Dr. Kim A. Sprayberry aspired to become an equine veterinarian from the time she was a child on the family farm. Earning her DVM degree from the University of California-Davis in 1988, she later became certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and focused her expertise on horses while in practice.
Medicine is her "great love," but she also enjoys journalism. Poised for a new challenge that would blend her specialty with writing and editing, Dr. Sprayberry joined the AVMA Publications Division this January as an assistant editor.
"All of us read the AVMA journals, and they are world-class," Dr. Sprayberry said, "but most of us do not understand all that goes into the peer review of manuscripts.
"Even though I very much miss being with horses all day, I know that working in publications is still a way for me to contribute to the well-being of horses, because the journals convey information that ultimately ends up as care being delivered to the patient in the stall. JAVMA and AJVR are conduits for that information, and they are, without a doubt, the most professional and widely read venues of their kind."
Her own articles have been published in veterinary journals, textbooks, and horse enthusiast publications. She has a book in progress and hopes to do more medical writing.
After graduation, Dr. Sprayberry spent a year in a California mixed practice before entering equine-only practice that included work on the southern California racetracks. Five years later, she returned to UC-Davis to serve a residency in large animal (equine) internal medicine. Dr. Sprayberry subsequently earned ACVIM diplomate status and joined the world-renowned equine practice of Hagyard Davidson McGee Associates in Lexington, Ky., as an internist in their medicine division. In 2002, Dr. Sprayberry returned to California, where she practiced as an associate and a consultant in equine internal medicine at several large equine firms in northern California.
A member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, she is also a charter board member of the ACVIM Foundation. She has served on committees of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
Dajka, Membership and Field Services
About a year-and-a-half into a small animal medicine and surgery career, Dr. Kevin J. Dajka, a 2003 graduate of the University of Illinois, decided to look for different avenues to make an impact in the veterinary profession. Last fall, he began a career with the AVMA staff where he could reach out to the profession through involvement with the students and veterinary colleges.
In November, Dr. Dajka became an assistant director of the Membership and Field Services Division. He will co-advise the Student AVMA and its chapters on policies and issues, assist with oversight of the online AVMA Mentoring Center for veterinarians and students, and be secondary staff support to the Council on Veterinary Service.
"I believe strongly in organized veterinary medicine," he said. "It allows the profession to create new opportunities and make positive changes that are not possible on an individual basis. There may be veterinarians and students who are not aware of these opportunities, and this position gives me the the chance to work with them and make sure they know the benefits of being an AVMA member."
Dr. Dajka hopes to combine the various roles he experienced in veterinary school with his practice experience to create a connection with the students. While at U of I, Dr. Dajka served as a peer mentor for the incoming veterinary classes, since the experience had benefited him greatly when he was an entering student. That led to four years as the class representative and leadership positions in the university's student chapter of the AVMA. After graduation, Dr. Dajka served as a small animal medicine and surgery intern at a practice in Los Angeles for three months and then became an associate small animal practitioner at a clinic in Rockford, Ill.
Dr. Dajka will function as the lead SAVMA co-adviser, assisted by his division director, Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice. Their respective visits to the U.S. and Canadian veterinary schools each year will cover half the schools, with the AVMA vice president calling on the other half. Dr. Dajka's first trip is scheduled for Louisiana State University in April.