Comparative Ophthalmology Internship

Comparative Ophthalmology Internship

Marigold Johnson Endowed Internship in

Comparative Ophthalmology

The Comparative Ophthalmology Service, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis will again this year offer a 1-year, paid, Comparative Ophthalmology Internship beginning July 1st, 2019. The successful applicant will become a key member of our team which includes 7 ACVO Diplomates, 1 Emeritus DACVO, 4 ABVO-approved residents (each in a 4-year program), and 2 full-time registered veterinary technicians. The intern will also have access to the resources of our multidisciplinary, NIH-funded vision science laboratory with its large staff. All members of our team work in close coordination to provide exemplary ophthalmic care for nonhuman animals of all species, to communicate clearly with owners and referring veterinarians, to teach DVM students, and to advance knowledge through comparative ophthalmic research.

To maximize cross-fertilization among programs and to ensure that the intern is exposed to a diversity of ophthalmic opinion and mentorship, the successful candidate will be encouraged to apply to residency training programs other than UCD’s in the year immediately following their internship.

A. Program Description

This is a 1-year program designed to provide an introduction to the diverse aspects of comparative ophthalmology in an academic setting thereby broadening the intern’s appreciation of opportunities in clinical ophthalmology and vision science research, while enhancing their curriculum vitae in preparation for future applications to comparative ophthalmology residency training programs. The intern’s primary role will be assisting with the medical and surgical management of large and small domestic animals, laboratory animals, and captive and wild exotic animals, always under the supervision of a more senior clinician. The intern will share responsibility for hospital inpatients and outpatients, and assist in instruction of professional veterinary medical students. After appropriate training, the intern will be responsible for delivering to small-groups of senior DVM students on their clinical rotation an instructional lab on how to perform an ophthalmic examination.  

When clinical commitments permit, the intern will be exposed to diverse aspects of hypothesis-driven research (including grant development, study design and performance, data analysis, and manuscript preparation), be eligible to attend relevant lectures and rounds at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Center for Vision Science, Department of Ophthalmology in the University of California-Davis Medical Center, and observe ophthalmic screening of mice for the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium.

B. Licensure

The California Veterinary Medical Board (CVMB) requires all veterinarians working at the University of California, Davis with primary patient care duties to hold a special University license. To obtain this University license, veterinarians that are not already licensed in the state of California will be required to take a 3-day course on regionally-important diseases and a short, open-book jurisprudence test, in addition to undergoing a background check. The course typically is given on-site at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine early in the course of each training program. The cost of licensure (currently $290) will be the responsibility of the trainee. This limited license permits individuals to work in California as veterinarians for University-related practice only. If in doubt, please contact the Office of the CVMB for clarification.

C. Goals of the Internship Program

  1. Mentored training in basic clinical skills essential for successful management of veterinary patients with ophthalmic disease.
  2. Directed self-learning regarding the eye and its diseases.
  3. Mentored training in effective clinical teaching skills.
  4. Exposure to research methods in vision science including study design and execution, grant writing, and manuscript preparation.
  5. Enhanced experience to augment future applications to ABVO-approved residency training programs.

D. Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Regular participation in clinical activities of the Ophthalmology Service including evening and weekend emergency duty. House officers must be able to arrive at the hospital within 15 minutes of an emergency call.

o    Medical Ophthalmology – The ophthalmology intern will be under direct supervision of a faculty member or resident throughout the vast majority of the program and non-direct supervision at all times.

