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UC Davis Training Programs Exist Throughout California

March 1, 2018

UC Davis wildlife health resident Dr. Andrew DiSalvo releases an endangered kit fox after treating it for mange.

UC Davis wildlife health resident Dr. Andrew DiSalvo releases an endangered kit fox after treating it for mange.

***Pulse magazine coverage of this story***

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) provides the largest house officer (resident, intern, fellow) training program in the country. With currently 34 disciplines, the program has 115 veterinarians seeking advanced training in specialty services. Minimum qualifications for entry include graduation from an approved school of veterinary medicine and a one-year internship or equivalent practice experience. The selection process considers academic achievement, career objectives, letters of recommendation, interpersonal skills, clinical skills, interest in teaching, and relevant experience. Applications from graduates of foreign veterinary schools are also considered, as long as they meet the minimum requirements specified above and have command of the English language (nearly two dozen of the current house officers are foreign nationals). It is anticipated that the residency training program will fulfill, in part, the eligibility requirements for specialty board certification in most disciplines. 

While training for the majority of the disciplines takes place at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, several of them take place at SVM and partner locations throughout California.

The California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) program is the largest of these with several positions at three locations. Veterinary pathology and toxicology positions are available at the CAHFS laboratory on the Davis campus. A veterinary avian medicine program is available at the laboratory in Turlock. Additionally, two opportunities are offered at the San Bernardino laboratory – veterinary pathology and musculoskeletal pathology of racehorses.

The Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare is located in the heart of California’s dairy industry, and is home to the dairy production medicine residency. Tulare County is the leading milk production county in California with more than 285 dairies with an average herd size of 1,700. The program utilizes these important resources and provides participants 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.

The laboratory animal medicine (LAM)/primate medicine residency partly takes place at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis. It is designed to prepare veterinarians for a career in LAM and fulfill eligibility requirements for the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine certifying examination. The program works closely with campus attending veterinarians in compliance with animal welfare laws and participates with the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee staff in proper animal use protocol. 

In partnership with the Marine Mammal Center (MMC) in Sausalito, the SVM offers a one-year internship for veterinarians to assist the MMC veterinary medical staff in providing management of a large number of stranded marine mammals. The marine mammal medicine intern will also perform post mortem examinations and assist with various research projects.

The wildlife health residency offers a “free range” opportunity through the SVM’s Wildlife Health Center. Examples of experiences in the program include bighorn sheep captures as part of population and health surveillance efforts with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and saving endangered kit foxes from a deadly mange outbreak.

The three-year residency in zoological medicine provides the necessary requirements to allow the resident to become certified in the American College of Zoological Medicine. This multi-site residency begins with a year at the Sacramento Zoo, followed by a year at the San Diego Zoo, and concludes with a third year at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and SeaWorld San Diego.

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