Residency Program in Large Animal Medicine: Equine Emphasis

Residency Program in Large Animal Medicine: Equine Emphasis

The Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, is offering a residency program in Large Animal Medicine. This residency program provides three years of advanced clinical training in the medical diseases of large domestic animals primarily with equine cases, less numbers of camelids, and a shorter rotation in in-house livestock medicine. Minimum qualifications include graduation from a college or school of veterinary medicine and a one-year internship or equivalent practice experience. The selection of residents is made on the basis of academic achievement, career objectives, letters of recommendation, interpersonal skills, clinical skills and pertinent experience.

The resident in Large Animal Medicine is a participant in our practice, and under faculty supervision has clinical responsibility for cases assigned to the medical section of the Large Animal Clinic and to the Equine Medicine Field Service. Under the direction of the senior faculty of the Large Animal Medicine Service and appropriate clinical specialty units, the resident examines, conducts diagnostic procedures, and prescribes treatment for outpatients and for patients admitted to the Large Animal Clinic, including horses, camelids, and livestock species. The resident will participate in all phases of the operation of the equine medical and livestock medical/surgical outpatient and inpatient clinic and the equine medicine field service. The resident has primary communication responsibilities with owners of patients. The resident provides medical consultation service for hospitalized patients assigned to the equine surgical section. The resident assists faculty members in the clinical instruction of fourth-year veterinary students, including laboratories. Residents share out-of-hours emergency duty on a rotational basis and are on call approximately 1 night and 1 weekend out of every 2 or 3. Residents must be able to arrive at the Hospital within 15 minutes of an emergency call, therefore, residents must plan to live within a reasonable distance of the hospital to account for this. Out-of-clinic time for development of a clinical research project, creative writing, and exam preparation is scheduled.

The resident works with several faculty members who are diplomates in the ACVIM. The residency program is designed to provide broad medical experience and to fulfill requirements for taking internal medicine board examinations. Lectures are provided to develop clinical expertise and to assist in preparation for the ACVIM examinations. Presentation of the clinical research project at the annual Veterinary Intern and Resident Research Symposium is mandatory and presentation at a national meeting is recommended.

To provide post-graduate advanced training in Large Animal Medicine of the broadest scope involving all large animal species, with an emphasis on equine internal medicine.

  • To develop practical clinical expertise in large animal internal medicine.
  • To provide clinical teaching experience in internal medicine.
  • To provide an opportunity for limited experience in the design and conduct of investigative projects in a clinically related area.
  • To qualify the resident for eventual board certification in internal medicine.


Internal medicine in large animal species has developed into a recognized clinical specialty. The clinical training program to be described is essential to provide the nucleus of veterinary internists trained in the wide scope of large animal medicine, and to the level of sophistication the specialty requires.

The large animal internal medicine residency program provides intensive training in large animal internal medicine with an equine emphasis of three years' duration. The completed residency will fulfill one of the major requirements for qualification to the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and its subspecialty groups.

The facilities and clinical case load of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital provide an ideal environment for this residency program.

The residency provides broad clinical exposure in In-House Medicine (Equine) which includes referred internal medicine cases, medical emergencies, medical critical care, neonatology, neurology, advanced dentistry, and some primary care cases. There is lesser exposure to Equine Field Service Medicine which includes lameness, basic dentistry, minor surgical procedures, some reproduction, and first opinion emergencies, as well as in In-House Livestock Medicine and Surgery which includes referred and primary care of farm animals (medicine, surgery, basic anesthesia and primary care). The program includes close collaboration with specialists in critical care, and ophthalmology, as well as consultations with dermatology, cardiology, and oncology. Persons thus trained should be well prepared for positions as clinical academic faculty or to enter progressive and specialized practices requiring advanced training. Faculty from the School of Veterinary Medicine will provide clinical instruction to the resident with collaborative assistance of other schools and departments.

Candidates for a residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine must have a D.V.M. from an accredited School or College of Veterinary Medicine or equivalent degree and must have completed one year of a clinical internship or comparable postgraduate training or practice experience.

The residency program shall be of three year's duration with the second and third years subject to renewal on the basis of evaluation and satisfactory performance.

