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Residency: Poultry Health Management

North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, offers a unique opportunity for post-veterinary professional development: a Residency in Poultry Health & Welfare (PHW).

In the residency, graduating veterinary students or veterinarians may apply for post-graduate training focusing on Poultry Health & Welfare resulting in:

  • The opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in poultry production, disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • The ability to build a strong network within the poultry industry.
  • Eligibility to sit the American College of Poultry Veterinarians (ACPV) specialty board examinations.

The residency is a two-year program with one person accepted into the program each year. For more information, contact Dr. Rocio Crespo.


North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, offers a unique opportunity for post-veterinary professional development: a Combined Poultry Residency. Completion of this program satisfies the requirements to take the certifying examination of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians.

This program offers hands-on clinical experience in the identification and control of factors affecting poultry health, production, and welfare. The combined poultry residency uses resources at NCSU-CVM and other NCSU departments, NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, integrated poultry production companies, and allied poultry industries. Residents will directly participate in:

  • Field investigations and research related to current poultry health, welfare, and disease prevention issues
  • Application and interpretation of laboratory diagnostic tests (pathology, serology, microbiology, molecular biology)
  • Understanding and application of epidemiological strategies, to evaluate disease processes in poultry populations
  • Involvement in teaching activities
  • Preparation and participation in professional presentations and publications.

CVM orientation for new House Officers (Interns and Residents) is conducted between mid-June and early July. Employment procedures, licensure, College, departmental, and program policies and responsibilities, vehicle use, tour of facilities, and introductions are covered in the orientation. The Poultry Health & Welfare resident will make an appointment with Dr. Crespo for orientation specific to the Poultry Health & Welfare program at the CVM including review of the Plans & Procedures document, discussion of curriculum requirements, assignment of office space, introduction of faculty, and review of CVM procedures relevant to the clinical activities of Poultry Health & Welfare House Officers.

Dr. Crespo will coordinate each PHW house officer’s two-year plan. Dr. Crespo will coordinate all clinical and externship activities. House Officer involvement in any project requiring a significant time commitment (travel, meetings, clinical trials, research projects, field experience, etc.) must be communicated in writing (e-mail OK) and approved in advance by Dr. Crespo. Further, paperwork and approval are required by the CVM for travel and any off-campus activities, even if no reimbursement is requested.

PHW faculty members are Oscar Fletcher, Isabel Gimeno, Jim Guy, Rocio Crespo, and Dennis Wages. Dr. Luke Borst (Pathology Section) collaborates with the PHW faculty and serves, along with Dr. Isabel Gimeno, as a Research Coordinator and is a member of the PHW House Officer Residency Advising and Evaluation Committee (see advisors and committees section below). Members of the poultry industry and NC Department of Agriculture serve as adjunct faculty. PHW House Officers are encouraged and expected to interact closely with PHW faculty for preparation of seminars, involvement in teaching, clinical service, extension-engagement activities, and development and conduct of research projects.

The PHW House Officer’s primary responsibility is to complete the programmatic requirements of the Residency. Details of the programmatic requirements will be discussed with Dr. Crespo. Within these requirements, House Officers will participate in teaching, clinical service, and extension-engagement activities of PHW faculty. House Officers will help develop and participate in research projects in conjunction with PHW faculty and adjunct faculty. A primary goal of the residency is to prepare PHW House Officers for certification by the American College of Poultry Veterinarians (ACPV). This requires submission of the ACPV application and supporting materials, including 3 submission ready publications, by 2nd year House Officers before the deadline set by the ACPV (generally October 1st. Successful credentialing at that time will enable House Officers to sit for the ACPV examination in July of the following calendar year. Progress in the PHW House Officer program will be managed and evaluated semi-annually relative to meeting ACPV credentialing requirements.

Master’s Degree

This is a residency only program but it is possible to concurrently enroll in a thesis-based Master of Science Degree. Interested students should inquire after being accepted into the residency program. Prospective Master’s students need to identify a research faculty mentor in order to verify that research space and resources are available to support the student’s project. Enrollment in a Master’s program would alter the House Officer’s availability for clinical experiences and would need to be discussed with the PHW Director and Clinical Coordinator prior to starting the residency. The non-thesis Master of Specialized Veterinary Medicine (MSpVM), which was part of the previous combined residency/degree program, is no longer available.

