and considers it to be a good stress reliever to go on farm calls. The biggest practice change has been dentistry. No one did small animal dentistry when he graduated.  Today,  however,  it is a major part of the practice and is evolving from basically doing salvage work of dealing with decay to providing life-extending preventive care. But, Dr. Thompson’s absolute favorite job as a veterinarian is performing laser surgery. He enjoys surgery anyway, and the laser allows a degree of finesse and precision that was never before possible.

Dr. Thompson and his wife, Gina, were married in 1984 and together they have 2 adult children: Emily and Dan. Gina works as a retail pharmacist. She likes to garden and cook and she makes the best homemade salsa. Gina is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan and loves them for better or worse. Her love language is “acts of service” and one of her frequent acts is to bakes cakes, which she takes to work for sharing with her co-workers. Gina also enjoys working with kids from church on a scholastic bowl themed program called “Bible Bowl.”  She is a pretty good seamstress, but doesn’t get to sew as often as she would like.  

Together, the Thompsons worked with a group for several weeks in the New Orleans area helping rebuild Katrina damaged houses. Their daughter, Emily, is an optometrist and lives in Austin, TX.  She works at a clinic that specializes in LASIK surgery and other types of laser eye surgeries. She loves to make quilts and belongs to quilting clubs in Austin, Dallas, and Oklahoma City. Emily also enjoys traveling, and has visited Europe, Africa, and South America.  

Dan is a computer guru and recently graduated from Bradley University majoring in digital media with a minor in communications. He may go to grad school but says that he wants to get a job using his degree in the real world before doing so. The ideal job for Dan would be to work at a television station. The Thompsons also count as a son Romaric, who lived with them as a foreign exchange student during the 1993-94 school year. Romaric is a logistics specialist and lives in Paris, France. Sadly, they don’t see him as often as they’d like.  

The Thompsons are empty nesters, which they enjoy. Although, their house is a little too empty right now, because the recently lost their beloved cat “Piranha”, or “P” as they liked to call him. P was a stray alley-cat kitten from St. Louis when they got him. He earned his name because he would chew you up. Dr. Thompson likes a good challenge and taming him was just that. Turns out he was about the best cat ever! He was outgoing and friendly, more like a dog than a cat.  When people visited he was always in the center of a group and kids loved him. He was part of the Thompson family for many years. As of yet, they have not looked for another pet but they are certain that one will come along when they least expect it.

Dr. Thompson’s personal hobbies center around cars. He grew up near Indianapolis and the Indy 500 was THE sporting event. In fact, he’s been to many 500 races. He always wanted to drive a race car. Today, Dr. Thompson has his own race car  a track-only 1967 Mustang. He does road course driving which means lots of turning. Top speed on the straights approaches 140 mph, but mostly this kind of driving is one of precision and finesse. He is not yet good enough to be found in the winner’s circle, but he does have a good time! He has also been a club certified instructor for 4 years and now his weekends at the track center around teaching students how to quickly get around the track. He also goes to the tracks with friends and they hang out together. Their team is called “Stang Boys Racing.”  Those relationships are the best part of the experience.  Occasionally, Gina comes to the track and once she got to drive Dr. Thompson’s car on the track for 20 minutes.  

Welding is another skill that Dr. Thompson has learned since he got his Mustang. He likes to weld and it is a handy skill to have since things are constantly breaking on the old Stang. Of course, he is not only about cars. He is a voracious reader of fiction and his favorite author is Stephen King. He also occasionally likes to visit art museums and particularly appreciates the Impressionists, especially Renoir. Oddly, his next favorite artist is Picasso. Finally, he loves to hike in the mountains and spot wildlife. Last fall he was in Glacier National Park and saw 4 grizzlies!

Dr. Thompson expects to continue practicing veterinary medicine at Northside Veterinary Clinic for many more years.

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