Residency Program in Zoological Medicine

Residency in Zoological Medicine with rotations at UC Davis, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Sacramento Zoo and SeaWorld

The Zoological Medicine Service does not conduct formal interviews, but encourages applicants to attend an open house.

Open House dates and locations:
Please RSVP to the person listed for each one you wish to attend:

November 3, 2014 - Sacramento Zoo
Ray Wack, DVM rfwack@ucdavis.edu

November 4, 2014 - San Diego Safari Park
Valerie Stoddard
vstoddard@sandiegozoo.org
Tel (760) 291-5400
Fax (760) 747-3168

November 5, 2014 - San Diego Zoo Global
Donna Vadar DVader@sandiegozoo.org
Tel (619) 557-3932
Fax (619) 230-1256

November 17, 2014 - Sacramento Zoo
Ray Wack, DVM rfwack@ucdavis.edu

November 18, 2014 - San Diego Zoo Global
Donna Vadar DVader@saniegozoo.orgTel (619) 557-3932Fax (619) 230-1256

November 19, 2014 - San Diego Safari Park
Valerie Stoddardvstoddard@sandiegozoo.orgTel (760) 291-5400Fax (760) 747-3168

The Residency in Zoological Medicine is a 3-year program that will enable the resident to become a competent zoo/wild animal park veterinarian and provide the necessary requirements to allow the resident to become certified in the American College of Zoological Medicine. This is a multi-site residency with the first year of the program based at UC Davis/Sacramento Zoo, the second year at the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, and the third year at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. This zoological residency offers a unique opportunity to obtain a wide array of experiences in Zoological Medicine because of the extensive non-domestic species resources available at the University of California, including: (1) Outstanding zoological and marine animal parks within the state of California, each with a number of experienced veterinarians, (2) Local zoological parks near UC Davis and ACZM-boarded faculty members with experience in captive wildlife, (3) Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine Service at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) that includes 2 faculty members (one of whom is dual boarded in Avian Medicine AVBP and ACZM) and 3 residents, (4) California Regional Primate Research Center with experienced veterinarians, (5) Laboratory animal facilities and experienced lab animal veterinarians, (6) Raptor rehabilitation center, (7) Free-ranging wildlife facility and faculty who specialize in free-ranging wildlife, and (8) An active zoological species pathology program.

The Zoological Society of San Diego maintains world class collections of non-domestic species at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Together, these facilities provide access to over 1000 species and 7000 specimens and a unique collection of hoofed stock, along with 12 clinicians including 6 diplomates of ACZM to act as mentors. Complementing the Zoological Medicine program at ZSSD is the Zoological Pathology program with 3 diplomates of the ACVP. SeaWorld (also in San Diego) has a large collection of birds, fish and marine mammals, overseen by 4 veterinarians including one ACZM Diplomate and one ACVP diplomat. The first year of basic training and didactic teaching at UC Davis and the Sacramento Zoo will prepare the resident for the rigors of working at the facilities in San Diego.

Resident must obtain a valid California drivers license, and will be subject to the Employer Pull Notification program for monitoring driving records. 

Objectives of the program: This three year, ACZM approved, residency program is offered by the University of California, Davis in collaboration with the Zoological Society of San Diego, The Sacramento Zoo, and SeaWorld San Diego. The residency program emphasizes clinical medicine with exposure to all facets of zoological medicine. The first year of the residency is spent in Northern California at the Sacramento Zoo without rotations at the UC Davis VMTH and northern California zoological facilities. The second year of the residency is spent at the San Diego Zoo Global (SCZ) with 6 weeks being spent at SeaWorld San Diego. The third year of the residency is spent at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (SDZSP) with 6 weeks spent at SeaWorld San Diego. During each year, the resident is usually given an opportunity to participate in a field conservation research project.

The need for specific training: The demand for ACZM diplomats remains solid. All of the residents who have completed this program have received job offers and have been highly competitive for positions. While the number of zoos is not increasing, an increasing number of zoos are adding to their veterinary staffs, and a number of positions have been opening up for ACZM trained veterinarians in government agencies, one health initiatives and non-profit conservation organizations.

Courses of activities: During the first year of the residency program, the veterinarian spends approximately half of the year providing clinical services to the Sacramento Zoo under the supervision of Dr. Ray Wack. The other half of the year is spend doing "out rotations." Frequently these rotations include: The Marine Mammal Center, Companion Avian Pet Exotics Service (UCD VMTH), the California Regional Primate Center, Ultrasound Service (UCD VMTH), Large Animal Anesthesia (UCD VMTH), Ophthalmology (UCD VMTH), Dentistry (UCD VMTH), ACZM short course, and field research. The resident has one day a week reserved for study and research activities. In addition, the resident will be involved in zoo journal club (weekly), zoo pathology rounds and avian journal club (biweekly) and radiology rounds (monthly). The resident is involved in teaching veterinary students in the DVM curriculum both in classroom and clinical settings.


