Dr. Davis is a second-generation veterinarian from South Florida. His father is recently retired from veterinary medicine and his family raises beef cattle in Clewiston, FL. Dr. Davis graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. He was awarded the Barbaro Gulfstream Scholarship (a veterinary scholarship named in honor of the amazing Barbaro), the Calder Race Course Scholarship, and the Student Award for Excellence in Large Animal Surgery.
After graduation, Dr. Davis completed his internship in Sports Medicine and Surgery at Oakridge Equine Hospital, followed by a residency in Equine Surgery at North Carolina State University. In 2012, he became board certified in Large Animal Surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Before joining Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Dr. Davis spent 1.5 years as a staff surgeon at a private practice referral center in Texas. He has authored and co-authored publications on topics ranging from colic surgery to advanced imaging and novel surgical techniques. In 2014, he was awarded the BEVA Trust Peter Rossdale EVJ Open Award for a research publication on return to performance following colic surgery. He has spoken at several national and state meetings.
Dr. Davis is an avid sportsman himself, and his hobbies include fishing, hunting, waterskiing and almost any outdoor activity.
Q. Will you tell us more about your background with horses growing up?
A. I started riding horses when I was so young I can’t remember. We had some amazingly kind horses that packed us around and took care of us (and a couple that didn’t). Riding as a child was mostly business – for the purpose of working cows. Somewhere around 14, I began team roping for pleasure and competition. I roped throughout college, but lost the required free time when I began practicing veterinary medicine. I’ll probably get after it again when I am retired and much too old to be doing that sort of thing!
Q. When and why did you decide to become a veterinarian and why did you choose to pursue a career as a surgeon?
A. I decided to be a veterinarian very early in life.I had a father and uncle who were both successful and happy veterinarians whom I looked up to, so it was a logical path to follow. The surgical interests started as a kid watching my father do surgery, something I always thought was amazing and he was very skilled at. My decision to pursue the surgical avenue came during vet school when I realized that I wanted to specialize and knew surgery was my passion.
Q. What is the best advice that your father has given you as a veterinarian?
A. My father is a man of few words. However, by watching him, I learned one of the biggest life lessons, which is to be calm and content with your career and your life.
Q. What do you enjoy about speaking publicly and sharing your knowledge?
A. I think mentoring, sharing knowledge and teaching the hands-on skills to the next generation of veterinarians is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of my job. Observing a student as content and excelling in their career with a skill set that you contributed to, even in a small way, is a beautiful thing.
Q. What is the most interesting or rewarding surgical case you have worked on?
A. Although minimally invasive arthroscopic type surgeries are my favorite to perform, I think colic surgeries are one of the most rewarding. They are often difficult surgeries and inevitably in the middle of the night, but you take a horse who would most certainly die without you, and save a life. Helping a horse who was in excruciating pain or has a life-threatening devitalized piece of intestine recover back to feeling comfortable and eating in their stall the next day is about as good as it gets.
Q. If you were not a vet, what would you be doing?
A. Living in a van, down by the river…Ugh. I don’t have any idea.
Q. What are your goals for your career now?
A. My goal is to expand the surgical and outpatient sports medicine referrals at PBEC. I am currently the coordinator for the intern and resident program. I plan to expand and improve on the quality of these mentoring programs within the industry. I am also working on the development and description of some novel minimally invasive surgical techniques. I aim to continue authoring 1-2 publications annually in the refereed equine literature.
Q. When not roping, fishing, hunting or waterskiing, what other things do you do with your free time?
A. Most of my non-equine time lately has been devoted to some real-estate interests and house renovations. I am also a big reader.