Faculty Clinical Excellence Award

Faculty Clinical Excellence Award

This award, first awarded in 2014, was established to honor professorial 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 whose ability, dedication, character, and leadership contribute significantly to the excellent reputation of VMTH clinical programs.


Ray Wack 2018 SVM Faculty Clinical Excellence AwardRay Wack 2018 SVM Faculty Clinical Excellence Award

Dr. Ray Wack has received the 2018 VMTH Clinical Faculty Excellence Award for his passion for teaching, leadership skills & dedication to providing outstanding care to the animals at the Sacramento Zoo & other wildlife/zoological facilities. He reinvigorated the Zoological Medicine Program at the SVM. Ray’s efforts have made it one of the most highly ranked didactic & clinical rotations by students. The Zoo Med rotation is frequently cited as a favorite by seniors & often has a waiting list. An important component of this success is Ray’s vision to create a curriculum that not only provides the fundamental skills required by graduates to be successful in general veterinary careers, but to also inspire young professionals to consider entering the fields of zoological, wildlife or conservation medicine.

Dr. Wack also re-envisioned the Zoo Med residency program which he has developed into a highly regarded, collaborative partnership with an international reputation for excellence. He is responsible for negotiating & maintaining the cooperative agreements & financial backing needed for three house officers to rotate through the residency at any one time, with each resident spending their 1st year at Sac Zoo/UCD SVM, their 2nd year at San Diego Zoo Global/SeaWorld, and their 3rd year at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Every graduate from this program holds a position in zoological medicine or related fields & 100% of those who have credentialed, have passed ACZM boards.

Dr. Wack received his DVM at The Ohio State University where he also completed his residency as well as his Master of Science degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences. He is board certified in the European College of Zoological Medicine as well as American College of Zoological Medicine. Ray’s collaborative research projects with USGS, CDFW & AZA designed to improve conservation efforts for endangered giant garter snakes & western pond turtles have brought in over $600,000 in grant monies over the last 10 years. Over 35 peer-reviewed papers have been published by Ray & residents that he has mentored. This nomination was enthusiastically supported by colleagues within the SVM, current and past residents as well as from his industry colleagues.

  • Past Recipients of the SVM Faculty Clinical Excellence Award
  • 2017    Verena Affolter
    2016    Jorge Nieto
    2015    Gary Magdesian 
    2014    Bev Sturges