Training objectives during year one in Northern California 

  • Techniques in anesthesia of non-domestics, including use of narcotics and training in safe and accurate use of darts as a delivery system.
  • Management and husbandry techniques common in small zoos. Become familiar with use of crates, nets, squeezes, gloves, roles of keepers, curators and boards of directors.
  • Handling, diagnosing and managing patients seen on the Companion Avian and Pet Exotic Service. Techniques such as endoscopy and intubation will be learned.
  • Access to syllabi and coursework for avian and exotic pets and other zoologic species.
  • Exposure to the use of pathology and clinical pathology (CBC's, cytology, clinical chemistry) in diagnosing problems in non-domestic animals.
  • Primate handling and common diseases, through a rotation at the Primate Center.
  • Training in ultrasound techniques and practice of techniques using a portable machine at the Sacramento Zoo.
  • Training in restraint, husbandry and common diseases of California sea lions and seals through a 4 week rotation at the Marine Mammal Center.
  • Training in use of computer medical records, library literature searches, internet resources.
  • Training in IACUC responsibilities and research grant writing.

Years two and three

  • While remaining a UCD employee, the resident works primarily at the SDZ during the second year and at the SDZSF during the third year. The resident receives focused training in nutrition through a 4 day rotation once during the 2nd or 3rd year, and focused training in pathology through a two-week rotation through that service. During both years, the resident also works at Sea World of San Diego for a total of 3 months. Also, while at either facility, if major events or procedures occur at one of the other campuses, the resident has the opportunity to participate. Two residents are present in the San Diego part of the program at any one time. This, along with the resident in pathology, provides a critical mass for resident interaction for collaboration and study. Online conferences and video conferencing is available to link the residents and faculty in San Diego with the Davis campus.
  • The resident is expected to work five days each week and cover emergency duty on a rotating basis with backup by an experienced clinician. One day each week (or equivalent) is assigned as an independent study day for research and study time. The resident is also given time to perform, analyze, and publish the required resident research project. In addition, the resident attends the annual AAZV meeting during the second and third year, and present the results of their research project. The resident has paid vacation, holiday, and sick time, in accordance to university policies.

Training objectives at ZSSD (San Diego Zoo Global and Safari Park) during years 2 and 3:

  • Zoo medicine practice in a large, diverse, and dynamic collection.
  • Preventive medicine programs of the ZSSD.
  • Herd, flock, and group medicine techniques in a zoological setting.
  • Ungulate medicine in semi free-ranging conditions at the Safari Park.
  • Medical management of several animal groups particularly well represented in the ZSSD collections (e.g. Primates, great apes, hoofstock, marsupials, reptiles and amphibians, avian, particularly lorikeets, hornbills, storks, and passerines).
  • Blood sampling sites and techniques for major taxonomic groups.
  • Training in avian laparoscopy for sex determination and diagnostic techniques.
  • Ultrasound and other imaging techniques.
  • Dentistry techniques of zoo animals (including endodontics and exposure to 'super' dentistry via dental consultants).
  • Pediatric medicine (avian incubation, hatching, hand-rearing, and mammal hand-rearing).
  • Regulatory medicine including international primate quarantine, PEQ hoofstock quarantine, DEA scheduled drug requirements, USDA import/export, USDA-APHIS-AC (Animal Welfare Act enforcement, etc).
  • Emergency and intensive care, trauma medicine, medication strategies, and wound management techniques.
  • Special manual restraint applications, behavioral modification, and remote drug-delivery techniques.
  • Training in zoo animal pathology and rotation through that service, (2 week rotation)
  • Training in zoo animal and comparative nutrition through contact with the ZSSD Nutrition program. (1 week rotation)
  • Collaboration opportunities with Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) scientists in the disciplines of ecology, reproductive physiology, endocrinology, infectious diseases, genetics, molecular diagnostics, and behavior.

SeaWorld San Diego The second and third year residents each spend 12 weeks at SeaWorld San Diego. The resident is expected to work five days each week and assist and experienced veterinarian on emergencies during the weekends and evening. 

