Small Animal Emergency Medicine


Small Animal Emergency Medicine

Objectives of the program:

This program is a one-year specialty internship in emergency medicine. It is not a rotating internship. The primary objective of this program is to train individuals to be excellent emergency clinicians with a focus on the development of critical thinking skills. Our emergency caseload exposes the interns to a wide variety of cases with ample opportunity to observe and participate in cutting edge veterinary medicine. It is excellent training for future residents as well as for those seeking a career in emergency medicine. Thirty-one interns have completed the program to date. Twenty-seven have applied for residency training programs, 21 of whom obtained residencies.

Clinical and Teaching Responsibilities:
The majority of the clinical commitment is after hours emergency receiving. While on clinic duty the emergency intern will receive all emergency cases and provide immediate stabilization and diagnostic procedures. The intern will be responsible for the entire case management of mild and moderately ill patients, while severely ill or injured patients will be managed with the assistance of an Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) resident and/or faculty member. An ECC resident and faculty member are available for back up at all times.  Interns are responsible for professional client communications, timely referring veterinarian communications, and maintenance of a high quality medical record. The majority of patients will be transferred at the end of each shift.  The intern may maintain management of some patients for the duration of their hospitalized period. The after hours emergency service is supported by numerous other specialty services including neurology, cardiology, anesthesia, surgery, radiology, internal medicine, and ophthalmology.

The VMTH Small Animal Emergency Service provides primary care for the local population and accepts numerous referrals from other veterinary facilities within a wide region. As a result our service manages a broad range of medical and surgical diseases.  These include primary trauma and intoxications, complex medical conditions, as well as referrals for hemodialysis or mechanical ventilation.  On all shifts, the intern will work with 2 trained technicians and will work with and mentor senior veterinary students. The intern will provide clinical teaching and evaluation of these veterinary students.

The first 4 weeks of the internship are directly mentored by ECC faculty and residents. In addition interns work under the direct supervision of an ECC faculty member for approximately one half of their after-hours receiving shifts. Interns will attend journal club and topic-based intern rounds weekly and service rounds when scheduled on daytime clinic duty. Interns are also encouraged to participate in weekly resident rounds. Four weeks of the year will be scheduled as professional development during which the intern can choose to spend time in ICU, rotate with other specialty services in the VMTH, or pursue a research project. Twenty-four days of vacation will be provided. Some clinic duty on University holidays will be required.

Course of activities:
There will be up to 4 interns selected annually who will share a rotating schedule.

  • 37 weeks of after-hours Emergency Receiving:
    • Monday – Thursday overnights
    • Thursday – Sunday days
    • Friday – Sunday overnights
    • Friday – Sunday swing shifts
  • 6 weeks of weekday Emergency Receiving
  • 4 weeks Professional Development
  • 5 weeks Vacation

House officers in the SA ECC service have a shared office space. There is access to numerous shared computer terminals throughout the hospital and extensive hard copy and digital libraries of relevant textbooks are readily available. The Medical Library is in an adjacent building and the University has full online access to many medical resources including PubMed, Cab Abstracts, and Web of Science. The facilities and resources for research opportunities are extensive.

Faculty participating in the program: Kate Hopper (50% clinical appointment); Karl Jandrey (35%); Steven Epstein (70%); Jamie Burkitt (70%); Ron Li (50%); Angela Borchers (90%); and Kate Farrell (90%).

All faculty are involved in the clinical training of all interns. Dr Burkitt is the director of the internship program and provides primary mentorship for the interns. Performing a research project is optional for interns and faculty will provide mentorship for research endeavors.   

Process of evaluation: Interns receive 2 evaluations (written and verbal) during the program at 4 and 10 months. If indicated more frequent evaluations may be performed. If the performance of an intern is considered inadequate, they will receive written letters of warning describing the concerns and what is required to rectify them and in what time frame. If these performance issues are severe, the intern will be informed that failure to improve could result in termination from the program.

Certification: A certificate of successful completion will be awarded at the end of the internship.

Application: Interview is required for consideration and is by invitation only. Skype interview is required at minimum; in-person interview can be arranged if desired. All applicants who wish to interview for the internship should submit a CV to Dr. Jamie Burkitt at by Monday, December 2, 2019, for strongest consideration. Applicants who submit a CV between December 3 – 9 may be considered, and those who do not submit a CV by December 9 will not be considered for the program. The Skype interview will be approximately 20 minutes in length and will be scheduled either later in December or in early January. In-person interviews are not necessary for consideration for the internship.

State Licensure: Please see Special Note below for information regarding licensure.

Advanced degree during internship: None

California Driver’s License: Not required


  • Graduated from an accredited college or school of veterinary medicine; 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.

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.

Service/Board requirements:

TOEFL No but encouraged


  • Rotating Internship/ Equivalent Experience Required? Yes
  • California Driver’s License Required? No

Salary and benefits:
The salary for one year is $44,786. Available benefits include Health, Dental, and Vision coverage and 24 days of vacation per year.

Application procedures:

PLEASE NOTE: Foreign nationals must be eligible for either a TN or J1 visa with no bars or home country requirement. Selection will be in accordance with the guidelines of the Veterinary Internship/Residency Matching Program. (virmp)

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

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 a special University license. To obtain this University license, veterinarians that are not 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 being background checked. The course will be given on-site at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine early in the course of your training program (dates to be determined). The cost of licensure will be the responsibility of the trainee (currently $600). 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.