Transformational growth at UC Davis will benefit veterinary medicine overall

Mark Stetter School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Introduction

As the University of California (UC)-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine looks to its next 75 years, it’s entering a decade of transformational growth. Through this growth, the school aims to help address urgent needs and increase its positive impact on the future of veterinary medicine.

The demands on the veterinary profession are well known. Animal owners need practitioners to care for their companions. New veterinary schools are sprouting, each needing experienced faculty. Medical companies require knowledgeable professionals to help develop new treatments. UC Davis itself receives thousands of calls weekly from owners seeking care for their animals.

UC Davis is uniquely positioned to meet the growing demands. The school’s scientific and clinical researchers can collaborate across one of the most comprehensive universities in the nation—including schools and colleges of medicine and engineering, and agricultural, environmental and biological sciences. It has the largest residency training program globally, expanded recently with the addition of the Judith McBean Trust Foundation Fellowship in Infectious Disease, the first-ever ACVIM approved fellowship. Additionally, the Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials (VCCT) fosters the development of cutting-edge treatments to advance the standard of care in both veterinary and human medicine.

During the 2023–2024 academic year, the school opened two state-of-the-art surgery centers and broke ground on the All Species Imaging Center, bringing together multiple imaging modalities into a centralized hub pivotal to all hospital specialty services. In addition, the school completed the purchase of a new building in San Diego to expand the availability of specialty veterinary services to southern California pet owners.

Both of the new surgery centers highlight the school’s commitment to specialized veterinary care. The Meadowview Foundation Dental and Oral Surgery Center helps meet the demand from the groundbreaking procedures developed at the school, such as utilizing bone morphogenetic protein to regrow bone lost through trauma or disease. The new center will also provide enhanced care through its one-of-its kind Stomatitis Clinic and advanced oral cancer care. The Center for Advanced Veterinary Surgery is a 7,300 square foot, state-of-the-art orthopedic surgery facility modeled after modern human health inpatient/outpatient facilities. Both centers increase the school’s advanced surgical capabilities while boosting training capacity, including a fellowship in orthopedic surgery.

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UC Davis’ Dr. Amy Kapatkin (left) and Provost Mary Croughan join Dean Dr. Mark Stetter in August 2023 for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Center for Advanced Veterinary Surgery.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 262, 5; 10.2460/javma.24.03.0171

UC Davis continues to find innovative treatments through its collaborations with human medicine. Partnerships within the university, such as through the Comparative Cancer Center, regenerative medicine initiatives, and joint ophthalmology projects, allow for knowledge and resource sharing.

As other veterinary schools reduce their clinical operations or are partnering with corporations for clinical training, UC Davis is committed to onsite clinical research and medicine. To advance its “Decade of Transformational Growth,” a design firm has been hired to develop a comprehensive facility master plan. This plan will accommodate the growing number of faculty, staff, and students, paving the way for numerous new buildings.

The expansion of the school’s physical footprint is more than just bricks and mortar. It represents an expansion of the school’s impact on animal, planetary and human health, and advancement of the entire veterinary medical profession.

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