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The American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (ACVAA) Career Achievement Award recognizes a Diplomate for accomplishments throughout a long career of outstanding performance in advancing the art and science of veterinary anesthesia and/or analgesia. The award is made on the basis of accomplishments throughout a career distinguished by sustained, significant contributions to education, research and/or service in veterinary anesthesia and analgesia, including service to the ACVAA.

The ACVAA is proud to award the 2021 Career Achievement Award to Dr. Wayne McDonell

Dr. McDonell is a founding member of the ACVAA and has served the College in a variety of ways over the years (including being President of the College in 1981).  He grew up in on a farm in Alberta and attended the University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) from 1961-65. After practicing veterinary medicine in Alberta he went back to Guelph in 1966, teaching anesthesia  for 3 years during which time he also completed an MSc. He was employed as an Assistant Professor in 1969 and in 1971 he obtained a Medical Research Council of Canada Fellowship which funded his PhD. He studied the effect of posture on respiratory function in horses, carrying out some of the earliest seminal work on respiratory function associated with anesthesia in this species. He returned to the OVC and became an Associate Professor with tenure in 1976 and continued on to become a full Professor 5 years later. During his tenure at OVC he formed the anesthesia service and was a key member and driver of this service for the rest of his career.

Dr. McDonell later became the first  OVC Director of the Teaching Hospital in 1983 and later became Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at OVC and served in that position for 7 years. During this time he continued to support and mentor graduate students, residents and young faculty with his continuous inspiration and search for new knowledge. He was instrumental in the inception of the Doctor of Veterinary Science (DVSc) program that replaced the residency program in 1980 and took on the first DVSc student (Doris Dyson) to enter this program.  Many faculty and ‘residents’ have subsequently benefited from this program.  Dr. McDonell was also a key player in the foundation of the Pet Trust at OVC which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to support the research efforts of faculty and DVSc students.

Dr. McDonell has published over 120 peer reviewed papers and numerous chapters in veterinary textbooks. Although he officially retired in 2005, he helped establish Veterinarians Without Borders-Canada and has served on its Board. He has continued to publish and is also an editor for the Canadian Veterinary Journal. He has been involved with the training of many graduate students and residents in our discipline, who have themselves gone on to influence veterinary anesthesia.

Congratulations and thank you Dr. McDonell !