Training objectives during 12 week rotation at SeaWorld San Diego, year 3:

  • Preventative medicine program guidelines for aquatic mammals, small mammals, birds, reptiles and fish Training in medical and husbandry management of collection animals groups (ie. Cetaceans, pinnipeds, elasmobranchs, alcids, waterfowl, raptors, psittacines, chelonia, teleosts, and invertebrates).
  • Training in medical and husbandry management of stranded or beached marine mammals and birds (including cetaceans, pinnipeds, and pelecaniformes)
  • Training with blood sampling techniques and clinical pathology interpretation for major taxonomic groups
  • Training in chemical restraint and anesthetic techniques for marine mammals and birds, sea turtles, and fish
  • Orientation to advanced reproductive techniques in marine mammals (ie. Hormone management, artificial insemination, semen collection and semen preservation)
  • Training in marine animal ultrasound, endoscopy and radiography
  • Dentistry management for marine mammals
  • Fetal and Pediatric medicine (avian incubation, hatching, hand-rearing, and stranded marine mammal neonates) and hand rearing of avian and mammal species
  • Regulatory medicine and transport guidelines for marine and polar animals
  • Training in hatchery fish medicine and management of marine fish species in association with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute Carlsbad Hatchery
  • Emergency and intensive care, trauma medicine, medication strategies, and wound management techniques

Faculty participating in the program:

Year 1 Participating Faculty 
Dr. Ray Wack, Dipl ACZM 
Dr. Joanne Paul-Murphy, Dipl ACZM and Dipl. ACAW
Dr. Michelle Hawkins, Dipl. ABVP (Avian Practice)
Dr. David Guzman Dipl ACZM 
Dr. Scott Weber

SDZ Veterinarians: 
Patrick Morris, DVM, Dipl ACZM 
Meg Sutherland-Smith, DVM, Dipl ACZM 
Geoff Pye, DVM, Dipl ACZM 
Beth Bicknese, DVM
Tracy Clippinger, DVM, Dipl ACZM

SDZ Safari Park Veterinarians
Donald Janssen, DVM, Dipl ACZM 
Nadine Lamberski, DVM, Dipl ACZM 
Jack Allen, DVM, Dipl ACZM 
Jim Oosterhuis, DVM 
Jeff Zuba, DVM 
Russell Burns, DVM

SeaWorld San Diego 
Todd Schmitt, DVM 
Hendrik Nollens, DVM, PhD

In addition to clinical instruction and casework, the resident may be able to selectively participate in the course work offered to Zoological Medicine track students, including, but not limited to:

Medicine and Surgery of Companion Avian Species
Captive Wildlife Medicine
Primate Medicine
Introductory Lab Animal Medicine
Diseases of Free-Ranging Wildlife
Non-domestic Pet Medicine
Comparative Form and Function
Comparative Pathology of Vertebrates

Process of evaluation: Resident is evaluated using a standardized evaluation instrument that considers progress being made in all aspects of the residency training program. Evaluations occur at 6 month, 12 months, 24 months and 36 months. Successful completion of each year is required for continuation in the program. All UCDavis VMTH Residency Policies are followed concerning disciplinary actions or termination of the training program.

Certification: The resident must successfully complete all 3 years of the training program, complete a research project and present the project at House Officer Day in order to receive a certificate of completion of the residency program.

State Licensure: The resident must obtain a California veterinary license and USDA accreditation by the start of the second year of the residency.

California Driver’s License: The resident is required to drive university owned vehicles and thus is required to obtain a California drivers license, and participate in the DMV pull notice program.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Graduated from a college or school of veterinary medicine accredited by the AVMA; or possess a certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG); or are legally qualified to practice veterinary medicine in some state, province, territory, or possession of the United States, Canada, or other country.
  • Have demonstrated unquestionable moral character and professional behavior.

Requirements for foreign applicants: 
In addition to the minimum qualifications above, foreign graduates must also meet the following requirement.

  • Must be eligible for a TN (Mexico and Canada) or J-1 visa with no bars or home country requirement.

Service/Board requirements:

  • Have at least 1 year of clinical experience
  • Certifications:
    TOEFL - Yes
    NAVLE - No
    PAVE - No
    ECFVG - No
    OTHER - No

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Internship / Equivalent Experience Required? No
California Driver's License Required? Yes

Miscellaneous Requirements

  • Inasmuch as restraint, handling, immobilization, and anesthesia are important to non-domestic animal medicine, the resident will be required to be highly proficient in carrying out these techniques. By practice and study, they will be expected to understand the anatomy, physiology and philosophy of restraint, (both physical and chemical) drugs and dosages for various species, the laws applicable to the use of narcotics, and different remote delivery systems.
  • Presentation of a prospective research project at the VMTH Annual House Officer Seminar Day and a presentation at the national meeting of the AAZV is mandatory in the third year. Selecting a clinical research project, and gaining an understanding of statistics and scientific writing will be undertaken in the first year. Research projects may be completed in San Diego.
  • Due to the multiple sites involved in the residency, the resident must have reliable transportation.
  • The resident will be encouraged to become a member of and participate in the activities of professional organizations dealing with non-domestic animal medicine.
    • American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
    • Wildlife Disease Association
    • International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine
    • Association of Avian Veterinarians
    • Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians

