NYC Veterinarian and Board-Certified Surgeon
We chatted with Dr. J’Mai Gayle, a board-certified veterinary surgeon and Director of Surgery at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, about her work.
ASPCA: As a surgeon, what preventive health care recommendations do you have for pet parents?
Dr. Gayle: We see so many injuries here that could have been prevented if animals had only been kept on a leash. I also see many orthopedic conditions that are exacerbated by obesity. Just as in people, obesity places added stress and strain on ligaments and joints, which can lead to chronic pain and lameness.
ASPCA: What kind of training does a board-certified veterinary surgeon need?
Dr. Gayle: A graduate veterinarian must complete a three-year residency program, meet specific training and caseload requirements, perform research, and have that research published. The residency program is strictly supervised by American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) diplomates. Following the residency, the resident must pass a rigorous examination. Only then does the veterinarian earn the title of ACVS diplomate. Only veterinarians who have successfully completed the certification requirements are diplomates of the ACVS and have earned the right to be called specialists in veterinary surgery.
ASPCA: How has your experience working with large animals enriched your practice as a companion animal surgeon?
Dr. Gayle: Being trained as an equine surgeon has made me a more creative and confident small animal surgeon. As an equine veterinarian, I had extensive training in wound management, lameness evaluation and management of osteoarthritis, and gastrointestinal physiology and surgery. This base of knowledge has allowed me to treat my small animal patients more effectively.
ASPCA: What is the best thing about working for the ASPCA?
Dr. Gayle: I love being able to help those people and animals who are less fortunate. There are so many ways to make a difference working at the ASPCA. It is very gratifying.