Former horse vet takes on lead role at Pennsylvania vet school

Mark A. Oyama, DVM, MSCE, DACVIM-Cardiology, has been named chair of the Division of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine (CSAM) at Penn Vet. © School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

A former equine veterinarian has been named 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 is also 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 chairman from September 2021, succeeding Oliver Garden, who will become dean at Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

As a youngster, Oyama competed in dressage and three-day eventing with his quarter Horse Gandalf the Wiz, spent summers at the local equine vet, and worked as a groomsman in exchange for free lessons.

Oyama entered veterinary school at the University of Illinois in 1990, aiming to become an equine veterinarian. But that changed when, in his third year, he took the small animal cardiology course of Dr. David Sisson. 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 received a board certificate from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Specialty of Cardiology (ACVIM-Cardiology) in 1998. After working at a specialized referral hospital in Portland, Oregon, he was offered a faculty position at the University of Illinois.

In 2005, Oyama was promoted to associate professor and soon after joined Penn Vet.

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

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