General Scope and Nature of Training

First Year Program:

  • The resident will spend 11 months of the time in the Large Animal Medicine Service of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The resident will develop an understanding of the general concepts of disease processes, case management and client communications in all large animal species, including occasional camelids. This will include clinic rotations through the equine in-house, livestock in-house, and equine field service sections of the large animal medicine service including regular night and emergency-weekend duties on a rotating basis. The resident will have primary patient care responsibilities under the supervision of the senior clinician. This will include all routine cases as well as referred cases with specific medical problems. Although the emphasis is on the equine species, the case load will involve all large animal species being presented with problems referable to all body systems. The clinical exposure is designed to develop the broadest experience in large animal internal medicine. Full and complete competency in all routine and special diagnostic procedures shall be developed under the supervision of the senior clinician of the specific rotation. A primary objective of the first and the second year of the residency will be the development of clinical maturity and judgment. The resident will be provided with the opportunity to develop their teaching skills. One of the resident's major roles is that of clinical instructor. They will perform this duty in the clinical area by assisting in the tutorial teaching of junior and senior veterinary students, and:
  • Conducting rounds. The resident will receive from supervising faculty guidance, advice, and assistance in the preparation and delivery of papers and lectures.
  • The resident will develop abilities to critically evaluate veterinary literature and to obtain a broad scientific base for the understanding of medical problems. The resident program will include school and campus associated seminars and conferences, as well as full use of the available library resources. The resident will participate in the Large Animal Medicine resident weekly seminars.

All residents are strongly advised to obtain a California DEA license within the first year of the residency in order to write prescriptions. All residents must have or promptly obtain a California driver’s license upon entry into the program.

Second and Third Year Programs

The clinical and teaching duties will be similar to those of the first year program with increasing clinical responsibility and independence in patient management. The resident will function as a senior resident in the hospital and equine field service, and will maintain some supervisory responsibility for the first year residents during their clinic rotations.

  • The resident should develop expertise in a specific area of internal medicine. They will be encouraged to attend and participate in seminars and conferences presented by the veterinary and medical schools that are oriented toward their particular area of interest. Guidance and direction in the development of this special area of expertise shall be the responsibility of the service faculty mentors.
  • The resident will undertake a critical clinical investigation. The second year-resident will be encouraged to undertake an investigative project approved by their Chief of Service. The completion of a paper suitable for publication is expected. Presentation of the results of this investigation at the Veterinary Intern and Resident Research Symposium is mandatory.

The VMTH is committed to building strong relationships with its constituents. A major part of the resident's duties, therefore, includes timely communication with clients, as well as referring veterinarians after hours.

For application procedures, salary and benefits, and other information about the residency program, see GENERAL INFORMATION. Selection WILL utilize the VETERINARY INTERNSHIP/RESIDENCY MATCHING PROGRAM.

Candidates are welcomed and encouraged to visit the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Equine Medicine Service prior to January 1st, however visits are not required. Official candidate interviews will be held virtually and are required in order to be considered for the program. Candidates who are interested in applying to the program should reach out to the Equine Medicine Service to schedule an in-person visit and/or interview.

To arrange a visit contact Claudia Firchau ( or the Equine Medicine Service at (530) 752-0290. Questions about the program details can be directed to  Please attach CV and your picture (passport format). 

PLEASE NOTE: Candidates should be US citizens, US permanent residents, or foreign nationals eligible for a J1 scholar visa (and at the time of application not be subject to holds, bars or in-country rules) or Canadian/ Mexican citizens eligible for a TN visa. We will NOT pursue other visa categories. Candidates will be expected to pay for their visa fees. The offer of a residency may be withdrawn if written evidence of a visa is not provided by July 1, 2024.


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.

SPECIAL NOTE: The California Veterinary Medical Board requires all veterinarians working at the University of California, Davis with primary patient care duties to hold either a California license or a special University license. To obtain a University license, veterinarians that are not licensed in the state of California will be required to take a short open-book jurisprudence test, in addition to being background checked. The cost of licensure will be the responsibility of the trainee (currently $950). This limited license only permits individuals to work in California as veterinarians for University-related practice. Although veterinarians that do not have hands-on patient care duty (e.g., anatomic pathologists, clinical pathologists) are not required to hold this license, obtaining the license is encouraged whenever your activities may have an impact on animal-owning members of the public. If in doubt, please contact the Office of the CVMO for clarification.

This position is a critical position and subject to a background check. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of background investigation including criminal history and identity checks.