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Veterinary Students with Poultry Interest

Students at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine have the opportunity to pursue an interest in Poultry Health Management and Welfare during their education. Students who have an attraction to poultry medicine should use the following information as a framework to maximize their poultry experience during their four years of professional education and/or during their externships while visiting our campus.

Steps for NC State-CVM students to focus in poultry health management:

  • Identify faculty mentor.
FacultyPhone #OfficeE-mail
Dr. Isabel Gimeno919.513.6852CVM
Dr. Ravi KulkarniCVM
Dr. Rocio Crespo919.513.6254CVM
  • Students are encouraged to participate in Avian Pathology Rounds Wednesdays 10 a.m. to noon. Contact Oscar Fletcher for further information.
  • Students are also encouraged to participate in Poultry Health Management Rounds (CBS 682) offered on Mondays in the fall semester from 3-4pm. Contact Ravi Kulkarni for further information.

The following opportunities to focus your education on poultry-related experiences are available in the NC State-CVM curriculum:

Teaching Animal Unit Courses – VMP 916

The first year, students will gain experience in the management and care of turkeys and broiler chickens. Students will also gain experience in physical examination of normal poultry and assess normal activity of the animals. Normal production cycles and statistics will also be covered in the laboratory and lecture periods.

Teaching Animal Unit Courses – VMP 936

In the second year, students will gain experience in some of the more common diagnostic sampling procedures performed in poultry.

Teaching Animal Unit Courses – VMP 956

The first semester of the third year will expand the experience gained in the second year regarding diagnostic procedures. Students learn how to assess biosecurity and welfare, they also learn about vaccination and dose calculations. Basic necropsy techniques will be demonstrated.

Poultry/Swine Medicine – VMP 964

This is a required course for third-year students. Approximately half the semester is devoted to poultry diseases.

Avian Pathology Selective – VMP 991W

Introductory course in which the gross and microscopic appearance of normal tissues and tissues responding to injury from birds, including poultry, companion, captive and free-living species, will be studied. This selective can be taken more than once. Students must have taken Avian Pathology I to take Avian Pathology II.

Poultry Health Management Clinical Blocks – VMP 982 AND 983

Poultry Health Management I (VMF 982) is a clinical rotation for fourth-year veterinary students with an interest in poultry health management. Emphasis is on diseases of chickens and turkeys. Basic concepts of poultry disease prevention, treatment, and diagnostics will be emphasized. This block offers hands-on experiences with poultry in different settings including backyard, commercial and research.

Objectives of VMP 982 are:

  • Assess management practices in poultry farms.
  • Create differential diagnosis list based on the clinical signs and history.
  • Under supervision, design treatment protocols.
  • Communicate effectively with clients on poultry health issues.

Admission into Poultry Health Management II (VMF 983) is by permission only from the course coordinator. Students must have completed VMF 982 prior to taking VMF 983. The second block emphasis is on gaining more detailed experience working within the poultry industry. Frequently, students are working with adjunct faculty within poultry companies gaining firsthand experience.

Students interested in a career in poultry medicine are encouraged to take advantage of externship opportunities in commercial poultry production through VMP 983 or VMP 971. This experience is for students interested in continuing their education at the post-graduate level or interested in job opportunities after graduation.

American Association of Avian Pathologists sponsors a preceptorship program that provides students with financial assistance to cover externship expenses.

Other Experiences


Students may have the opportunity to work with specific Poultry Health Management Faculty on certain research projects during the academic year and/or in the summer months depending on availability of funding. Other opportunities exist to gain summer experiences with integrated poultry companies, depending on availability. They are reserved usually for students with a primary interest in poultry health management. Both turkey and broiler companies offer these opportunities for summer employment.