AUSTIN — Nudged by a father who trained racehorses, Dr. Orlando Garza set off to study veterinary medicine in College Station 35 years ago. Dr. Garza, who now owns an animal hospital in his hometown El Paso, remembers being the sole Hispanic student in the veterinary program at Texas A&M University.
“There were no Hispanics whatsoever,” said Dr. Garza, 57. “I was the only one.”
Decades later, the profession remains one where few Hispanics have applied. He was one of 84 Hispanic veterinarians in Texas in 2010, making up less than 2 percent of the state’s 5,728 veterinarians, according to the 2014 book Changing Texas, whose lead author, Steve H. Murdock, is the former state demographer. (Mr. Murdock has been a donor to The Texas Tribune.)
With a population that is 38 percent Hispanic, the state would have needed 2,154 Hispanic veterinarians in 2010 — more than 25 …