ACZM Newsletter 2019 Volume 1

President's Letter

Dear ACZM Colleagues;

I hope your 2019 has gotten off to a great start. There are a lot of things going on with the ACZM that you may want to know about.

The primary way that we communicate and get the word out about our college is through our website. Our website’s look is getting a bit dated both visually and technically so it will be renewed with a whole new look by years end. But don’t stop going to the website as you will see a new and revised Policies and Procedures, P&P manual there. This effort was headed by our VP, Dr. Jen Langan and her staff. The look is new, all formatting redone and made consistent. The new P&P should be easier to use and find information. Our P&P is continually updated, especially by our committees as they update their procedures and practices. Our website is also the place to go to find these committees and their chairpersons to get involved with the college.

Once every 3 years we update our Memoranda of Understanding, MOUs with affiliated organizations for which we provide the continuing education at their conferences. Well this is the year that we renew all of these agreements. We do this primarily for the organizations where our members get their CE credits, such as AAZV, AAWV, IAAAM, and Exotics con. Many of our members are also serving on various executive boards of these organizations so it’s a family affair! Look for the ACZM logo and wear your ACZM pin on your name tag proudly at whatever conference you attend this year! We want to make our presence known so you will also see our new ACZM banners at these conferences. They are bright colorful and have great photos of you, our members doing your jobs. These efforts are one of the way we promote the college to our colleagues throughout the various veterinary fields. We can’t thank the PR folks’ efforts spearheaded by Dr. Krista Keller to get these banners finalized and out there.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible throughout the year and at our annual conference which will be held in St. Louis on the Sunday before the start of the AAZV conference this September. In the meantime have a great summer.


Kay A. Backues, DVM, DACZM

President ACZM

ACZM Mission Statement

A mission statement is the formal summary of the goals and values of an organization. Do you know what the ACZM Mission Statement is?

To learn more about the ongoing work of the ACZM, check out our website.


Continue to check the ACZM website for updated dates and ongoing activities.

Meet ACZM's Newest Dipomates

The 2018 new ACZM Dips from the top left: Marjorie Bercier, Sarah Cannizzo, Kristin Delaski, Sarah Gardhouse, Adam Naylor and Lily Parkinson. From the bottom left: Kathryn Perrin, Katie Seeley, Cora Singleton, Mary Thurber, Megan Watson, and Kimberlee Wojick. Not imaged: Cara Field.

In 2018 our college grew by 13 more members, Congratulations to these new Dips! This means that there are a mere 236 Diplomates of the American College of Zoological Medicine in the world! Learn more about our new dips here.

If your dream includes becoming a Board-Certified Specialist in Zoological Medicine (TM), learn more at our website.

ACZM Dip Spotlight: Michelle Davis, DVM, Dipl ACZM, Dipl ECZM

Michelle Davis is a Board Specialist in Zoological Medicine (TM) that works at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA, USA.

ACZM Diplomates work in a variety of industries and with a variety of species. Although often called "zoo vets", not all ACZM Dips work at a zoo, but can also be found employed by aquaria, government, academia, industry and private practice to name a few. Michelle Davis practices medicine on a variety of species at Georgia Aquarium, you can read more about Michelle Davis here.

ACZM Research Spotlight

Performing high quality research is in line with the Mission Statement of ACZM to "further the health and welfare of individuals and populations of ... animals". ACZM Diplomates lead research endeavors in the field of zoological medicine and work on a variety of species in both free-ranging and captive settings. In this issue, read about some of our amazing ACZM Diplomates and the research they are performing:

  • Peter Holz, BVSc, DVSc, Diplomate ACZM is studying the infectious disease prevalences of bats, learn more here.
  • Lily Parkinson, DVM, Dipl ACZM is evaluating a bearded dragons response to a common diuretic, furosemide, learn more here.
  • Brianne Phillips, DVM, Dipl ACZM is flying to the Galapagos Islands to evaluate the cause of ocular lesions in Galapagos sea lions, learn more here.