    • Surgical Training – As clinical duties permit, the intern may be eligible to audit the medical and veterinary ophthalmology resident microsurgical training program. The intern will also receive instruction in some extraocular procedures such as eyelid tumor removal and enucleation.
    • Ophthalmic Pathology – As clinical duties permit, the intern will be eligible to audit ophthalmic pathology rounds led by an ocular pathologist for our ophthalmology residents.
    • The UCD Mouse Biology Program - As clinical duties permit, the intern may be asked to observe or assist in providing ophthalmic support to the mouse biology program.
    • Research - During his or her internship, the intern is expected to prepare and submit a first-author manuscript for publication in an archival peer-reviewed journal. The manuscript may describe an individual case, case series, or a retrospective analysis of a specific hypothesis-driven question in an area related to ophthalmology or vision science. Presentation of research data at the UCD VMTH House Officer Seminar Day and/or an ACVO conference is encouraged. Co-authorship as a result of intellectual contributions to the large range of active projects within our section may also be possible. The intern will receive devoted time, access to our research infrastructure, and faculty mentorship appropriate to achieve these goals.
    • Didactic Training – As clinical duties permit, the intern is eligible to audit seminars, conferences, rounds, journal clubs, and other review sessions conducted as part of our residency training program, including those held in association with the UCD Medical School.
    • External Courses - Attendance at the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists’ conference may be possible dependent upon the clinical needs of the Service. Attendance at the Magrane Basic Science Course will not be permitted. University funds may be available to subsidize continuing education expenses, but the cost of attendance is ultimately the intern’s responsibility.
    • Teaching - Considerable responsibility for teaching students in clinics and participation in teaching laboratories for UCD veterinary student courses is required. This includes regular (mentored) demonstration of the ophthalmic examination to 4th-year DVM students on their clinical rotation. The intern may also be able to provide some lectures for UCD veterinary student clubs, and to assist in 1st-year and 3rd-year DVM teaching laboratories on the ophthalmic examination and ophthalmic surgery. .
    • Medical Records - All patient records must be completed in an exemplary and timely fashion.
  1. The VMTH is committed to building strong relationships with its constituents and maintaining excellent communications within its walls. Therefore, timely and complete communication with referring veterinarians and clients forms a major part of the intern’s duties. Intern’s must also establish and maintain cordial relationships with all members of the VMTH community: students, residents, faculty, staff, referring veterinarians, and clients.
  2. Continuation in the training program is contingent upon a satisfactory 6-month performance review.
  3. Failure to meet all aspects of the duties and responsibilities will result in termination or withholding of the certificate of internship completion.

E. Inflexible Requirements

  1. Graduation from a School of Veterinary Medicine.
  2. A minimum of 12 months full-time clinical practice as a veterinarian between graduation as a veterinarian and beginning the internship training program.
  3. Demonstration of high motivation and excellent interpersonal skills.
  4. Satisfactory ethical standing.

F. Information for foreign applicants

Foreign applicants will be considered for this position provided that certain conditions are met.

G. Application procedure

  1. The Veterinary Internship-Residency Matching Program (VIRMP) will NOT be utilized.
  2. Interested individuals should submit the items listed below so that they ARRIVE electronically at the University of California-Davis no later than 5pm PST Friday November 2nd, 2018.
  3. Early applications preferred; late applications will not be reviewed.
  4. All materials including transcripts must be submitted electronically. Official transcripts are not required at the time of submission (scanned copies are acceptable) but will be required from select candidates.

Please submit the following:

  • The UCD joint Ophthalmology Residency/Internship/Research Fellowship application form. This form should be completed for the Residency, Internship, and Research Fellowship positions. It is possible to apply for any one, two, or for all three programs with just one application.  Provided that the appropriate boxes are checked, a single application (including just one set of letters of reference, transcripts, letter of intent, etc.) will be reviewed for all programs to which the applicant applies.
  • A personal statement highlighting your career goals, personal background, and specific reasons for applying for the UCD Ophthalmology Internship.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • Three to five letters of recommendation from university faculty members or veterinary/medical practitioners. These letters should be emailed directly by the letter writer to faculty members of the UCD Veterinary Ophthalmology Service care of These letters should not be included in the packet you submit.  Letters should address (among other things) your aptitude and performance in intellectual and creative pursuits pertinent to clinical skills, ability to apply knowledge in a clinical situation, knowledge of veterinary medicine, scientific research, and ability to communicate and work with others in a team.
  • Scanned pdf copies of veterinary school transcripts - including grade point average and class rank. An official English translation of these must be included if they are not in English. Note that these should be sent as pdf documents (scanned if necessary) and form part of the electronic application. Copies of transcripts scanned by the applicant are permitted; however candidates should expect to provide an original copy from the issuing institution if requested.
  • Application materials, letters of reference, and scanned transcripts should be sent electronically to: (Please write "Ophthalmology Internship/Residency" in the subject line).

H. Interviews/Visits:

  • While we do permit short (1-2 day) clinic visits at no charge for intern candidates throughout most of the year, such visits are not possible between the ACVO meeting and the date Internship offers are made. Interviews will not be offered for this position.

I. Timeline

  • Monday November 2, 2018 (9 am PST): Final deadline for electronic receipt of all application materials. Earlier applications preferred; late applications will not be reviewed.
  • Monday January 14, 2019 (9 am PST): Offer made to successful candidate.

If after thorough review of information on this webpage you have questions regarding the UC Davis Ophthalmology Internship please direct these to David Maggs, BVSc, DACVO at

The University of California, Davis, and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital 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.

UCD joint Ophthalmology Residency/Internship/Research Fellowship application form