Over the past year, two members of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s Production Management Medicine team became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, respectively. Recent diplomates Sierra Guynn and Hollie Schramm, both clinical assistant professors, put in countless hours of study and hard work to achieve these accomplishments.  

As the college continues to pursue excellence in veterinary medicine, it’s crucial that its faculty deepens their own knowledge and expertise. Board certification is also an important step in career growth.  

Schramm earned her board certification in food animal practice from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in September 2021.  

“It was an important accomplishment and step for me. Especially in academia, it's good to have that credential that shows you've taken that extra step to become a specialist," said Schramm.

In addition to becoming a diplomate, Schramm also took a leadership position within the ABVP. She serves on the Board of Regents as the Food Animal Regent with the organization.

This fall, Guynn became board certified through the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM). The specialties that the ACVPM offers are closely aligned with One Health principles as they focus on the intersections between animal, environmental, and human health.  Guynn was drawn to ACVPM’s approach because it connects to her interest in collaboration with the Department of Population Health Science.  

"The college is a place of academic excellence, and to achieve academic excellence, you want specialists teaching,” said Guynn. "When people come here for a referral, they're coming for the next level of care, and board certification takes us to the next level."  

To prepare for the exam, she completed a graduate certificate in public health through the college’s Public Health Program. Not only did it prepare her for the exam, it also gave her a fresh perspective on the student experience that she can use when working with veterinary students day-to-day.

The American Veterinary Association recognizes 22 organizations that can grant board certification, spanning 41 specialities. Requirements vary by organization, but veterinarians seeking board certification must have several years of practice directly related to their specialty and a minimum number of publications in addition to passing a certification exam — an impressive feat.

Production Management Medicine provides on-the-farm primary and emergency patient care and preventive health care programs to animals within a 35-mile practice area of Blacksburg and on-farm consultation for veterinarians outside that radius. They offer a variety of services, including reproductive, surgical, diagnostic, and emergency care. 

Written by Sarah Boudreau M.F.A. '21, a writer with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine