Internal Medicine

Residency Program

Please note: Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the School and interview. Contact Dr. Stanley Marks with questions (slmarks@ucdavis.edu).

The University of California, Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital offers a 3-year residency program in small animal internal medicine to provide advanced veterinary training to graduate veterinarians. Emphasis is placed on clinical medicine, teaching, and research. Each resident spends approximately 2/3 of the time on clinics in small animal internal medicine and 2 months on related clinical rotations (oncology, cardiology, clinical pathology, and neurology) during the program. The remainder of each year is allotted to research endeavors, board preparation, vacation, and attending scientific meetings. Appointments to the residency program will be made for 12 months with the opportunity of 12-month renewal upon successful completion of each term.

Objectives of the program:

The primary objectives of the 3-year small animal internal medicine residency program is to provide advanced veterinary training to graduate veterinarians, with an emphasis placed on clinical medicine, teaching, and clinical research. The residency prepares candidates to become board certified in small animal internal medicine in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).

The need for specific training:

There is a need for board certified veterinarians in small animal internal medicine in veterinary academia in particular, as these specialists play a pivotal role in training veterinary students and residents. Many veterinary institutions are hiring clinical track specialists with broader expertise in small animal medicine, and whose primary objective is to teach and train students and residents in the clinics. 

Courses of activities:

Each resident spends approximately 2/3 of the time on clinics in small animal internal medicine and 2 months on related clinical rotations (oncology, cardiology, clinical pathology, and neurology) during the program. The remainder of each year is allotted to research endeavors, board preparation, vacation, and attending scientific meetings. The hospital has a heavy clinical caseload, and the resident should expect to be involved in activities of the VMTH for approximately 60 to 70 hours per week.

Scope, nature, and amount of clinical caseload, including emergency rotations. 

The Small Animal Medicine referral service operates 2 teams, each with a faculty member, a second or third year resident, a first year resident, and 5-8 students. In their first year, residents will usually receive cases with their primary supervising faculty member in order to obtain “one on one” supervision in each faculty member’s area of interest. The receiving schedule can vary but each clinician faculty member receives approximately 10 new cases per week with additional time slots allotted for reevaluations. Furthermore, each service manages approximately 8-12 in patients per day. Each resident will also be scheduled for emergency transfers on a rotating basis. Depending on case load and in-house patients, the resident on primary pick-up duty will accept the first 3 cases from other in-house services, and the next 2 cases are taken by the resident on secondary pick-up duty. Additional transfers are handled by available residents. Over the weekend, a medicine resident and two medicine students are on duty for emergency transfers. Weekend medicine back-up is provided by SAM residents on a rotating basis determined by seniority. Cases that require substantial medical oversight or diagnostic testing are accepted at the discretion of the medicine resident on duty. After-hours emergency duty for VMTH patients and emergency referral cases is shared by dedicated emergency clinicians and residents. Although emergency duty is shared by all small animal residents, frequency of emergency duty is decreased over the course of the 3 year program based on seniority.

Amount and nature of clinical education

Residents are provided with a plethora of organized activities to enhance their medical knowledge, skills, and abilities, including organized student rounds with faculty and residents, resident rounds with faculty only, seminars, journal club, physiology review sessions, and board review sessions. A variety of ad hoc conferences, seminars, and local CE courses are scheduled throughout the academic year. Annual endoscopy training courses are also provided during each year of the residency. The 3-year program allows residents to gain excellent proficiency in a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including endoscopy, bronchoscopy, rhinoscopy, cystoscopy, bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, joint aspirates, etc.

Coursework

The small animal medicine residency does not offer a combined MS or PhD degree, thus there is no formal coursework requirement.

Development of teaching skills and participation in didactic and clinical instruction

Teaching skills are developed in the clinic, through grand rounds presentations, and through instruction in the physical examination portion of junior surgery labs. In addition, residents participate in instruction of sophomores and junior vet students in the physical examination and medical techniques laboratory throughout the year. 

Participation in seminars, rounds, journal clubs, and other organized activities.

Organized rounds and seminars in support of the residency training program include twice-daily student rounds, resident rounds with faculty 3 times weekly, weekly small animal medicine journal club, weekly physiology courses, and weekly evening board review sessions. Residents are not required to attend house officer rounds when on vacation or when rotating through elective rotations but are expected to attend at all other times. A weekly physiology review course provides in-depth review of all organ systems over a 2 year interval. A weekly journal club (1 hour) covers recent advances in the literature. A variety of ad hoc conferences, seminars, and local CE courses are scheduled throughout the academic year. Annual endoscopy training courses are also provided during each year of the residency. In addition, research nights are organized every 3 months for residents and faculty to meet in an informal setting to review selection of research projects by residents and to gauge their progress.

Development of research skills

All residents are expected to complete a clinical research project in the form of a retrospective case series or a prospective examination of diagnostics or therapeutics and then present the information in a formal scientific setting. Residents are also encouraged to procure research funding via a variety of intramural or extramural funding agencies. Faculty plays an integral role in mentoring the residents throughout this grant writing process. Studies are completed during off-clinic time. Research project discussions/presentations are scheduled quarterly and attended by the entire faculty. Residents should plan to present their projects with results and conclusions at the annual House Officer Seminar Day, and submission of an abstract to the ACVIM Forum is encouraged. At least one peer-reviewed manuscript is expected during the residency. Furthermore, a first author publication is a requirement of the College of ACVIM for board certification. The faculty provides supervision and mentoring for each resident to help complete their manuscript in a timely fashion.

Development of special academic interests, including activities off campus

Residents are given ample opportunity throughout their 3-year training period to rotate through ancillary diagnostic services such as cardiology, oncology, or neurology. In addition, 1st year residents are allowed to attend one national conference per year (usually the Western Veterinary Conference). Second year residents are given time off to attend the ACVIM Forum where their examination is taken. Additional off-clinics time is spent on professional development by writing grants, working on research projects, and reading or writing manuscripts. The UC Davis Medical Center is only a 20-minute drive from the VMTH, and opportunities do exist to attend rounds, seminars, etc. when time permits.

Outside rotations and interaction with other services or programs.

First year residents are assigned to rotate through ancillary services during their off clinics time. Specifically, residents are assigned to one week with the clinical pathology service, and 2 weeks with another specialty service such as  cardiology, oncology, or neurology. Second and third year residents are given additional time to rotate through other specialty services for 2 weeks.

Structure and organization

The table below provides a template for the 3-year training program:

 Year 1

 Year 2

 Year 3

On/off site

Internal medicine, directly supervised by a Diplomate of the ACVIM

 41

 39

 33

All rotations occur on site at UC Davis

Neurology

0

2

0

Oncology

2

0

0

Cardiology

0

2

0

Clinical Pathology

 1

0

0

Anatomic Pathology

0

0

0

Radiology

0

0

2

Ultrasound

0

0

2

Emergency/Critical Care

0

0

2

Surgery

0

0

0

Meetings

1

1

1

Electives

Project/writing/study

2

3

7

Vacation

5

5

5

Total

52 weeks

52 weeks

52 weeks

All small animal medicine residents are housed in a large office, and each resident has access to a computer on their desk.

Faculty participating in the program

Dr. Edward Feldman, Dr. Larry Cowgill, Dr. Stanley Marks, Dr. Richard Nelson, Dr. Lynelle Johnson, Dr. Jodi Westropp, Dr. Jane Sykes, Dr. Carrie Palm, Dr. Jonathan Dear, Dr. Autumn Davidson (IM and reproduction-part time at UCD), Dr. Ann-Marie Della Maggiore

Process of evaluation

Residents are provided with verbal feedback following each clinic rotation (by the faculty person assigned to that rotation), and with formal written and verbal feedback that is a culmination of the opinions of all faculty in small animal medicine at least twice yearly. Residents who are performing suboptimally will be given constructive feedback to improve their performance, and additional review sessions will be provided as needed. Residents who continue to perform suboptimally despite adequate time for improvement will be subject to dismissal. Appointments to the residency program will be made for 12 months with the opportunity of 12-month renewal upon successful completion of each term. Residents are also requested to provide comments on the training program during the evaluation process.

Certification

The resident must have performed satisfactorily throughout the program, and have submitted at least one peer-reviewed manuscript prior to completion of the program. Furthermore, a first author publication is arequirement of the College of ACVIM for board certification. The faculty provides supervision and mentoring for each resident to help complete their manuscript in a timely fashion.

State Licensure

Not required

Advanced degree during residency

Residents are usually not permitted to work toward an advanced degree during their residency training program. Exceptions are Dairy Production Medicine and Livestock Reproduction/Herd Health. These programs provide an opportunity for the resident to obtain a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degree.

California Driver's License

Not required

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.

Have completed at least one year of rotating internship or equivalent clinical experience.

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.

If candidates have other questions regarding our internal medicine residency program, they are encouraged to contact Dr. Stanley Marks at 530-752-1393 or slmarks@ucdavis.edu.