Large Animal Ultrasound Fellowship

Photo: Large Animal Ultrasound Team Drs. Whitcomb Vaughan Jones

UC Davis Large Animal Ultrasound Service with Tucker, Dr. Mary Beth Whitcomb (Faculty), Dr. Betsy Vaughan (Faculty) & Dr. Sue Jones (2014-15 Ultrasound Fellow)

The goals of the Large Animal Ultrasound Fellowship are to produce veterinarians with advanced technical and interpretative skills in this important clinical discipline. The species emphasis is equine, but fellows will gain exposure to other large animal species such as cows, goats, sheep and pigs. This position is an 80% clinical appointment with 20% time for off clinic pursuits (see below). Annual salary is $29,160 with medical benefits included. Housing is not provided. The fellowship is one year in length, and runs from August 1-July 31. 

This webpage is designed to provide potential applicants with detailed information regarding the program, including overall service information and what to expect from the fellowship. Graduates of the program have gone on to secure faculty positions in large animal ultrasound, residencies in radiology and equine surgery and established regional ultrasound consulting services.  

Notice to potential candidates:  We will begin recruiting for the 2016-17 Large Animal Ultrasound Fellowship in September 2015.  Be sure to check back here and on the Large Animal Ultrasound Facebook Page for the latest recruitment updates. 

About the UC Davis Large Animal Ultrasound Service

The Large Animal Ultrasound Service provides diagnostic imaging services five days per week. The majority of the service caseload is supported by the hospital’s Equine Surgery and Lameness Service, therefore, a large percentage of ultrasound examinations are musculoskeletal in nature. However, a wide variety of ultrasound exams are performed. The candidate selected will receive training in the sonographic evaluation of all areas, including the abdomen, thorax, cardiac, and ophthalmologic exams. The equine caseload consists of a variety of performance horses, including dressage, hunter/jumpers, race, endurance horses, western performance horses (cutting, reining, roping, barrel racing), pleasure horses and specialty breeds such as Peruvian Pasos. A working knowledge of performance horses is beneficial. There is little to no emergency duty. Emergency colic ultrasound evaluations are performed by the surgery resident on call. The Equine Medicine Service and Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service perform medical emergency ultrasound evaluations.

Our Equipment

The Large Animal Ultrasound Service has a full range of equipment available for all aspects of equine, livestock and small ruminant ultrasound. Our state-of-the-art ultrasound machines are carefully selected for their superior imaging abilities. We are fortunate to have two excellent ultrasound systems that allow us to evaluate two patients simultaneously with machines that excel at both musculoskeletal and abdominal imaging. Transducers available include 6-18 MHz and 5-10 MHz linear transducers for musculoskeletal use, 4-8 MHz microconvex transducers for neonatal and small ruminant abdominal/thoracic imaging, 2-5 MHz curvilinear transducers for adult equine abdominal and thoracic imaging and a 2-5 MHz phased array transducer for cardiac imaging.

Our Faculty and Staff

Mary Beth Whitcomb, DVM, MBA, ECVDI (Large Animal Associate)

Betsy Vaughan, DVM (Section Head)

Amanda Northam (Technician)

Our Large Animal Ultrasound Fellows

2015-16 Fellow:  Lothar Vanslambrouck, DVM
Dr. Vanslambrouck is a 2013 graduate of Ghent University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He then completed In-House and Field Service Internships at Dubai Equine Hospital where he developed his interests in equine ultrasound. 

2014-15 Fellow:  Sue Jones, DVM         
Dr. Jones has returned to Australia to begin a faculty position with the University of Adelaide School of Animal and Veterinay Sciences. She is developing their ambulatory and in-house ultrasound services.

2012-14 Fellow:  Georgette Shields, DVM
Dr. Shields is currently a second year radiology resident at Colorado State University. She is looking forward to presenting her imaging research studies from both UC Davis and CSU at the 2015 AAEP convention. 

2011-12 Fellow:  Rachel Gottlieb (Kaplan), DVM
Dr. Gottlieb returned to Northwest Equine Performance in Mulino, Oregon as an associate veterinarian with a special interest in ultrasound and imaging. Dr. Gottlieb travels frequently to major equestrian events to perform ultrasound exams on high level performance horses.  

2009-11 Fellow:  Beth Biscoe, DVM, DACVR
Dr. Biscoe completed a radiology residency at Washington State University in 2014 and is a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology. She is currently a staff radiologist at Animal Imaging in Irving, Texas where she enjoys seeing both small and large animal patients.