Specific PHW Activities

  • Clinical Activities: House Officers contribute to the clinical service activities of the PHW program through involvement with clients, diagnostic investigations and problem solving, development of health recommendations, clinical research studies, and interaction with diagnostic laboratories. These activities require House Officers to maintain records of clinical activities so that faculty and future House Officers can access information on the cases. Publication of case reports and/or clinical studies are necessary to meet the credentialing requirements for the ACPV.

Another significant clinical activity is provision of veterinary oversight and managing commercial turkey and broiler flocks produced annually in the CVM Teaching Animal Unit (TAU). House Officers are responsible for the flocks. The 1st year House Officer has primary veterinary responsibility for each flock including reporting results in oral (PowerPoint) presentations at PHW seminars and preparing a comprehensive final written report (summarizing production, mortality, diagnostics, and processing data). The final report is due within one month after each flock is processed. Copies are submitted to the members of the Residency Advisory Committee (see below). The 2nd year House Officer assists and serves as a resource person for the 1st year House Officer. Dr. Crespo supervises House Officer TAU responsibilities and activities. Both residents help Dr. Crespo with teaching TAU courses based on the flocks to veterinary students. Dr. Crespo oversees necropsy and diagnostics of TAU culls and mortality.

Residents are expected to gain additional clinical experience through assisting with instruction in 4th year Poultry Medicine clinics and selective courses provided to veterinary students at the end of each semester during years 1-3.

In addition to clinical teaching and service activities with PHW faculty, House Officers work with adjunct faculty at commercial broiler, turkey, and table egg production facilities. Additional field experience may be provided through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories, United States Department of Agriculture, and NCSU Prestage Department of Poultry Science and Poultry Extension Service.

  • Conferences, Course Work, and Seminars: PHW House Officers must attend conferences, lectures, seminars, and courses specified by the PHW Residency Steering Committee. House Officers may also participate in the CVM Student Chapter of the American Association of Avian Pathologists (CVM Poultry Medicine Club) and Poultry Science Club in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science.

PHW residents are required to attend House Officer seminars and present a seminar each year in this series on a topic of their choice, usually related to work they are doing or in which they are interested. Seminars are presented on Thursday mornings at 8:00 am. 70% attendance at the House Officer seminars is required. Attendance is not required during the final semester of the 2-yr PHW residency program as most resident activities during this time are off-campus externships.

Oral communication is an important part of the PHW residency. Oral presentations in seminars/discussions, presentations during PHW and house officer seminars, in courses on poultry health and disease, and local and/or national conferences are used to evaluate progress in the residency program.

  • Teaching Responsibilities: House Officers participate in the clinical and didactic instruction of the PHW faculty. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to 1) participation in veterinary student clinical rotations (VMP 982, VMP 983 Advanced Poultry Health Management I and II & VMP 974 Food Supply Veterinary Medicine) including instruction in poultry anatomy, diagnostic techniques, necropsy, and farm evaluation, and 2) attendance and participation as possible in VMP 401 and 964 including presenting lectures and helping with instruction of laboratories, and 3) participation and assistance in classes, laboratories and production courses that are based on the TAU flocks. (VMP 916, 936, 956, and 971).

Graduate courses in poultry science or other subjects are available and are especially useful for students enrolled in a concurrent MS program.

  • Research and Written Reports: Written communication is also an important component of the PHW residency program and forms part of the basis for evaluating progress in the residency. Three manuscripts for publication including case reports and research findings are required for both the residency and ACPV credentialing. Only drafts are required by ACPV but completed manuscripts submitted to a journal are required by the residency. Drafts are due in June and completed manuscripts submitted for publication by September of the House Officer’s second year. House Officers are expected to have or develop proficiency in scientific (technical) writing, digital photography and image editing, word processing (Word), spreadsheet (Excel), presentation (PowerPoint), basic statistical programs, database management, and other skills necessary for completion of research projects .

PHW residents will choose research projects depending on their interest and after consultations with Drs. Gimeno and Borst, the PHW residency research coordinators. The research supervisor must be clearly identified with each new research project or clinical case write up as this person will supervise the project and oversee the resident’s preparation of the manuscript. The likelihood of publishable material needs to be assessed. It is important that House Officer activities and time commitments be communicated and coordinated with PHW faculty to avoid potential conflicts. A one-page written proposal summary that includes title, resident and supervisor(s) names, description of the problem, hypothesis, objectives, what is to be done, procedures, and budget needs to be prepared and submitted to Dr. Crespo before the research begins. Progress on clinical reports and research projects are used as part of the evaluation of progress in the residency.

