Residency Program in Dairy Production

Application Deadline date pending


  1. To provide advanced training in dairy production medicine and herd health for careers in advanced dairy practice, dairy consulting practice, food animal academic positions, or industry, depending on the needs of the resident.
  2. To provide clinical teaching experience.
  3. To provide experience in designing and implementing a research project.
  4. To provide graduate training and an advanced degree.
  5. Time in the program could count toward possible board certification in: ABVP - Dairy Specialty; ACVPM - Preventive Veterinary Medicine; or Theriogenology, depending on the needs of the resident.


The Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center (VMTRC) is located in the heart of California's dairy industry. Tulare County is the leading milk production county in California, home to over 330 dairies with an average herd size of over 1,450 milk cows. In 2007, the County's revenue for milk was over $2 billion. Tulare County is home to many bovine feedlots for dairy beef production and heifer replacement rearing. The Dairy Production Medicine residency program is situated in this unique area and taps into these important resources.

In addition to clinical training in dairy production medicine, this residency provides candidates with quantitative skills that can be utilized in the interest of controlling and preventing economically important diseases and improving the efficiency of dairy cattle production. Other skills developed include applied computer science, health management and food safety issues. Currently, residents completing the program receive a residency certificate, the Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) degree, and will be qualified for employment in progressive dairy practices; academic positions in dairy medicine or reproduction, especially where epidemiology and/or preventive medicine is emphasized; in industry; and for leadership positions in public sector regulatory veterinary medicine.

The MPVM degree program involves three academic quarters of coursework. The MPVM program emphasizes epidemiology and biostatistics, and provides for a variety of elective courses in nutrition, computer science, animal health economics, etc. A publishable, written thesis involving the use of MPVM-acquired quantitative skills is a requirement of the program. Examples of thesis topics include clinical trials, prevalence studies, sensitivity analyses for diagnostic tests, cost-benefit assessments, and decision-tree analyses for problem solving actual herd problems. The MPVM program can be done either on the Davis campus or through a combination of work at the Davis campus and distance learning via videoconference at the VMTRC. Residents will be required to pay tuition for the MPVM Program.

If interested, the resident may pursue a Masters of Business Administration at the Craig School of Business, at the California State University, Fresno, located about 50 miles from the VMTRC. Residents will be required to pay tuition for the MBA Program.

Qualifications Required of Applicants

Applicants must have a DVM or equivalent degree. Preferably, applicant must have completed a one-year internship or have one year of experience with dairy cattle. Though not necessary, practice experience is considered favorably, in lieu of formal internship training.

The duration of the residency program is 3 years. Renewal for the second and third years will be contingent upon satisfactory performance.

General Scope and Nature of the Training

The First Year Resident will:

  1. Under supervision of faculty and senior residents attend core herd visits and provide herd health/production medicine services
  2. Rotate through emergency services, sharing duty with two clinicians & one resident
  3. Participate in VMTH 1st year resident retreat
  4. Be responsible for some clinical teaching in 4th-year student rotations: review of reproductive tracts, pregnancy diagnosis, and how to teach artificial insemination, and farm labor training
  5. Participate in weekly rounds, biweekly journal club and regular practice meetings
  6. Take on additional herd work as assigned by the clinicians, including: dairy records monitoring and evaluation, reproductive herd health, on-farm individual animal medicine and surgery, youngstock programs, nutrition services
  7. Initiate a research project to include:
    • A project topic for their master's program to be conducted from Tulare
    • Conduct a literature search and find mentor(s) for the project
    • Identify skills needed to accomplish the project (e.g computer, laboratory, statistical, etc.)
    • Identify courses to take
    • Draft a project proposal for funding

8. Attend the Annual House Officers' Seminar Day at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

By the end of the first year, the resident should be fully capable to perform all clinical duties in the practice; be able to collect dairy herd records and run standard and custom herd monitoring reports; be able to evaluate dairy rations and feeding practices on the farm; have developed and delivered a farm labor or student training program; and have a project topic well-outlined before starting the Master's program.

The Second Year Resident will:

  1. Start the Master's degree course-work
  2. Work on refining project methods and funding proposal
  3. Participate in 2nd year Resident Retreat
  4. Be encouraged to submit an abstract and present it at the Annual House Officers' Seminar Day

By the end of the second year, the resident should have completed all Master's course work; secured funding for and initiated their project; and have submitted an abstract for Dairy Research summaries at AAPB or ADSA.

The Third Year (Senior) Resident will:

  1. Take over the responsibility for at least one herd for monitoring, herd work, etc.
  2. Participate in clinical duties and clinical instruction
  3. Complete project, finish and defend thesis
  4. Present their research project at the Annual House Officer's Seminar Day
  5. Participate in weekly rounds, biweekly journal club and regular practice meetings
  6. Submit two articles for publication if planning to sit for boards exams
  7. Participate in practice meetings
  8. Mentor junior residents and students
  9. Develop their Curriculum Vita and job search strategy
  10. Have an opportunity to attend the AABP meeting

At the end of the third year, the resident should have completed their project and presented it; submitted paper(s) for publication; understand the techniques necessary for a good oral or poster presentation; and have been responsible for at least one client's total herd care.

Application Procedure
Selection will not utilize the Veterinary Internship/Residency Matching Program (VIRMP). For application procedures, salary and benefits, and other information about the residency program, please see Application and General Information. If you visit the VMTRC, please contact Staci Slaght(559-688-1731) before your arrival. Resident selection will be done at the VMTRC.

The VMTH and the VMTRC are committed to building strong relationships with its constituents. A major part of the residents' duties, therefore, includes timely communication with referring veterinarians and clients.

The University of California, Davis, and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and the Veterinary MedicineTeaching and Research Center are interested in candidates who are committed to the highest standards of scholarship and professional activities, and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity.