Brevard Zoo’s Dr. Kyle Donnelly Earns Prestigious Certification, Now Among Elite Zoo Veterinarians

By  //  December 21, 2019

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Brevard Zoo's Dr. Kyle Donnelly earns diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine

Fewer than 250 veterinarians in the world can call themselves diplomates of the American College of Zoological Medicine and Brevard Zoo is honored to now have two on their staff. (Brevard Zoo image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Fewer than 250 veterinarians in the world can call themselves diplomates of the American College of Zoological Medicine and Brevard Zoo is honored to now have two on their staff.

Dr. Kyle Donnelly, who has been with the Brevard Zoo since August, joins Dr. Trevor Zachariah, the zoo’s longtime director of veterinary programs, as a recognized specialist in zoological medicine.

October 18 and 19 may have been typical days for most, but Donnelly spent those days at San Diego Zoo Safari Park taking a rigorous two-day exam.

To even qualify for the exam, applicants must meet thorough credentials such as authoring at least three publications and completing a three-year residency under an ACZM diplomate, or a six-year alternative track under a diplomate.

Candidates must pass day one of the examination process which covers the medicine of all nondomestic animal taxa to make it to the second phase.

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Day two was a certifying exam, which includes a multiple-choice, essay and open-ended questions about general zoo medicine.

Although this certification is not required for veterinary professionals, it is a big deal in the field of zoological medicine. The exam’s pass rate is low, and it’s even lower for first-time test takers.

Donnelly said her motivation for becoming ACZM-certified was a drive to “practice at the top level of the field.” Passing the exam, which she spent over three years studying for, has been a lifelong goal.

“Brevard Zoo could not be prouder to have two ACZM diplomates taking care of our animals here at the Zoo, congratulations, Kyle,” said Brevard Zoo officials.

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