NC Regional Wildlife Medicine Symposium

Friday, July 28, 2017
Hosted by the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Lees-McRae College Campus

An opportunity for non-wildlife specialists to learn treatment techniques for sick and injured wildlife

This symposium provides a RACE-approved continuing education opportunity for veterinarians and veterinary technicians focused on the recognition, triage, and treatment of wildlife. From legal implications to safe handling and zoonotic diseases, the veterinary team plays a crucial role in the overall health of the animal and, in some cases, the finder.

Hosted by the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Lees-McRae College, this symposium will also allow networking opportunities between local veterinarians, veterinary staff, state officials, and other experts in the field. Seven hours of continuing education credit will be available for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

This event is sponsored by the Lees-McRae BB&T Leadership Initiative.

Veterinarians: $100  |  Veterinary Technicians: $40  |  Students/Non-students/Other: $30

The early registration deadline is Wednesday, June 28. After that date, an additional $20 fee will be charged.

Registration for the symposium is now closed.

Symposium Schedule

78 a.m. Registration
Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons
8 a.m. Welcome Remarks and Introduction
Billy Carver, PhD – Dean, School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
8:109 a.m. The Politics of Wildlife
Maria Palamar, DVM, PhD  North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
9:10–10 a.m.   Wildlife Rehabilitation at Lees-McRae College
Amber McNamara, DVM, CVA  May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Lees-McRae College
10–10:30 a.m. Networking Break
10:30–11:20 a.m. Triage Care: Restraint, Medications and Euthanasia in Wildlife
David Scott, DVM  Carolina Raptor Center
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.  Lunch
Miller Commons
12:451:15 p.m. Optional Campus Walking Tour
Lees-McRae College, Order of the Tower members
1:30–2:20 p.m. North Carolina Rabies Update and Other Zoonotic Diseases
Maria Palamar, DVM, PhD  North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
2:30–3:20 p.m. Tissue Submission and Necropsies on Wildlife Patients - How Pathology Can Help You
Stephanie French, DVM, MS CPT, 719th MDVS, USAR  Michigan State University's Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health
3:20–3:40 p.m. Networking Break
3:40–4:30 p.m. Fur, Feathers and Scales - Rethinking Pain Management for Wildlife Rehabilitation
PJ Deitschel, DVM  Von arx Wildlife Hospital, Conservancy of Southwest Florida
4:40–5:30 p.m. Interesting Raptor Cases
David Scott, DVM  Carolina Raptor Center
5:30 p.m. Closing Remarks and Presentation of Continuing Education Certificates
5:30–6:30 p.m. Student Poster Displays
King-Shivell Gallery

Speaker Biographies

Maria Baron Palamar

Dr. Maria Palamar was born in Bariloche, in the Argentinean Patagonia. After living in Spain and the US, Maria went back to Argentina to obtain her Veterinary Medical degree at the National University of Rio Cuarto. Maria worked in private practice, a wildlife rescue center in Ecuador, and several zoos. After a short externship with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Maria decided to go back to school to obtain her Doctorate in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at North Carolina State University. Maria now works as the State Wildlife Veterinarian for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Dave Scott

Dr. David Scott earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Univ. of Illinois in 1988 and his DVM in 1997. He is currently the staff veterinarian at the Carolina Raptor Center where he oversees the medical care of over 1,000 injured birds of prey each year. 

His specialties include orthopedic surgery and bioinformatics and he has developed the RaptorMed medical management software system in use at many major rehabilitation facilities worldwide. In addition, he regularly speaks at avian conferences both nationally and internationally and teaches veterinary students in an intense, hands-on RaptorVet externship program. 

He recently published the 2nd edition of his book, Raptor Medicine, Surgery and Rehabilitation, the only book dedicated to the rehabilitation and care of birds of prey.

Stephanie French

Dr. Stephanie French graduated from University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana-Champaign in 2007; she accepted an internship at CROW Wildlife Hospital in Sanibel, Florida upon graduating and remained there as a veterinarian until June 2011. In July 2011, Dr. French started an anatomic pathology residency program at Michigan State University and has remained there as a pathologist since completing the residency in June 2014. Dr. French has also been in the United States Army Reserves as a Veterinary Corps Officer since 2012. In her limited spare time, she and her husband enjoy historical costuming, science fiction and wine.

PJ Deitschel

Dr. PJ Deitschel has been a wildlife rehabilitator for over 30 years. After receiving her DVM from Colorado State, she served as consulting veterinarian for a conservation foundation in South Africa and then joined C.R.O.W. on Sanibel Island as their Clinic Director/Staff Veterinarian for 12 years. A 3-month stint with the Gulf oil spill response led to work with international endangered-species conservation and her current position as Staff Veterinarian for Conservancy of Southwest Florida. As a clinician, Dr. PJ emphasizes an integrative medicine approach to patient care.

Amber McNamara

Dr. Amber McNamara is a graduate of DePauw University and Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She worked for over eight years at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife in Sanibel, FL and studied at the Chi Institute, becoming a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist in 2010. Successfully applying integrative techniques to wildlife cases and teaching these practices to students has been very rewarding.

Since 2013, she has been a faculty member of Lees-McRae College, as well as veterinarian for the college’s May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.  Courses taught include Environmental Biology, Advanced Clinical Wildlife Rehabilitation, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, and Zoonotic Diseases. She instructs students from a One Health perspective, recognizing that the well-being of humans, animals and the environment are intricately dependent upon one another.

About the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

The Dan and Dianne May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is situated adjacent to the Elk River on the campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC. The Center annually admits more than 1,500 injured and orphaned wildlife patients from the western part of North Carolina. 

Under the guidance of Director Nina Fischesser and veterinarian Dr. Amber McNamara, students simultaneously contribute to the success of the rehabilitation program while engaging in a one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning experience.  Open 365 days per year, students comprise a large portion of the rehabilitative operations at the Center. 

Spend the Weekend in Banner Elk

Banner Elk is a popular getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the North Carolina High Country. It’s a place that blends small town relaxation with the amenities of a larger city.

Visitors enjoy a richness of culture and adventure. Within 15 minutes of the town’s lone stoplight you can experience the great outdoors, fabulous dining, theater and the arts, family attractions, and the two largest winter sports venues in the South. (via


For More Information

Amber McNamara
Veterinarian, May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Assistant Professor of Biology  |  828.898.3521

This program was reviewed and approved by the AAVSB RACE program for seven hours of continuing education in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval. Please contact the AAVSB RACE program if you have any comments/concerns regarding this program’s validity or relevancy to the veterinary profession.
Radiograph courtesy of Appalachian New River Veterinary Associates.