Resident Training Program in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology - Zoo & Wildlife Pathology Track

Resident Training Program in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology - Zoo & Wildlife Pathology Track

Location: W. R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California, Davis, CA (year 1 and 2); San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA (year 3).

Starting Date: August 1, 2021

Closing Date for Applications: September 11, 2020


Salary: $44,786/1st year; $46,875/2nd year; $49,039/3rd year

Benefits include: Medical, dental, vision, and life insurances and vacation and sick pay.

Qualifications & Requirements for Admission to the Program: Qualifications for admission include a DVM (or equivalent degree) from a veterinary school accredited by the AVMA (preferred) and a scholastic record sufficient for acceptance into graduate school (a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and veterinary school courses). Although resident applicants do not apply to graduate school at the time of application to the residency, we give preference to residents who are qualified to continue their advanced training in a post-doctoral degree program. GRE scores can be included by are not required for application to residency program. Applicants must have demonstrated interest in a career in zoo or wildlife pathology.

Program Goals: The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG) have a joint residency program in veterinary pathology designed to prepare candidates for careers in academia, zoological parks and aquaria, conservation organizations, or wildlife agencies, which require certification by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). The anatomic pathology residency training programs at UCD and SDZG are the first step of a two-phase training program leading to acquisition of the skills in diagnostic and experimental pathology. At the conclusion of this phase, residents are encouraged to apply to the Graduate Group in Integrative Pathobiology in pursuit of a PhD. After three years of training under the guidance of board certified diplomats (ACVP and ECVP), candidates are expected to take the ACVP certifying examination.

Program Length: All residency appointments are renewed annually with renewal based on adequate progress. Residents entering the program will complete at least two years of concentrated anatomic pathology training at UCD-VMTH and a third year of advanced training at the San Diego Zoo.

Program Description 1st and 2nd year: The first two years of the program will be spent at the Anatomic Pathology Service at the University of California, Davis. The VMTH provides a diverse caseload that consists of approximately 85% domestic animals and 15% zoo and wildlife animals, pet birds and other exotic pets. All aspects of case evaluation (gross necropsy, histopathology evaluation, and pathology reporting) are guided and reviewed by twelve board certified (ACVP or ECVP) pathologists. Two faculty members have specific expertise in zoo and wildlife pathology and provide specialty consultation on all cases. Pathologists from the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratories, the Center of Comparative Medicine, the Comparative Pathology Lab and the California National Primate and Research Center on campus also participate in seminars and are available for consultations. A research project based on diagnostic cases is also a requirement of the program. For details of 1st and 2nd year of the program please refer to while at VMTH.

3rd year training in San Diego: The final year of the program will be spent in the Disease Investigations group at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where residents will obtain more focused exposure to zoo and wildlife species. Residents will participate in the necropsy, biopsy and cytology services under the supervision and instruction of five board certified (ACVP) pathologists. Case material includes a wide variety of non-domestic birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles derived from the collections of the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and from collaborative field conservation programs. There will be opportunities to participate in weekly conferences, monthly morbidity-mortality meetings with clinical veterinarians and animal care staff, and weekly pathology seminars at the nearby UC San Diego Medical Center.

Background information for the San Diego Zoo Global Pathology Program: San Diego Zoo Global administers two campuses (the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido), as well as the Institute for Conservation Research (formerly CRES), with a total collection inventory of nearly 8000 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, many of which are endangered species. Pathology case material derives from this extensive collection as well as a number of field conservation programs. Archival histopathology and cytology slides, paraffin blocks, formalin fixed tissues, frozen tissues, and serum collected over 80 years are available for retrospective studies. Pathology reports and animal records from 1983 to present comprise an extensive computer data-base. The Zoo's extensive zoological library supplement an excellent in-house veterinary medical library. The Disease Investigations group participates in the Joint Pathology Center's Wednesday Slide Conference and is a CL Davis Foundation Study Site. Training and consultation are facilitated by a three-headed microscope with a video monitor. In addition to the pathology service, the Disease Investigations group has a fully equipped molecular diagnostic laboratory headed by molecular pathologist, and an epidemiology research program. Support staff includes a histotechnologist, four pathology technicians and a medical secretary. The Disease Investigations group works in close cooperation with 13 clinical veterinarians and three nutritionists, as well as with curators and animal care staff. Collaboration with other scientists in the Institute for Conservation Research provides expertise in recovery ecology, plant conservation, population sustainability, conservation genetics, community engagement, and reproductive sciences.  Additional information can be obtained by contacting Dr. Bruce Rideout, Director, Disease Investigations, Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, PO Box 120551, San Diego, CA 92112-0551, or by visiting the Institute for Conservation Research website.

Program Size: Duty responsibilities at VMTH are shared with one resident in the ZOO AND WILDLIFE PATHOLOGY TRACK, three residents in the STANDARD ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY TRACK  and two residents in the LAB ANIMAL PATHOLOGY TRACK. The residents are under the guidance of twelve board certified (ACVP or ECVP) veterinary pathologists. At ZSSD, there are four ACVP anatomic pathologists to provide instruction on cases, one Anatomic Pathology Fellow who shares duty responsibilities and an ACVP molecular pathologist.

Application: All application materials can be submitted in electronic or hard copy except official transcripts and class rank. Required application materials that must be received by the September 11, 2020 deadline consist of:

1) Letter of Intent specifying interests and professional goals. Additionally the letter should indicate that you are applying for the ZOO AND WILDLIFE PATHOLOGY TRACK position. Applicants are welcome to apply for more than one position but must rank the order of their preference.

2) Curriculum vitae

3) Three letters of recommendation, sent via. e-mail directly from the referee and not the candidate.

4) Official transcripts from all veterinary and post-veterinary education. You may submit them electronically along with your entire application packet, but a certified official hard copy must be mailed separately in a sealed envelope by you or your veterinary school.

If you are a foreign applicant interpretation of their University’s grading system has to be provided with the application FOREIGN APPLICANTS.

5) Official class rank from your veterinary school. Please indicate if official class rank is not available from your school.

6) TOEFL scores for foreign applicants. If English is not your first language, applicants must submit TOEFL scores or provide equivalent evidence of demonstrated written and verbal skills in English. Refer to FOREIGN APPLICANTS.

Foreign Applicants: Foreign applicants are welcome to apply. Refer to FOREIGN APPLICANTS for complete application process.

Scoring of applications: All applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 1) overall academic achievement, 2) academic achievement in pathology and related subjects, 3) clarity of career goals (letter of intent), 4) the promise of a successful career in veterinary pathology, 5) experience and interest in teaching and research including pursuit of a Masters or PhD degree, 6) interest in an academic career, 7) foreign applicants will also be evaluated based on their evidence of excellence in written and spoken English.

Visitors: Due to statewide and national restrictions due to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 (Covid19) pandemic, we are unable to accept visitors or interviews for this year. Selected individuals will be contacted by Friday, September 25th for virtual (on-line) interviews via Zoom. We sincerely regret that we are unable to offer interviews to every applicant. If you are not contacted by UC Davis to schedule an interview, we will be unable to accommodate one. Please see the updated instructions on how to apply, above, for a more detailed overview.

Contacts: All application materials must be received no later than September 11, 2020 and should be mailed to:

Ms. Becky Griffey
Residency Application Coordinator
VMTH Anatomic Pathology
1345 Vet Med 3A
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California - Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-5270
Telephone (503) 752-1369

Additional information about the training program can be obtained by contacting:

Dr. Kevin Woolard 
Residency Training Coordinator 
Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California - Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-5270
Telephone (530) 752-2235