  • PHW Seminars: PHW Seminars are held weekly during Fall and Spring semesters. PHW Residents are required to attend, participate in discussions, and make at least two presentations each semester on their current research, field projects, current literature, or specific topics of interest. Oral reports of the TAU flocks by the 1st year House Officer are acceptable seminar topics. Dr. Crespo currently coordinates the seminars. Dr. Crespo must be informed of the topic title at least 2 weeks before a seminar is to be given. A brief biosketch is needed for the first seminar given by the resident. Topics for presentation should be relevant, contemporary, and of interest to both the House Officer and audience. Experiences during the program, including recent cases, topics or issues in the poultry industry, clinical research studies, or faculty activities provide good subjects for presentations. House Officers are encouraged to consult with PHW faculty and use resources of the CVM to prepare their presentations. Potential conflicts with seminar attendance need to be discussed with Dr. Crespo as soon as they are known.
  • PHW Avian Histopathology Rounds: PHW avian histopathology rounds are held on Wednesdays from 10am-12pm in C-330 and are headed by Dr. Oscar Fletcher. House officers are expected to attend histopathology rounds and participate in discussions. During these rounds, House Officers will become familiar with histopathologic interpretation, histopathological diagnosis, and current disease problems affecting avian species. Potential conflicts with rounds attendance need to be discussed with Dr. Fletcher as soon as they are known.

It is possible to earn credit towards an MS degree through attendance at seminars and rounds.

  • Scientific Meetings and Externships: Participation in scientific conferences, poultry industry meetings, and clinical externships provides PHW House Officers with valuable educational experiences and contact with poultry industry personnel and is strongly encouraged. Meetings usually attended include: National Poultry Health and Processing Meeting, Southern Conference of Avian Disease/International Poultry Expo, AVMA/AAAP, North Carolina Poultry Veterinarians Meeting, and in-state poultry producer conferences.

Resources available for approved externships and meetings is variable depending on existing PHW budget and specific interests of the House Officer. The PHP Department or CVM House Officer Program may also provide House Officers with resources for conference travel. Residents are encouraged to secure travel support through participation in meetings. All travel plans for meetings, conferences, and externships must be requested by the House Officer in writing and approved by Dr. Crespo. A CVM travel authorization will need to be made by the Population Health and Pathobiology department chair. Forms necessary for pre-and post-travel are: Request, Travel Authorization, Student Evaluation, Mentor Evaluation (as applicable), and Reimbursement (as applicable). All records and receipts of travel expenses must be kept by the House Officer for submission to the PHP Department for reimbursement (as applicable) with copies submitted toDr. CrespoHouse Officers are expected to 1) plan for the judicious use of funds available for travel and field experiences, 2) maintain records of expenditures and 3) submit reimbursement requests on a timely basis, and 4) submit (2 and 3 weeks in advance for in-State and out-of-State travel, respectively) Travel Authorization forms for all overnight stays.  Externships must be scheduled by 18 months in the program. Externships require approval from Dr. Crespo

  •  Travel Authorization forms must be completed whether or not overnight travel results in cost to the University. It is the House Officer’s responsibility to submit original travel authorizations to the PHP Dept. Office Assistant and submit copies to Dr. Crespo.

Other administrative responibilities

  • Vacation: Twelve days of vacation are available each year and must be taken before June 1st of the House Officer’s second year. Prior to taking vacation, PHW House Officers will submit Annual Leave forms to Dr Crespo.
  • Evaluations: House officers will meet individually with the Advisory Committee to evaluate their progress twice each year. Lack of progress in the Residency may result in the program being terminated. Evaluations consist of an initial presentation by the resident reviewing their activities during the previous 6 months, a self-assessment, comments about the residency, and discussion of plans for the next 6 months. This is followed by a closed session in which the residency advisory committee (see below) evaluates the resident’s progress in the program and makes recommendations for the next evaluation period.  The residency director will record this information on a standardized form. The residency director  will discuss the results of the residency evaluation and review the evaluation form with the resident. House Officer evaluation forms will be submitted to the Faculty Committee on House Officer Programs (FCHOP) by Nov. 1 and April 1 of each year during the PHW Residency. Following the April 1st evaluation of the house officer’s second year, the Advisory Committee will recommend for or against awarding a Certificate of Completion to the PHW resident. Exit interviews may be help with the Advisory Committee, PHP Department Head, and FCHOP for PHW House Officers to summa rize their impressions of the program and suggest changes/improvements.
  • Daily activities log: PHW residents are expected to keep a daily log of their work each month. A copy of the log is to be submitted to Dr. Crespo by the end of the first week of the following month. Monthly records of activities can be used to prepare an activities report for semi-annual evaluations.

