Dr. Leitch was in the vanguard of women entering veterinary medicine and one of the first to do a surgical residency at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center after graduating Midge Leitchfrom the Veterinary school in 1973. She was one of the first women equine practitioners to become board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, achieving that distinction in 1982.
A teacher, lecturer, and scholar, for 20 years Dr. Leitch held an adjunct position at New Bolton Center and was staff veterinarian in the Section of Sports Medicine and Imaging.
She served as an official veterinarian to the US Equestrian Team, providing skilled services in Poland, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Canada, and Spain. In addition to the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, Dr. Leitch provided veterinary support for the Devon Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show, the Radnor Three Day Event, Fairhill Three Day Event, and Dressage at Devon.
Dr. Leitch was an active member of the AAEP for more than 40 years. In 2008, she was honored with its President’s Award, and in 2012, the AAEP Distinguished Service Award. During her career she gave more than 60 invited lectures and papers, and contributed more than 40 publications to a wide variety of professional journals and books. She also was a Legacy Society member of the AAEP Foundation.
Dr. Leitch was known as a passionate and caring individual and mentor, with forthright opinions and a well-developed sense of humor. Her gifts – not only to veterinary medicine, but also to her community, family, and friends – are legion.
Dr. Midge Leitch was an early female presence in the world of Equine Sports Medicine. She was a “lead by example” human being. She was an equal mix of talent, horsemanship and knowledge designed to bring out the best in horses, riders, grooms, colleagues and students. She balanced this with welfare concerns and a sense of humor.
Motivation, Integrity, Guidance, Affirmation, Enthusiasm and a pinch of “kick in the butt” were the ingredients in the recipe for mentorship provided to me by Midge.
Anyone fortunate enough to have experienced Dr. Leitch as a mentor and a friend is never off the hook – you better pay it forward… but she will always be with you as you do so.
—Carolyn M. Weinberg, DVM, Spruce Hill Equine, Bridgewater, CT