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Spotlight on Neighbors: Doctors Dan & Diane Lewis

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Dr. Daniel D. Lewis came by his vocation as a veterinary surgeon naturally. Both his parents were in the medical field: his mother was a nurse and his father a pediatrician. Dan was born in Oceanside, California, but at age five his family settled in Sacramento, where he grew up with his two brothers and a sister.

Deciding to attend the University of California at Davis, Dan recalled, “I was feeling some outside pressure early on to become a doctor. I wasn’t very mature entering college, as I was only interested in playing football and basketball in high school. I really knew very little outside the field of medicine and I was gradually drawn toward veterinary medicine partly because UC Davis has such an excellent program. I’d always been a dog lover, and so it just seemed like a good answer to the question of what to do when I grow up.” Dan received a BS in zoology from UC Davis’ College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in 1979, and went on to obtain his degree as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from UC Davis in 1983. After completing a year’s internship at Louisiana State University, Dan began his small animal surgery residency at the University of Florida.

At a New Year’s Eve party in Gainesville at the end of 1984, he met his future wife, Orlando native, Diane DeLany. She was a senior in veterinary school at UF, having obtained her BS in biology from Florida State University in 1980. Dan remembered, “When we met, we sensed there was a strong connection between us. We shared some important interests and values, so it was an intriguing beginning.” Diane was also a sports enthusiast, having participated in softball, swimming, track, and cheerleading in high school. The two were married in April 1986 in Diane’s home town.

After completing his surgical residency at UF, Dan was offered the position of Surgical Registrar at the University of Sydney’s Veterinary Hospital in Sydney, Australia. Diane had completed a year of private general practice in Kissimmee and an additional year in Gainesville, so off the couple went to live Down Under.

“I really enjoyed working with the Australian vets, many of whom had done their internships in the US,” Diane said. “It was a wonderful opportunity to explore the different kinds of endemic diseases and learn from my helpful, generous-spirited colleagues in Sydney.”

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