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Residency: Zoological Medicine

The primary objective of this program is to assure the clinical competency of the resident in zoological medicine and to prepare the resident for the successful completion, at the end of 3 years, of all steps of the certification process leading to diplomate status in the American College of Zoological Medicine. A secondary objective of the program is to expose the resident to the fundamentals of clinical research.

The 3 year program is designed to provide in-depth training in the medical and scientific aspects of clinical zoological medicine. This training includes non-clinical periods for literature review, basic science training, case report preparation, preparation for board examination, and research.

This program is designed to provide training in all five emphasis areas of the college of zoological medicine. Each resident will be selected with a declared interest in one emphasis area. This will determine the second and third year activities of that resident in the program. For example, a resident selected for a strong emphasis in primary care of captive zoo animals will spend much of the second and third years of the program working with those species in a zoo setting. The first year of the program is designed to provide core experiences to all residents in each of the 5 emphasis areas.

The resident is encouraged, if research is a primary consideration, but not required to seek admission to the graduate program for pursuit of a PhD degree at the conclusion of the clinical program. This decision is best reached before the end of the first year to allow for better planning of the second year research project. This residency program itself can be conducted as a graduate program leading to the Masters of Specialized Veterinary Medicine with successful completion of the clinical program if the resident chooses. The zoological medicine residency program follows the guidelines established in the parent document on the Master of Specialized Veterinary Medicine  programs in the veterinary medical sciences.

Residency Schedule

Each resident will be expected to adhere to the required schedule of the block or course they are participating in at the time. In addition, all residents will be responsible for attending the resident’s seminar held on Thursday mornings at 8:00 a.m. They will be participating on a rotating basis as do residents of other programs. Thursday afternoon, between 4:15 and 6:00 p.m., August through June, residents will be expected to attend the scheduled afternoon teaching session. Residents should register three times each for credit in CBS 816 and CBS 817, Advanced Topics in zoological Medicine I and II during their residency. They are expected to attend and participate each year of their residency. One week of each month will usually be a literature review session conducted by the faculty on basic and human literature pertinent to zoological medicine. A second week each month will routinely be a faculty presentation on an area of basic or clinical science. The remaining weeks of each month a resident will present a literature review of clinically relevant literature from the month previous or Grand Rounds which will include a resident presentation of recent work, followed by a quiz for all residents related to assigned reading. Other course work will be assigned on the basis of need and opportunity and according to the backgrounds of the entering resident.

Board Preparation

Residents will be expected to be preparing for boards throughout the residency program. This preparation will include attending the ACZM short course each year, reading appropriate texts in the field under the guidance of the mentors, and keeping abreast of the current literature. NCSU Libraries provides access to materials on the ACZM Annotated Suggested Reading List for the examination in addition to many other relevant resources. Current literature to be reviewed for the Thursday sessions includes the following:

  • Journal Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
  • Journal Wildlife Disease
  • Zoobiology
  • J.A.V.M.A.
  • Journal Veterinary Research
  • Veterinary Record
  • Medical Primatology
  • Laboratory Animal Science
  • Journal Wildlife Management
  • J.A.A.V.
  • Avian Pathology
  • Journal Fish Disease
  • Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
  • Journal Aquatic Animal Health
  • Herpetological Review

Specific reading assignments will be made for each block of the residency and residents are expected to know and understand the material assigned.

Biomedical Resources

The NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine houses a biomedical resource facility that provides all types of graphic art, photography an video services. The resident is provided with a small stipend annually to cover biomedical resource expenses and educational discounts in the teaching hospital. The College of Veterinary Medicine is attractively located on a 180-acre farm just outside the Raleigh beltline, approximately two miles from the main NCSU campus. The North Carolina Zoological Park is located 1.5 hours west in Asheboro, NC. Three state aquariums are located 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 hours away at the Ft. Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores and Manteo, NC and the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology which houses much of the marine aspects of the program is located on the Pamlico Sound in Morehead City, NC, near the Institute of Marine Sciences and the North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries and very near the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium, the National Marine Fisheries Laboratory, and Duke Marine Laboratory.

Publications and Presentations

The resident is required to prepare seven papers for publication , five of these by the end of their second year. These can be case reports but at least one paper must be a prospective research report. In the second year they are expected to make a case or research presentation at an appropriate scientific meeting. In the third year the resident is expected to present at the meeting appropriate for their emphasis area. Other presentations will be assigned through out the course of the program.

Extramural Training

As part of the core year the resident is expected to participate in a training opportunity dealing with tropical fish medicine conducted by the Extension Unit of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and a block on marine mammal medicine which will be conducted in California. The program will provide tuition for these experiences. The resident will be responsible for living expenses and where necessary transportation. This varies from year to year. In addition the resident may be involved in hands on activities in trout medicine conducted in Hendersonville, North Carolina and in marine aquarium medicine which will be conducted at one or more of the three state aquariums on the North Carolina Coast. Living arrangements for these activities will be the responsibility of the resident. During the second and third years of the program the resident will be working in their emphasis area , which will require considerable off campus effort. Transportation and lodging for these efforts will be the responsibility of the resident.

Program Reviews

At the beginning of the program a committee is assigned to oversee the training program of the resident and to handle any problems that arise. The committee is composed of the program mentors and 2 additional faculty members. The resident is evaluated informally by the mentors quarterly and formally by the entire committee and faculty each 6 months, with written reviews filed in the offices of the Department Head of DOCS and the Associate Dean for Veterinary Medical Services. Progression to the second an third years are dependent upon favorable progress reports during the first and second years respectively.

This residency participates in the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians’ (AAVC) Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program (VIRMP) when a position is available.

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Information for International Applicants

Preference is given to applicants who have graduated from a college that is 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 TOFEL exam to qualify for a 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 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.