Veterinarian Meredith Persky of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Jacksonville, Fla., is now one of fewer than 300 veterinarians, and the first veterinarian in the facility’s history, to be recognized as a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM).
ACZM is a specialty board recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) that certifies veterinarians with expertise in zoological medicine. To become an ACZM Diplomate, a veterinarian must have a minimum of six years of professional experience in zoological medicine, or three years in an approved residency program, be the primary author on at least three peer-reviewed publications, including an original research study, provide three personal reference letters, and complete a two-day examination which covers topics ranging from water quality in fish to anesthesia in rhinoceros.
“I am beyond thrilled to have achieved this professional and personal goal. It is the culmination of many years of hard work and reinforces my commitment to provide the best possible care to our animals,” said Dr. Meredith Persky.
Persky meets the criteria set by the ACZM, having worked with, and studied animals for many years at several institutions. She graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s in biomedical science and went on to The Ohio State University for veterinary school. She completed a two-year post-graduate internship at the Indianapolis Zoo in Indianapolis, Ind., spent two years at Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City, Mo., and four years at Zoo Miami in Miami, Fla., before working at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for the last six years.
Persky has authored several published journal articles detailing her work. Her independent research study established normal blood reference ranges in dusky smooth-hound sharks. She also published two case reports from her position at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: a report detailing the treatment of molar pregnancy in a 48-year-old bonobo primate; and the case of a wild bobcat that was paralyzed from tick toxicity, treated at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and then released back to its natural habitat.
“We are extremely pleased with Meredith’s certification as a distinguished Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine,” said David Hagan, chief zoological officer at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “Her expertise, knowledge and thought leadership are invaluable to us. She is highly regarded in her field, and we are grateful she is a member of our team.”
Photo Credit: © Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Edited by Sarah Gilsoul, a writer and communications program assistant at AZA.
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