Former horse vet takes on lead role at Pennsylvania vet school

Former horse vet takes on lead role at Pennsylvania vet school
Mark A. Oyama, DVM, MSCE, DACVIM-Cardiology, has been named chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine (CSAM) at Penn Vet. © University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

A former equine veterinarian has been named as Chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine (CSAM), the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) has announced.

Mark A. Oyama also serves as the Charlotte Newton Sheppard Endowed Professor of Medicine and Professor of Cardiology and has been a member of the CSAM faculty since 2005. Oyama was interim chair from September 2021, succeeding Oliver Garden, who became Dean at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

As a youngster, Oyama competed in dressage and three-day eventing with his part Quarter Horse Gandalf the Wiz, spending summers with the local equine veterinarian and working as a barn hand in return for free lessons.

Oyama entered veterinary school at the University of Illinois in 1990, aiming to become an equine veterinarian. But that changed when he took Dr. David Sisson’s small animal cardiology course in his third year. That led to a rotating small animal internship at The Animal Medical Center in New York City, and then a cardiology residency at the University of California at Davis.

Oyama achieved board certification by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Specialty of Cardiology (ACVIM-Cardiology) in 1998. After working at a specialty referral hospital in Portland, Oregon, he was offered a faculty position at the University of Illinois.

By 2005, Oyama was promoted to Associate Professor and soon after joined Penn Vet.

Oyama’s clinical and research interests involve mitral valve disease, novel therapies for heart failure, clinical epidemiology, and cardiac biomarkers.

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