Prof Willard is a 1975 graduate of the Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed his internship and Masters degree at Kansas State University and his internal medicine residency at Michigan State University. After that, Prof Willard held faculty appointments at Michigan State University, Mississippi State University, and now at Texas A&M University. He has also consulted and worked at a private referral practice. He is currently a Professor of Small Animal Clinical Science and specialises in gastroenterology, hepatology, pancreatology and endoscopy. Prof Willard has given over 3,200 hours of post-graduate continuing education lectures both nationally and internationally, has over 80 refereed publications, and has over 130 book chapters in print. He is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.