Table 1

Training in Northern California during year 1 of Zoo Med residency

Techniques in anesthesia of non-domestics, including use of narcotics and training in safe and accurate use of darts as a delivery system
Consulting on and handling patients at local zoos. Placement of catheters. Become familiar with use of crates, nets, squeezes, gloves, drop-floor chutes, etc.
Handling, diagnosing and managing patients seen on the Companion Avian and Pet Exotic Service. Techniques such as endoscopy and intubation will be learned.
Access to syllabi and coursework for avian and exotic pets and other zoologic species.
Exposure to the use of pathology and clinical pathology (CBC's, cytology, clinical chemistry) in diagnosing problems in non-domestic animals.
Training in small animal emergency medicine and critical care including fluid therapy.
Fish handling techniques and water quality.
Primate handling, through a rotation at the Primate Center.
A rotation in the equine neonatal unit to provide training in modern neonatal management techniques.
A rotation in food animal medicine and surgery to gain experience with ill calves (fluid therapy) and common ruminant surgical procedures.
A rotation at the Marine Mammal Center.
Training in use of the computer for the medical record, library literature searches, word processing, email, and internet access.
Rotations in small animal and large animal anesthesia.

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Table 2

Training at ZSSD (San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park) during years 2 and 3

Zoo medicine practice in a large, diverse, and dynamic collection
Preventive medicine programs of the ZSSD.
Herd, flock, and group medicine techniques in a zoological setting.
Ungulate medicine in semi free-ranging conditions at the Wild Animal Park.
Medical management of several animal groups particularly well represented in the ZSSD collections (e.g. Primates, great apes, hoofstock, marsupials, reptiles and amphibians, avian, particularly lorikeets, hornbills, storks, and passerines).
Blood sampling sites and techniques for major taxonomic groups.
Ultrasound and other imaging techniques.
Dentistry techniques of zoo animals (including endodontics and exposure to 'super' dentistry via dental consultants).
Pediatric medicine (avian incubation, hatching, hand-rearing, and mammal hand-rearing).
Regulatory medicine including international primate quarantine, PEQ hoofstock quarantine, DEA scheduled drug requirements, USDA import/export, USDA-APHIS-AC (Animal Welfare Act enforcement, etc).
Emergency and intensive care, trauma medicine, medication strategies, and wound management techniques.
Special manual restraint applications, behavioral modification, and remote drug-delivery techniques.
Training in zoo animal pathology and rotation through that service.
Training in zoo animal and comparative nutrition through contact with the ZSSD Nutrition program.
Exposure to Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) scientists in the disciplines of ecology, reproductive physiology, endocrinology, infectious diseases, genetics, molecular diagnostics, and behavior.

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Table 3

Training at SeaWorld during years 2 or 3

Marine animal and avian medicine practice in a large, diverse, and dynamic collection.
Preventive medicine programs of SeaWorld San Diego (SWSD).
Medical management of stranded or beached marine animals (including common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, occasional whale, numerous pinnipeds, sea turtles, and pelicans).
Medical management of several animal groups particularly well represented in the SeaWorld collections (e.g. cetaceans, pinnipeds, manatees, elasmobranchs, penguins, alcids, many waterfowl species, raptors, and psittacines).
Blood sampling sites and techniques for major taxonomic groups.
Training in avian laparoscopy for sex determination and diagnostic techniques.
Marine animal ultrasound, endoscopy and radiography.
Dentistry techniques like extraction of whale and walrus teeth.
Pediatric medicine (avian incubation, hatching, hand-rearing, and beached pinniped hand-rearing).
Regulatory medicine including signing health certificates (Animal Welfare Act enforcement like occasionally talking with the APHIS inspector), etc.
Emergency and intensive care, trauma medicine, medication strategies, and wound management techniques.

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Table 4

Zoo Med Resident First Year Rotations
(Selection of rotations will be done according to interest of resident, # rotations are required)

Rotation
Minimum Time
Scheduled
#Vacation 2 weeks Highly Reccommended
# Move to San Diego 1 week 1 week (required)
# Sacramento Zoo 24 weeks

24 weeks (required)

# ACZM 1 week 1 week (required)
CAPE 4 weeks 4 weeks (required)
Radiology 2 weeks  
Large Animal Anesthesia 2 weeks  
Small Animal Anesthesia 1 week  
Equine Medicine 1 week  
Food Animal Medicine 1 week  
Farrier 1 week  
Small Animal ICU 1 week  
Large Animal ICU 1 week  
Marine Mammal Center 4 weeks 4 weeks (required)
Primate Center 2 weeks 2 weeks (required)
San Francisco Zoo 1 week  
Marine World 1 week  
Cal F & G 1 week  
Oncology 2 weeks  
Dermatology 2 weeks  
Cardiology 2 weeks  
Dentistry 2 weeks  
Ophthalmology 1 week  
Surgery 2 weeks  
Fish Medicine 2 weeks  
Pathology 2 weeks  
Total   52 weeks