Daniel J. Duffy grew up on a working sheep farm on the east coast of Yorkshire in rural North East England. Since both his parents were mixed animal veterinarians and owned their own practice, he often helped with cesarean sections and obstructed labors called dystocias, which sparked his passion for science and a love of nature.
As the new assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, Duffy hopes to ignite that similar passion in students, residents and interns. He couldn’t be more excited to join a team that supports his work ethic, motivation and progressive attitude toward teaching and research.
What made you want to go into veterinary medicine in academia?
A significant element of my desire to work in a progressive academic environment is the fact that I find teaching and discovery to be a mutually rewarding and beneficial experience. This is challenging, but also greatly satisfying to me. It’s a great feeling when you can see that the hard work you do has a positive effect on others. It’s great to see students, interns and residents excel as they progress into their careers knowing you had a little part in their training.
What will you be doing in your new role and your research commitment?
My role at NC State is split between teaching, clinical responsibilities and research. Students, interns and residents all learn differently, so it’s exciting to see them translate their knowledge in the classroom to clinical application with patients and clients. It is a truly rewarding experience to watch the next generation of veterinarians becoming passionate and interested in surgery, being actively engaged in their own learning and growing in knowledge, surgical skill and ability.
My research is focused on minimally invasive arthroscopy, or joint assessment, and minimally invasive fracture repair. My main area of interest is in the use of dogs as models for translational research for repair, meaning we use dog tendons as a model for humans in flexible tendon repair.
I am excited about establishing a great working relationship in this role with students, house officers and referring veterinarians. I have benefitted from strong and transformational mentorship, and I endeavor to provide these positive interactions. I feel very lucky to have joined a team at NC State that also supports this work ethic, motivation and progressive attitude toward teaching and research.
What do you enjoy most about your career as a surgeon?
Surgery is an amazing specialty to be a part of. As a surgeon, you can immerse yourself in multiple different specialties that we use every day, such as imaging, diagnostic workup and critical care. There is also a great working relationship with our anesthesiologists and technicians, without whom we would be at a loss.
I love the ability to teach and share knowledge while also gaining a great deal from my fellow surgeons. It’s a great team who work well together and push each other to be better. I’m extremely humbled by all the great work that is done here at NC State.
What is your background?
I went to veterinary school at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and worked with my parents at their general small animal mixed practice during my time off. I then completed a general rotating medicine and surgery Internship at Colorado State University. I was fortunate to go straight to Purdue University, where I did a three-year combined surgical residency and master’s degree. Afterward, I spent two years as a clinical assistant professor of orthopedics, soft tissue and neurology at the University of Illinois with a busy surgical caseload.
The last few years have been busy for me. I became a diplomate for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and then became a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. I also finished a certificate in education as a Higher Education Academy Fellow and became recognized by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the European Board of Veterinary Specialists in small animal orthopedic surgery.
When you’re not on campus, where could we find you?
I like to spend my time outside, whether hiking, biking, camping, climbing or fighting a fish on the fly. I am an avid fisherman and enjoy fly fishing for trout and bass or getting out to the coast. I have also developed some close friendships at the university and like to socialize, so the barbecue is constantly going when I have free time.
Do you have any pets?
I have a dog and two cats. My dog, Kingston, is an 11-year-old who thinks he’s a 4-year-old and hates to be left behind anywhere and accompanies us wherever we go. The cats are good buddies. Dinger is a long-haired orange tabby who is insane. Howard, the second cat, was adopted from an internship. They like to test my patience and live for the hours between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Visit the NC State Veterinary Hospital Orthopedic Surgery Services page for more information about how we treat companion animals with bone, joint, ligament, muscle or tendon issues.