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January 16, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

IF WISHES WERE HORSES by Loretta Gage, D. V. M. & Nancy Gage (St. Martin's Press: $4.99; 295 pp.). The odds were against Loretta Gage when she entered Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine: She was older than most of the other students and her initial application had been rejected. Her reflections on how learning anatomy altered her attitudes toward animals and her descriptions of treatments are entertaining and instructive. This otherwise engaging narrative is marred by the unpleasant intrusion of sexism: When Gage doesn't get along with male students, she blames their "testosterone levels;" when her female colleagues become equally disagreeable, she doesn't cite PMS as the cause.

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