Congratulations Dr. Jim Clark, 2017 SAVMA Teaching Excellence Award Recipient

Dr. Jim Clark, a clinical professor at the school, has been recognized by the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) for his excellence in teaching. He will receive the SAVMA Teaching Excellence Award (TEA) at the upcoming 2017 SAVMA Student Symposium at Texas A&M University.

Nominations were submitted by students from veterinary schools across the country. This award recognizes the impact on the student educational experience by outstanding teachers in the veterinary profession. The nomination packet for Clark included a series of essays on his ability to engage and encourage student learning and problem solving skills. Student nominators led by Paige Livingston, SAVMA President-Elect, recognized Clark for his skills and enthusiasm in developing and leading exceptional communication and business courses for our DVM students.

Clark leads our school’s Professional Skills curriculum, also known as the “Doctoring” course, which begins in the first week of school for incoming students and continues throughout their four years of education. These practical skills include team building, leadership, critical thinking, professionalism, how to give and receive feedback, and understanding of personality styles. Clark also introduces our students to inquiry-based learning in small groups utilizing medical situations and cases.

Working with a team of veterinarians from our school and the surrounding community, Clark has developed a robust communication skills training program where students role play with professional actors as clients in realistic practice scenarios. He also created a novel communication skills training framework that has benefitted hundreds of our students.

As a successful practitioner himself, Clark is ideally suited to teaching our students the essential basics of veterinary business. Using an interactive, small-group approach, students review and discuss a series of cases that incorporate a wide variety of entry-level business concepts and skills. Each student also completes a Personal Business Plan assignment that includes an industry analysis, salary estimation, personal budget and personal debt management plan. Several other veterinary schools have adopted this assignment, which receives high marks from students. Clark also teaches practical employment skills including negotiation and interview skills for new graduates.

Clark graduated with a DVM from UC Davis (1988) and an MBA from San Diego State College (2002). He developed an early passion for emergency critical care medicine, which he practiced exclusively for 20 years. Clark has been a co-founder and owner of several successful emergency-specialty veterinary practices, which currently employ more than 100 team members in the northern San Francisco Bay Area. He joined our school on a part-time basis in 2010 and received our school’s Zoetis Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.

“It takes a special person to provide a safe environment where students can learn and gain confidence performing stressful activities,” says Livingston, Class of 2019. “Dr. Clark’s enthusiasm for student learning is unparalleled.”