Residency Program in Equine Surgery

Residency Program in Equine Surgery


  1. To provide advanced clinical training in all areas of equine surgery, and lameness.
  2. To provide clinical instruction of veterinary students in the hospital, and didactic instruction in lameness, and basic surgical and equine practice techniques laboratories.
  3. To have each resident complete at least one primary author manuscript that will qualify for board eligibility with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).
  4. To prepare residents for board certification with weekly journal and clinical case discussions, and with a mock board examination that is given in January of each year.
  5. To develop clinical expertise in general, abdominal, and orthopedic surgical procedures, as well as lameness diagnosis.
  6. To spend at least 80 hours in the disciplines of Radiology, Anesthesia/Critical Patient Care, and Medicine, and 40 hours (rounds attendance or clinical rotation) in each of Pathology and Clinical Pathology.
  7. To have all residents complete at least 6 presentations throughout the residency program.
  8. To have all residents participate in the Annual House Officer Seminar Day at least once during their residency program.
  9. To provide avenues for residents to pursue research opportunities and advanced graduate course work following completion of their residency program.


  • Excellence in the practice of equine surgery and lameness is largely based upon performing high quality diagnostics, medicine, and surgery. The graduate clinical training program in equine surgery is designed to provide the knowledge and skills required to meet the ever-increasing demands of surgery in private equine practice, as well as to prepare residents for clinical academic positions. In conjunction with the clinical program, residents will also become proficient in diagnostic imaging techniques such as computed tomography, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear scintigraphy, positron emission tomography (PET) and radiology. The program also stresses excellence in academics and research, which will allow residents to achieve board certification. Having residents continue in a Master's or PhD program in an area of interest following completion of the residency is encouraged.


  • Qualifications Required of Applicants: Minimum qualifications include graduation from an accredited 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.


  • 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 duration of the residency program is 3 years. Renewal for the second and third years will be contingent upon satisfactory performance.

General Scope and Nature of the Training:

First Year Program:

  • Residents will rotate primarily through elective and emergency surgery services (surgery service and the equine ICU service), 2-week rotations on equine medicine, large animal anesthesia/critical care, and large animal diagnostic imaging.  One-week rotations will be scheduled in pathology and clinical pathology.  Six weeks of research time is scheduled each year.  One month out of clinics will be provided to be used for vacation, external rotations, or additional research time.
  • Residents will be on primary emergency duty for at least two days per week during their first year. The emergency duty is designed to have 2nd and 3rd year residents as a back up to the 1st year resident. A faculty person is the tertiary back up.
  • Residents will have a major role as clinical instructors for senior veterinary students. Opportunities to perform didactic instruction are limited during the first year.
  • During journal discussions, residents will develop the ability to critically evaluate veterinary literature, and the process required for preparing for the ACVS board examination. Residents will receive assistance and guidance in the preparation and delivery of two presentations.
  • Residents will be required to present cases in weekly clinical case discussions, which will serve as a media for discussing patient management and board preparation.
  • Unless already completed, residents will be required to attend the AO Basic Equine Fracture Repair course during their first or second year.
  • Residents will be strongly encouraged to focus on grant submission or begin a research project during their first year. All research activities will be guided and supported by faculty mentors.

Second and Third Year Programs:

  • The resident duties and responsibilities will be similar to those of the first year, but with increasing responsibility for patient management. Residents will have some supervisory responsibility for training and supervision of lower-year residents. The second year resident will have approximately 2.5 months of out-of-clinics professional development time.  It is anticipated that at least 2 weeks of off-clinic time will be provided near the time of the Phase 1 (Certification) examination in year 2.  Third-year residents will have approximately 2.5 months of out-of-clinics time. The out-of-clinics professional development time is primarily allotted for resident research project completion to prepare for specialty board examinations, to pursue outside clinical rotations or non-surgical rotations at the VMTH (e.g. Livestock Medicine and Surgery, Large Animal Ultrasound, etc.), if the resident desires, and accrued vacation leave.
  • Residents will share emergency duty.  Primary and secondary emergency duty assignments may vary by year of the residency.
  • Residents can attend one professional meeting of their choice. Attendance of the advanced AO course (if offered) or the ACVS annual meeting is strongly recommended.
  • Resident projects and submission of a manuscript to a refereed journal (JAVMA, AJVR, Vet Surg, etc.) should be completed by the beginning of the third year. Second and/or third year residents must deliver a paper at the annual VMTH Veterinary Intern and Resident Research Symposium program, and are encouraged to present a paper at the residents’ competition of the annual ACVS Meeting.

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

The current salary for the first year of the residency program is $50,183 with 24 days of vacation accrued yearly. Continuation into the second year is contingent upon satisfactory performance.

Selection will be in accordance with the guidelines of the Veterinary Internship/Residency Matching Program.

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.

We require that our house officers be able to arrive at the Hospital within 15-20 minutes of an emergency call; therefore, House Officers must plan to live within reasonable mileage of the Hospital. .


SPECIAL NOTE: The California Veterinary Medical Board requires all veterinarians working at the University of California, Davis with primary patient care duties to hold a full California license or a University veterinary license. To obtain a University veterinary license, veterinarians who 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 obtaining the University veterinary license will be the responsibility of the trainee. The limited license only permits individuals to work in California as veterinarians for University-related practice.

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.