Animal Care and Use: PHW Residents must comply with the ‘Principals for the Use of Animals’ document (copy follows), and be certified as indicated below.

All Principal Investigators (as indicated on the AVAU) must be certified (successful completion of the examination) before the Application for Vertebrate Animal Use AVAU can be approved; PIs must be re-certified at least every three years after initial certification. All NCSU personnel who work unsupervised with experimental animals must be certified prior to performing animal manipulations and at least every three years thereafter. The process in each case is initiated by contacting the LAR office (CVM room A234; 513-6280;, which will provide a packet of material containing instructions for completing the training and an examination to be returned to the LAR office. The examination will be graded, and the individual, and the IACUC office, notified of successful completion (80% correct answers). The actual training will involve a series of Internet sites selected to satisfy the required topical areas. Personnel will be directed to sites that have sufficient information to successfully complete the exam, as well as links for more information. Because this basic training includes institution-specific information, completion of training at another institution may not substitute for NCSU certification.

Plan of Work

The two-year Plan of Work is intended to serve as a functional framework for the purposes of planning and organizing PHW training experiences for each House Officer’s individual benefit, and to maintain efficient operations within the PHW faculty. Functioning within this framework is expected to be dynamic based on developing opportunities and individual priorities of each House Officer. This system can work to everyone’s benefit if timely and clear communications are maintained among those involved.

Meetings of the Advisory Committees and House Officers will be held to evaluate and adjust as necessary the programmatic requirements and priorities of activities.

Advisors and Committees

  1. Director and Coordinators:
    • PHW Residency Director – Dr. Rocio Crespo
    • TAU & Clinical Coordinator – Dr. Rocio Crespo
    • Research Coordinators– Dr. Luke Borst & Dr. Isabel Gimeno
    • Externship Coordinators –Dr. Rocio Crespo
  2. PHW Residency Advising & Evaluation Committee
    • Luke Borst
    • Rocio Crespo
    • Oscar Fletcher
    • Isabel Gimeno
    • Dr James Guy
  3. PHW Residency Steering Committee
    • Rocio Crespo
    • Oscar Fletcher
    • Kevin Anderson (External Representative)

Leadership and Faculty


Candidates interested in the Combined Poultry Residency should submit an application packet which should include the following:

  • Completed NCSU-CVM residency and internship application
  • Letter of intent, which should outline your motivation for applying to this program, your relevant clinical experiences, and any research experience you have had
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Official University and Veterinary College Transcripts
  • Copies of degrees can be uploaded to the online application
  • GRE scores are recommended (a copy of your original scores is sufficient and can be uploaded to the online application).
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals able to evaluate the candidate’s abilities

The deadline for completed applications is December 1.

For questions or further information, contact Dr. Rocio Crespo (919)

Information for International Applicants

Preference is given to applicants who have graduated from a college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you wish to apply for an internship or residency program things to keep in mind:

  1. Have your degree translated and evaluated by a reputable company. Options include: Josef Silny & AssociatesTrustforte Corporation, and World Education Services.
  2. Some programs require the TOFELexam to qualify for an internship or residency position.
  3. Most foreign interns and residents are appointed to H-1B visas.
  4. To ensure that a foreign national candidate has the H-1B visa at the start of their program the candidate will be asked to pay for the premium processing filing fee of $1,225 USD, if necessary.
  5. Getting a visa takes between 4 and 6 months if the visa is expedited it takes approximately 15 business days.
  6. Take the initial steps and apply for The Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) certification program, which is accepted by all state veterinary regulatory boards and the federal government as meeting, either in part or full, the educational prerequisite for licensure or certain types of employment, respectively.
  7. Complete and submit the residency application forms.