Alumna Debuts TV Series
Alumna Joya Griffin Stars in Pop Goes the Vet on Nat Geo WILD and Disney+
Dayton Christian alumna Joya Griffin (98) is currently starring in the new Nat Geo WILD series Pop Goes the Vet with Dr. Joya. The show follows Griffin, a veterinary dermatologist, as she treats hair loss, itchy peeling skin, and any kind of oozing lump or smelly bump that causes her furry patients to suffer.
If you’re starting to think of a Dr. Pimple Popper for pets, then you’re on the right track. Griffin is happy to restore these cats and dogs (and horses and pigs and whatever else walks in to her clinic) to health – and she is excited to use the show to bring recognition to the little-known specialty of animal dermatology.
Griffin wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as she can remember. The idea was firmly settled in her mind by age seven when she started caring for stray cats and dogs in her neighborhood.
In eighth grade, Griffin walked into the class of Dr. Walt Belue, a former DC science teacher who taught science by day and ran a veterinary practice by night and on weekends. Belue became her mentor and encouraged her interest in the field.
She was a committed student during her high school years and graduated from DC as valedictorian of her class. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in biology from Johns Hopkins, she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell. It was at Cornell that she discovered the specialty she now practices.
Her own dog at the time, Gizmo, suffered with a severe skin allergy and she was referred to and successfully treated by a veterinary dermatologist.
“I watched Gizmo’s recovery and I wanted that for other people and the pets that they love,” Griffin said.
It was then that she decided to pursue the specialty. The efforts to become certified included a one-year internship, two years of residency, and a passing grade on the American College of Veterinary Dermatology board exam. Now, after 11 years in practice in Louisville, Kentucky at Animal Dermatology Clinic (the largest group of veterinary dermatologists in the country), Griffin enjoys a satisfying career and stars in the recently-premiered reality show that could make her a household name.
Regardless of her growing fame, Griffin remains appreciative of her formative years spent at Dayton Christian School.
“Attending DC was a great foundation for me. I still remember Bible verses I learned in class as a child and teachers who made an impact on me,” Griffin said. “I recently attended my 20-year class reunion and it was almost like a family reunion. Dayton Christian definitely means a great deal to me.”
Pop Goes the Vet with Dr. Joya premiered on January 1. You can watch the series on Nat Geo WILD on Saturdays at 10/9 pm CST or stream all eight episodes on Disney +.