2008-10 Fellow:  Alex Young, BVSc, DACVR
Dr. Young became a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology after completing her radiology residency at UC Davis in 2014. She is currently a faculty radiologist at the University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science.

2007-08 Fellow:  Karine Pader, DVM, DACVS
Dr. Pader went on to complete a large animal surgery residency at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. After a position with the University of Montreal, Dr. Pader returned to her native France and is currently in private practice. 

2006-07 Fellow:  Suzanne Brenner, DVM
Dr. Brenner has focused exclusively on equine ultrasound and regularly consults at Pioneer Equine Hospital in Oakdale, CA and with other veterinarians in the area. 

2005-06 Fellow:  Wade Tenney, DVM
Dr. Tenney was on staff at Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic for several years before becoming an Assistant Clinical Professor at Tufts University where he is currently in charge of their Large Animal Ultrasound Service. 

2003-05 Fellow:  Betsy Vaughan, DVM
Dr. Vaughan has been a faculty veterinarian in the Large Animal Ultrasound Service at UC Davis since completing her 2-year ultrasound fellowship at UC Davis.  She is currently Section Head of this service. 

2002-03 Fellow:  Agustin Almanza, MV
Dr. Almanza has practiced throughout Europe and South America and is currently based in his home country of Argentina. 

2001-02 Fellow:  Katie Flynn, BVMS, MRCVS
Dr. Flynn is a veterinarian with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  She is well-known to California equine veterinarians for her work monitoring and communicating about infectious disease outbreaks.  

Our Caseload

Since the program's inception in 2001, the Large Animal Ultrasound Service has averaged an annual caseload of nearly 1,200 ultrasound exams, with strong representation of exams in musculoskeletal, spinal/pelvic, abdominal, ultrasound guided procedures, and acoustic shock wave treatments.

Large Animal Ultrasound Caseload 2005-15

Fellow Clinical Responsibilities (approximately 80%)

  • The fellow will perform and interpret ultrasound examinations on patients presenting to the Large Animal Ultrasound Service under the direction of faculty from the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences. Fellow will also perform shock wave treatments on equine musculoskeletal cases. 
  • The fellow will be involved in the clinical instruction of fourth year veterinary students during their senior year rotations.
  • The fellow will be involved in the laboratory instruction of third year veterinary students in various veterinary courses.
  • The fellow will assist with weekly Combined Imaging Rounds in conjunction with the large animal radiology resident(s) and students.
  • The fellow has the option to complete a 2-3 week small animal ultrasound clinical rotation in the final months of the fellowship. This rotation will give exposure to comparative ultrasonographic anatomy.
  • The fellow will attend weekly Known Case Conference (KCC) with the Diagnostic Imaging Service, and will interpret one Large Animal Ultrasound Service case weekly.

Fellow Off-Clinic Time (approximately 20%)

  • Off-clinic time is provided to allow the fellow to pursue individual research interest(s) under the guidance of faculty in the Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences with the expectation of eventual publication in a refereed journal.
  • The fellow will also have the opportunity to rotate through other Services, according to the fellow’s interests.
  • Attend veterinary courses in small and large animal ultrasound.
  • Vacation – the fellow accrues 16 hours per month (24 days in a one-year period).

Requirements for Application

  • DVM or equivalent degree from a school of veterinary medicine (AVMA accredited preferred)
  • At least one year of equine related private practice or internship experience
  • Working knowledge of performance horses
  • Demonstrated interest in large animal ultrasound
  • Application materials (see below)
  • Visitation is strongly recommended for qualified applicants. Visits are limited to 1-2 days, and are arranged by Dr. Whitcomb during the recruitment period only (September through December).
  • Foreign nationals must be eligible for J1 visa with no bars or home country requirement
  • NAVLE is not a requirement of the program

Application Materials - All application materials are due by early December. Exact dates will be determined each year.

By email:

All application materials including letters of reference (on letterhead, with signature), may be emailed to the House Officer Affairs Coordinator at nijadams@ucdavis.edu.

By mail:

Send application materials to:
Nicole Adams, House Officer Affairs Coordinator
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616-8747

We will notify the successful candidate by mid-January.

Additional information regarding the Large Animal Ultrasound Service and the fellowship program may be obtained by contacting Dr. Whitcomb at mbwhitcomb@ucdavis.edu.

UC Davis Large Animal Ultrasound Facebook Page  UC Davis Equine Ultrasound YouTube Channel