News & Events

Specialty Board Recognizes Richard Nelson for Advancing Small Animal Endocrinology

June 1, 2012

Editor's note: The following news announcement comes from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

The Robert W. Kirk Award for Professional Excellence provides an avenue for recognition of outstanding achievements and dedicated service to the veterinary profession by ACVIM Diplomates. Presented annually, recipients have outstanding careers in veterinary medicine with national and international recognition for their contributions and service in such activities as clinical medical practice, instruction, research, and / or public service.


Richard W. Nelson, DVM, DACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine) has spent the majority of his career focused on endocrinology and small animal medicine – an area for which he is nationally and internationally known and respected. Dr. Nelson became a Board-certified specialist in 1983. Over the span of his 35-year career in veterinary medicine his contributions to the field have been many. He has published numerous landmark papers relating to the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine disorders in dogs and cats. He has also authored and co-authored several major text books, including “Canine and Feline Endocrinology and Reproduction:rdquo; and “Small Animal Internal Medicine,” both of which are well recognized worldwide as premier texts in the field.

Dr. Nelson's expertise on the subject of canine and feline diabetes mellitus has impacted the management of diabetic dogs and cats and several of his treatments are still used today. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 60 chapters in books.

In addition to his academic achievements, Dr. Nelson remains a dedicated contributor to the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). He has served on numerous committees and on the editorial board of the prestigious Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

His commitment to his field has remained strong through the years despite his administration roles at the University of California, Davis where he is a professor, first as Chair for the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, Director of the Small Animal Clinic, and Chair of the current School of Veterinary Medicine Curriculum Committee. His colleagues describe him as a fair and thoughtful individual who maintains an open mind and a willingness to hear suggestions from all levels of the profession. In 2011, he was nominated clinician of the year by his students.

In addition to his numerous academic achievements, Dr. Nelson is known for his willingness and enthusiasm in mentoring young veterinarians in the field of endocrinology. Many of those he has mentored consider him and inspiration, generous with his time and supporting; and they are now productive members of the veterinary community. Dr. Nelson's energetic, compassionate and caring nature make him a truly distinguished contributor to the field of veterinary medicine and to the ACVIM.