UC Davis Veterinary Surgeons Named ACVS Founding Fellows

veterinarians performing surgery at UC Davis
Dr. Amy Kapatkin (right) performs an orthopedic surgery at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.

UC Davis Veterinary Surgeons Named ACVS Founding Fellows

--This article first appeared in the November issue of Pulse magazine--

veterinarian examining dog at UC Davis
Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little examines Dexter during recovery from a total hip replacement surgery.

Three surgeons from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine recently joined a growing list of faculty members at the school who are Founding Fellows or Fellows in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) and other specialty colleges.

Dr. Amy Kapatkin, DVM, MS, DACVS, and Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little, DEDV, DACVS, DACVSMR, both became ACVS Founding Fellows in Joint Replacement Surgery. Dr. Bill Culp, VMD, DACVS, became an ACVS Founding Fellow in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Small Animal). Drs. Kapatkin and Marcellin-Little serve as faculty surgeons in the Orthopedic Surgery Service at the school’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH), while Dr. Culp is with the VMTH’s Soft Tissue Surgery Service.  

The ACVS describes Founding Fellows as well-qualified ACVS Diplomates (board certified) who are remarkable leaders in their respective fields as evidenced by their exemplary training, robust experience, innovative research, and committed practice. They provide a leadership role in matters pertaining to surgery in their focused field and continue to devote a significant portion of their professional effort in seeking to prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate patients in their specialized field of study.

Dr. Culp previously achieved ACVS Founding Fellow status in Small Animal Soft Tissue Minimally Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopy and Thoracoscopy), along with Dr. Philipp Mayhew, BVMS, MRCVS, DACVS, and Dr. Michele Steffey, DVM, DACVS. Drs. Culp and Steffey are also ACVS Founding Fellow in Surgical Oncology.

veterinarian in surgery suite
Dr. Bill Culp in the Interventional Radiology Surgery Suite at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.

In addition to Founding Fellows, the ACVS also bestows the Fellow credential on surgeons who have specific expertise and knowledge in their specialized disciplines beyond what can be mastered within a 3-year veterinary surgery residency program. Most ACVS Fellowship Programs involve a 52-week training (as well as rigorous testing) in all aspects of a particular specialty. They serve to develop highly skilled surgeons who, in turn, will become recognized experts in a specific surgical field.

UC Davis faculty surgeon Dr. Ingrid Balsa, MEd, DVM, DACVS, has achieved ACVS Fellow status in Small Animal Soft Tissue Minimally Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopy and Thoracoscopy), while Dr. Michelle Giuffrida, VMD, DACVS, has achieved the honor in Surgical Oncology.

In addition, UC Davis serves as an ACVS Approved Training Center for the Small Animal Soft Tissue Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program.

Several years ago, UC Davis oral surgeons Dr. Frank Verstraete, DrMedVet, BVSc (Hons), MMedVet, DAVDC, DECVS, DEVDC, and Dr. Boaz Arzi, DVM, DAVDC, DEVDC, became Founding Fellows of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS). This recognition was given by the AVDC to only 14 individuals worldwide.

A Founding Fellow in OMFS is a Diplomate of the AVDC who has demonstrated advanced experience and expertise in OMFS by obtaining additional training beyond a residency program. Fellows devote a large portion of their practice to OMFS patients. The AVDC is the clinical specialist organization for veterinary dentists, recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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