Jill Beech, VMD, Named AAEP Distinguished Educator

University of Pennsylvania professor Jill Beech, VMD, who has propelled the careers of countless leaders in the equine veterinary profession, has received the American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) Distinguished Educator Award.

The Distinguished Educator Award recognizes a teacher or mentor who has played an integral role in the educational and professional development of veterinary students through exceptional skills, character, leadership, and knowledge. Beech was honored during the Nov. 21 President's Luncheon at the 2011 Annual Convention.

Through her practical and constructive approach to veterinary medicine, Beech has influenced the careers of thousands of students and young faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Beech graduated from Penn Vet in 1972. Since 1976, she has served as an instructor of large animal medicine at Penn Vet. She received the title of professor in 1993 and was named the Georgia and Phillip Hofmann Chair in Medicine and Equine Reproduction in 2001. She retired from Penn Vet in July 2011.

During her tenure at Penn Vet, Beech built a reputation for having expertise in a broad range of veterinary topics, including respiratory disease, musculoskeletal conditions, neurology and ophthalmology. She established one of the first equine ophthalmology services and developed the college's specialty in neurology. She has served as an adjunct professor at the University of California-Davis, the University of Florida, and Ben Gurion University in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Penn Vet students vied for opportunities to participate in rounds with Beech, who pushed them toward academic achievement. A patient and approachable teacher, Beech is highly respected for her ability to show compassion to clients, students, and horses, even in stressful settings. She demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to mentoring young faculty at Penn Vet, which earned her the first-ever Robert Whitlock Award. Today, past students and colleagues regularly contact Beech for advice about their cases.

Beech has made significant contributions to veterinary textbooks and journals. She has published 90 papers in refereed journals, authored 30 review papers, and served as an editor for major textbooks for equine and large animal medicine.

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