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Dr. Amy Kapatkin Named President of Leading National Orthopedic Organization

Dr. Amy Kapatkin Named President of Leading National Orthopedic Organization
Dr. Amy Kapatkin (right) performs an orthopedic surgery at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
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Amy Kapatkin, DVM, MS, DACVS has been named president of AO North America (AONA), a national organization that is focused on musculoskeletal education for physicians and veterinarians. For many years, Dr. Kapatkin has been a member of the veterinary subset of AONA, AOVETNA. Her appointment marks the first-ever AOVETNA member to be elected president of AONA. She is also the first woman and the first veterinarian to be president of the organization.

Dr. Kapatkin begins her tenure as AONA president-elect effective immediately and becomes president for a three-year term on July 1, 2020.

“Dr. Kapatkin has been a long-time faculty of AOVETNA and has served AOVETNA and AONA in numerous capacities,” said Jeffrey P. Watkins, DVM, MS, DACVS, chair of AOVETNA. “We are extremely proud of her past success and of her ascension to this important leadership position.”

Dr. Kapatkin is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and specializes in small animal orthopedic surgery. After earning her veterinary degree from the Gregorio Araneta University Foundation (Philippines) in 1981, Dr. Kapatkin entered private practice in general small animal medicine for four years. She then completed a rotating internship and small animal surgical residency at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City from 1986-1990. After her specialty training, she stayed on as a staff member at AMC. In 1996, Dr. Kapatkin accepted a faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania as a lecturer, assistant and associate professor of orthopedic surgery. In 2004, she came to UC Davis as an associate professor and is currently a full professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences.

In her clinical role with the Orthopedic Surgery Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Dr. Kapatkin performs a variety of small animal orthopedic surgeries including trauma, minimally invasive fracture repair, total joint replacement, arthroscopy, growth deformities and routine orthopedic procedures.

“Amy is an exceptional teacher and role model,” said Denis Marcellin-Little, DEDV, DACVS, DACVSMR, chief of the Orthopedic Surgery Service. “She combines her orthopedic expertise with a caring and approachable attitude that empowers our students and residents to rapidly develop their skills in orthopedics. She is focused on making the orthopedic surgery community a supportive and diverse one.”

Dr. Kapatkin is highly committed to the principles of AO and AONA. Her many AO activities include being teaching faculty at a course nationally and internationally every year since 2007. Dr. Kapatkin’s commitment to teaching with a focus on evidence-based practices has contributed to several improvements to the AO courses. She has chaired the AOVETNA Education Committee, and she has sat on the AONA Education Advisory Board as well as the AOVET International Education Committee. In addition, Dr. Kapatkin has been a leader of the AO Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion initiative, an important current topic within the AO Foundation. She also the editor-in-chief of the AOVet Small Animal Surgical Reference.

“One of my visions for AONA is to make sure we work hard to engage and mentor diverse students early, work to engage the best and the brightest to become orthopedic specialists, and demonstrate that there are no barriers for anyone to achieve this goal,” said Dr. Kapatkin. “I believe in leadership that is inclusive, with shared responsibility and recognition for the work that is done. I also believe that it is imperative to communicate well and often with the entire AONA group, who all play a major part in the success of our team.”

AONA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing surgeons’ professional development through individualized opportunities and credible resources, by cultivating a community that learns from and with each other. AONA has approximately 3,000 surgeon members from four clinical divisions (orthopedic trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial, veterinary) who address bone healing and related problems of the musculoskeletal system.

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