By: Hannah Kleckner Hall
Dean W. Richardson, DVM, DACVS, Chief of Large Animal Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine’s (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center, has been selected as the recipient of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) prestigious ACVS Founders’ Award for Career Achievement. The recognition was first announced during the virtual ACVS Diplomates’ Annual Business Meeting held on October 20, 2020.
Established to recognize the service of ACVS Diplomates who have distinguished themselves in the pursuit of surgery, the award is bestowed to those who have made significant contributions to the development of surgical techniques and methodology, and disseminating knowledge to colleagues, residents, and students.
“In selecting Dr. Richardson, the [ACVS] membership recognizes a world-renowned leader in the equine surgery field, whose contributions over the last 30-plus years have greatly impacted the art and science of veterinary surgery,” said the ACVS in a written statement about the College’s 2020 award recipients. “He is a talented surgeon, mentor, researcher, educator, and a role model for students, interns, residents, and clinicians around the world.”
Richardson’s contributions to fostering innovative, cutting-edge equine orthopedic surgical techniques are extensive. From developing uses of locking compression plates in horses and refining procedures to decrease infection associated with surgical implants, to pioneering novel imaging techniques to diagnose, manage, and improve fracture repair outcomes, Richardson has “continued to relentlessly push the field of equine surgery into the future,” added the ACVS.
“He is, in my opinion, the ‘surgeon’s surgeon’ and the ‘teacher’s teacher’, and the ACVS is lucky to have such a great role model for our College and profession,” said one colleague and nominator. “I would not be the surgeon that I am today without his mentorship and support.”
“This recognition from the AVCS membership is a tremendous honor and I am humbled to receive it,” said Richardson. “I am immensely grateful to my extraordinary colleagues who have inspired me over the years, as well as the thousands of talented, ambitious veterinary students, interns, and residents who have done the same – watching them grow, learn, and succeed has been my greatest joy.”
“Throughout his time at New Bolton Center, Dr. Richardson has had a profound impact not only on the specialty of orthopedic surgery, but on the careers of hundreds of aspiring veterinary surgeons – from veterinary students to interns, residents and young faculty,” said Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACT, and Chair of the Department of Clinical Studies at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center. “His invaluable mentorship, drive, and formidable contributions to the field continue to inspire hopeful and accomplished clinicians alike – this is a deeply well-deserved honor.”
Richardson graduated from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979, before beginning his tenure at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center as a large animal rotating intern. Upon completion of his large animal surgery residency in 1982, he stayed on as a lecturer before officially joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 1985. In 1994, Richardson was named the Charles W. Raker Associate Professor of Equine Surgery and eventually was promoted to full professor in 1999. Since 2001, Richardson has served as the Chief of Large Animal Surgery at New Bolton Center. He was recognized by the ACVS Foundation as an Honored Mentor in 2014.
Additional information outlining Dr. Richardson’s multi-faceted contributions to the field of veterinary surgery is available here.
Founded in 1965, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons is the specialty board which sets the certification standards for advanced professionalism in veterinary surgery and provides the latest in surgical educational programs. ACVS is the AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization™ for certification of veterinarians in large animal surgery and small animal surgery.
By fostering the highest standards of excellence in veterinary surgery, ACVS is helping the veterinary profession achieve its goals of providing outstanding service to the public and care to animals. Following the 2020 certification examination, ACVS membership includes more than 2,200 Diplomates.
About Penn Vet
Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.
Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,300 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 5,300 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.