Residency Program in Cardiology

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  • To provide advanced post-doctoral clinical training with primary emphasis on veterinary and comparative cardiovascular medicine and minor emphasis on veterinary internal medicine.
  • To provide experience in teaching veterinary cardiology to veterinary students and other residents.
  • To provide experience in research by designing and carrying out an investigative project in veterinary cardiovascular medicine.
  • To fulfill the residency training requirement for board certification in veterinary cardiology as established by the Cardiology Specialty, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).


Veterinary cardiology, particularly as it pertains to small animal species (dogs and cats), has become a well-developed clinical discipline. The specialty group in Veterinary Cardiology is well established within the ACVIM. There is a need in academic institutions and private veterinary practice for clinicians trained in veterinary cardiology.

The cardiology residency program is designed to provide advanced post-doctoral clinical training in veterinary cardiology of three years' duration following a formal internship or equivalent experience. Completion of this residency will partially fulfill the requirements for board certification in veterinary cardiology of the ACVIM.

The VMTH has the physical facilities and clinical caseload to support a cardiology residency program for three residents. Faculty from the Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine will instruct in this residency.

Qualifications of Candidate

Candidates for residency training in veterinary cardiology must have a DVM or equivalent degree from an accredited college of veterinary medicine, and must have completed one year of formal internship or an equivalent training period in the clinical practice of veterinary medicine. Preference will be given to candidates indicating an intent to pursue board certification in veterinary cardiology by the ACVIM or an equivalent foreign specialty college. Please note: Foreign nationals must be eligible for either a TN or J1 visa with no bars or home country requirement.

Information for Foreign Residents


The residency shall be for three years, with the second and third years based on merit (written evaluation) and desire of the candidate. A certificate of completion will be awarded only to those candidates completing the full three-year program.

Individuals wishing to pursue an academic degree program (MS, PhD) following the residency may apply to do so. However, it will not be possible to pursue an advanced degree during residency training.

General Scope and Nature of Training

The resident will spend approximately 75% of the time in the medical practice and teaching programs of the VMTH, with primary emphasis on cardiovascular medicine. The resident will become familiar with cardiovascular diseases of all domestic species, although the emphasis of training will be on small animal species (dogs and cats).

The resident will spend approximately 25% of the time in other activities, including rounds and seminars, attending other internal or external services, investigative work (research), self-study, and other training and vacation.

Approximately four weeks/year of vacation will be allowed, subject to approval of the Service Chief.

Written evaluations of the resident's progress and performance will be made by the Service Chief at six-month intervals in the first year and at the end of the second and third years of the program. The resident will be required to submit a written evaluation of the residency program at its conclusion.

Clinical and Teaching Responsibilities

  • Receiving, diagnostic evaluation, medical and interventional treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease, under the supervision of service faculty.
  • Consultations (in-house, telephone) and cardiovascular evaluations of patients on other hospital services.
  • Daily hospital rounds with service faculty and assigned professional students.
  • Presentation and participation in hospital seminars and rounds involving cardiology.
  • Assist in supervision and instruction of professional students in clinical medicine. This may include presentation or participation in lectures and/or laboratories in the professional curriculum.

Specialty Training

Training and experience will be provided in all areas of cardiovascular clinical medicine, according to the guidelines of the Specialty of Cardiology of the ACVIM. This training should include periods of study in each of the following areas:

  • Cardiovascular physiology, pharmacology, and comparative cardiovascular medicine. This will be attained by independent study under the direction of service faculty and by attendance of cardiovascular rounds and conferences within the VMTH, including a weekly cardiology Journal Club, and at the UC Davis Medical Center.
  • Specialized diagnostic studies
    • Physical examination, phonocardiography, external pulse recording, by direct performance and interpre-tation in clinical patients.
    • Cardiac electrophysiology, resting and ambulatory electrocardiography, cardiac event recording, vectorcardiography, exercise and radiotelemetry recording, by performance in clinical patients and consultation with faculty and staff in the School of Medicine.
    • Echocardiography M-mode, 2-dimensional, transesophageal, and Doppler, by performance and interpretation in clinical patients and attendance of conferences at the UC Davis Medical Center.
    • Invasive and interventional techniques, including cardiac catheterization, angiography, balloon dilation angioplasty, coil embolization, and transvenous pacemaker implantation, by performance, interpretation, and reporting in clinical patients, by observation of human cardiac catheterizations and externship with the Pediatric Cardiology Service at the UC Davis Medical Center.
    • Cardiovascular nuclear medicine, CT or MRI imaging studies, by consultation with faculty in the Department of Radiological Sciences.
    • Cardiovascular pathology, by review of pathological examinations of clinical patients, and by independent study under the direction of service faculty.
    • Independent study in all areas of cardiovascular science and medicine, including review of current and past literature in veterinary and human cardiology, is an essential part of the residency, and will be directed by service faculty. Formal review of current literature will also occur during a weekly Journal Club.

Research Training

Although the primary focus of this residency is clinical training in cardiovascular medicine, the resident will be introduced to cardiology research by being required to design and carry out a research project under the direction of a faculty advisor. The project may be laboratory/experimental or clinical, depending on the experience and interest of the resident and availability of resources and funding. The results of the investigation will be presented at the VMTH House Officer Seminar Day during the second or third years of the residency, and prepared for presentation at a national meeting and for publication by the end of the residency.

Resident selection will be in accordance with the guidelines of the Veterinary Internship/Residency Matching Program. For application procedures, salary and benefits, and other information about the residency program, please visit the Clinical Training Programs page.

UC Davis and the VMTH 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.

Cardiology Certification Statistics
Total Residents Trained (1974-2016) = 35
First Attempt Pass Rate = 29/32 (91%)

The cardiology service is supported by three on-site clinical cardiologists, Dr. Joshua Stern, Dr. Lance Visser, and Dr. Catherine Gunther-Harrington. Additionally, programmatic collaborations exist with our UCVMC-San Diego division of cardiology that houses the clinical specialists, Dr. Joao Orvahlo and Dr. Timothy Hodge. This programmatic link supports resident training through combined journal club activities and some research collaborations. 

The residency program in cardiology is currently directed by Dr. Joshua Stern. Residents will be assigned to a primary mentor upon acceptance into the program.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. In person interviews are highly encouraged and will be by invitation only. Interview dates are reserved for December 16, 2016 and January 13, 2017. 

We offer one of the busiest academic cardiology services with excellent interventional caseload.  Our residents typically complete their ACVIM requirements for interventional procedures and echocardiograms after 12-18 months of service.