Dr. Melody's Story
Bitten by the horse bug early, the love of horses has been a consistent theme throughout Dr. Schwab's personal and professional journey. Originally from Oak Ridge, Tennessee she started riding at the age of 6 and told her family even then that she wanted to be a veterinarian. Growing up in the atomic city, owning a horse wasn't easily achievable, so she got her horse fix through reading, summer horse camps, and trail riding with her dad in the Great Smoky Mountains whenever possible. She attended the University of Tennessee for undergrad, competing on the horse judging and equestrian teams - showing in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association in both hunt seat and western pleasure. Surprisingly, halfway through her college career, she changed her major from pre-vet to English Literature.
After graduating with a B.A. in English and a minor in animal science, Melody was accepted to the Kentucky Equine Management Internship where she was placed on a thoroughbred farm in central Kentucky to live and work. She completed a 6-month breeding and foaling internship, staying on with the program to also complete a second 6-month yearling sales prep internship. The next breeding season she assisted an equine ambulatory vet, riding along on farm calls to prominent thoroughbred farms around Lexington. At the end of the breeding season, she was offered the opportunity to accompany select thoroughbred stallions bound for the breeding season in the southern hemisphere. She helped load, accompany and care for the stallions flying Fed Ex cargo to Coolmore Australia Stud Farm, where she spent the next 6 months managing the daily vetting and care of hundreds of mares and foals for the 2003 breeding season. After her 2 years working in the thoroughbred industry in Kentucky and abroad, she returned to Tennessee, inspired and prepared for veterinary school.
Dr. Schwab completed her veterinary training at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM) in 2010. After graduation she went to work for Gateway Animal Health, a multi hospital, mixed animal practice in Clarksville, Tennessee. In 2011, she was offered a 2-year residency position in the equine field service department of UTCVM pursuing board certification with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in equine general practice. ABVP is one of twenty-two AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organizations comprising 40 distinct specialties. It is the only board-certifying body that offers certification in the care of the TOTAL patient. This program boasts depth but also breadth of training encompassing preventative care, medicine, surgery, reproduction, nutrition, ophthalmology, dentistry, lameness, podiatry and more - spanning all equine breeds and disciplines. Her published research involved localizing the nasolacrimal duct in mules, and she maintains a respect and special love for long - ears. She completed her residency in 2013, passing her specialty board exam, and earning diplomate status - a title demonstrating a personal commitment to maintaining the highest standard of practice. Her clinical interests include preventative care, ophthalmology, and dentistry.
From 2013-2015 she served as a clinical instructor in UTCVM's equine field service department, teaching veterinary students as they rode along on equine farm calls throughout East Tennessee. Dr. Schwab comes from a family of teachers and enjoys educating and public speaking - always willing to share knowledge, an experience and a laugh whenever possible. She has a specific love for inspiring kids and outside of professional teaching at UTCVM and as an adjunct professor at Lake Erie College, she has often shared her time to speak for career days, after- school programs, summer riding camps and civic groups.
In 2020, Dr. Schwab and her husband, John purchased her grandparents' farm in Darlington, PA. When Dr. Schwab isn't wearing the vet "hat", she enjoys being a mom to their son Wheeler, trying to keep up with their puppy, Ranger, remodeling their old farmhouse, and hosting guests in their historic, Victorian Airbnb house. Even out of vet mode, Dr. Schwab is an avid equestrian and horses are part of her daily life on the farm. She enjoys caring for her 3 off the track thoroughbreds, Wally, Eva, and Boomer and hopes to show in her first 3-day event this summer.
In 2022, Dr. Schwab started North Country Equine to bring a high standard of equine care to local fellow equestrians. Dr. Schwab's mission is to care for people through caring for their horses.