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AAEP Honors Dr. Elizabeth Santschi with Distinguished Educator – Academic Award

Dec 7, 2021

The American Association of Equine Practitioners honored Kansas State University Professor of Equine Surgery Elizabeth Santschi, DVM, DACVS, with its Distinguished Educator – Academic Award for her substantial influence on veterinary students, interns, residents and the practice of veterinary medicine during three decades in academia.

The Distinguished Educator – Academic Award recognizes an individual who by his or her actions and commitment has demonstrated a significant impact on the development and training of equine practitioners. Dr. Santschi received the award during the December 7 President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 67th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

Lauded by colleagues and former students for her ingenuity, practicality, openness and honesty, Dr. Santschi has advanced the field of equine surgery and improved outcomes for countless horses through her pioneering research in distal limb perfusion and cortical screw compression of subchondral bone cysts. Her sustained dedication to the education of colleagues is evidenced as author or co-author of more than 100 journal articles and 92 research abstracts. In addition, she has given over 300 invited presentations around the world. In recent years, she has collaborated with the University of Georgia to develop two digital Apple Books about the equine stifle—Ultrasound of the Equine Stifle and Radiographic Diagnosis of Equine Stifle Disease—that have been downloaded in more than 40 countries.

Dr. Santschi received her veterinary degree from the University of Illinois in 1984 and became boarded with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1992 at a time when there were very few women in equine surgery, particularly orthopedics. Since entering academia in 1991 as an instructor of surgery at Purdue University, Dr. Santschi has mentored 30 residents, 23 of whom have become board certified; and served on the graduate committees for 10 MS or Ph.D. students. Exemplifying her influence, Dr. Santschi is one of only three female equine surgeons recognized in the ACVS Honor a Mentor Program.

“For over 30 years, Dr. Santschi has positively impacted numerous veterinary students, interns, residents, and faculty members as an exceptional educator and mentor, as she continues to model superior professionalism, surgical and medical expertise, and courageous leadership in the equine veterinary field,” said co-nominator Dr. Rebecca McConnico. “Her career exemplifies both passion and compassion for the horse and for those who care for them and about them.”

Prior to joining Kansas State University in 2014, Dr. Santschi served on faculty at the University of Minnesota from 1994–1998, University of Wisconsin from 1998–2006, and The Ohio State University from 2007–2014.

About AAEP

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.