Surgery resident honored by national clinician group

Dr. Mandy Wallace with Resident's Award.

Dr. Mandy Wallace, center, received the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians 2016 Resident Award. She is shown with Dr. Dana Zimmel, left, associate dean for clinical services, and Dr. Dan Lewis, right, a professor of small animal surgery, during a recent UF Veterinary Hospitals meeting. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Mandy Wallace)

Dr. Mandy Wallace, a small animal surgery resident at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, was recently honored by a national professional association for her achievements in the clinical, educational and scholarly arenas.

In April, the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians, an organization of veterinary clinicians engaged in teaching and research at the professional, graduate or postgraduate level, presented Wallace with its Resident Award, which is given annually to two residents selected from all the veterinary residents in North America.

Several recent achievements led to Wallace’s award.

She has received three successful grant proposals, and was one of only two residents selected nationwide to receive the American College of Veterinary Surgeons’ annual surgeon-in-training grant. The grants support her primary research interest, which involves the exploration of a new device for the closure of portosystemic shunts in small animals.

Also known as liver shunts, portosystemic shunts are a serious medical condition through which the body’s circulatory system bypasses the liver, causing blood from the abdominal organs to be shunted to the systemic circulation. The condition can be present at birth or acquired, and affects primarily small breed dogs.

“Currently, 24 American Kennel Club breed clubs list portosystemic shunts as a disease of concern in their breed,” Wallace said. “Of these 24 breeds, four, including Yorkshire terriers, shih tzu, miniature schnauzer and the Shetland sheepdog, are on the 2016 AKC’s most popular dog breeds list.”

The method Wallace has explored provides reliable closure of the shunt over four to six weeks without the inflammation frequently associated with the traditional device.

Wallace also received the American College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Outstanding Surgical Residents Award in 2014, and received second place in the research division of the small animal residents’ forum presentation competition. She earned the Society of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgery’s Resident Award in 2014 for placing second in the resident scientific abstract competition.

In March, Wallace received the UF veterinary medical college’s Excellence in Master’s Studies Award.

In addition, in 2014 the American Bouvier Rescue League named Wallace its “Veterinarian of the Year” for her efforts to save the leg of a dog named Amitz.

Wallace completed her D.V.M. degree from Mississippi State University in 2010. She then entered the joint small animal surgery residency-master’s degree program at the UF veterinary medical college. She completed her master’s degree in veterinary medical sciences in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Gary Ellison and will finish her residency in July. She served as chief resident for the UF Veterinary Hospitals in her final year. This fall, Wallace will join the small animal surgery faculty at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

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