Read more about our Research in Focus Dips from last issue here

The Growing Field of Zoological Medicine

The past year has seen many textbooks within the field of Zoological Medicine published. These textbooks serve to disseminate information throughout the field and ensure that the knowledge of the highest quality of medicine is available globally. The ACZM is proud that many of the Board-Certified Specialists in Zoological Medicine serve as Editors and Contributing Authors to these texts.

  • CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine, 3rd Edition
  • Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine Current Therapy, Volume 9.
  • Mader's Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery, 3rd Edition.

Read more about these recent publications, the Diplomates that make them possible and some upcoming textbooks that will be published later this year.

Bulletin Board


Joanne Paul-Murphy, DVM, Dipl ACZM, Dipl ACAW has been awarded the AVMA's Animal Welfare Award. The The AVMA Animal Welfare Award is presented to an AVMA member veterinarian in recognition of their achievement in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development, and/or advocacy. Dr Paul-Murphy was nominated by a group of her current and past residents and her peers for this amazing award. The very first veterinarian to be bestowed this award was Dr Murray Fowler, DVM, Dipl ACZM!

Ray Wack, DVM, Dipl ACZM has been awarded the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Faculty Clinical Excellence Award. This award honors professional or staff veterinarians at the VMTH who demonstrate exceptional, sustained, and significant achievements in patient care, clinical instruction, and advancing clinical veterinary medicine. It recognizes veterinarians who's ability, dedication, character, and leadership contribute significantly to the excellent reputation of VMTH clinical programs.

Eric Miller, DVM, Dipl ACZM has been awarded the 2019 George Engelmann Interdisciplinary Award through the St Louis Academy of Science. Dr. Miller’s decades-long career as a veterinarian and conservationist has taken him around the world. His early years focused on diseases affecting rhinoceroses in zoos and in Africa, and the health of the South China tigers and Giant Pandas. As the Director of the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group, he oversaw research and conservation efforts to save lemurs in Madagascar’s eastern lowland rain forests. Dr. Miller has also worked in the Galapagos Islands, and taught veterinary courses in Brazil, China, France, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. As first Director of the Saint Louis Zoo’s WildCare Institute he helped established cooperative agreements with over 180 zoos, universities, botanical gardens, and governmental and nongovernmental agencies that collaborate with its 13 focused Conservation Centers and additional programs. He was an advocate for conservation medicine, and an Institute was added that focuses on the importance of epidemiology in wildlife and human diseases. At present, there is only one definitive English language book on zoo and wildlife medicine, “Fowler’s Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine.” It is a leading textbook on wildlife medicine used in veterinary medical education programs around the globe. He was a Co-Editor (4 editions) and Editor (the last 2). Miller’s international reputation has resulted in some unique assignments. When the Tbilisi Zoo, in the Republic of Georgia, was flooded, the Zoo lost half of their animals along with three keepers, Dr. Miller was the first outside veterinarian on the scene. Miller has also worked to develop a true partnership between European and North American zoo veterinarians. After twenty years of effort, those two regions now share support of the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, and have held two joint meetings.


A serious number of ACZM Dips got together recently at the North American Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus Workshop held at Houston Zoo. From left to right are all ACZM Dips including: Sarah Cannizzo, Noha About-Madi, Betsey Stringer, Priya Bapodra, Maryanne Tocidlowski, Christine Molter, Sharon Deem, Lauren Howard, Kathryn Perrin, Jennifer D'Agostino, Nadine Lamberski and Luis Padilla. It is amazing to see so many dips in one place working on an important topic in zoological medicine.

Congratulations to Marion Desmarchelier, DMV, IPSAV, DES (Zoological Medicine), DES (Animal Behavioral Medicine), MSc, Dipl ACZM, Dipl ECZM (Zoo Health Management), Dipl ACVB who recently passed her ACVB (American College of Veterinary Behavior) board certification!

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Created with images by David Clode - "untitled image" • Levi Saunders - "untitled image" • Sponchia - "grey crowned crane cranes bird" • LoggaWiggler - "iguana green lizard" • Tinwe - "axolotl leucistique male" • Alexas_Fotos - "lion predator mane" • 3dman_eu - "cancer shell beach" • Arve Kern - "untitled image" • 4361694 - "fighting fish fish three color"

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