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Residency Available at Smithsonian National Zoological Park


Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park Residency

Address (City, Street, State/Province, Zip)

3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20008

Primary Contact

Jessica Siegal-Willott and Tamie DeWitt

Primary Contact Email, Phone


Number of Positions Available


Matching Program?


On what date will this position next be available?

July 16, 2018

Application Deadline

December 2, 2017

Application should include

Cover letter explaining your interest in zoological/wildlife/conservation medicine. It should mention relevant experience, career goals, your reasons for applying to this residency program, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Curriculum vitae 3 letters of reference Veterinary college official transcript For international applicants: TOEFL exam completion date and score, as well as ability to obtain working VISA by start of residency program. • Applications must be submitted by December 2, 2017 for the July 2018 – August 2021 time period. • Applicants will be notified of acceptance or rejection for the position prior to the VIRMP withdrawal deadline. • Start date will be July 16, 2018. To apply, go to: Select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here" and complete the information to create an account.

Experience Required

• A degree in veterinary medicine from an accredited school of veterinary medicine. • Preferably at least one year of clinical practice experience (internship or other). • Previous zoo or wildlife experience. • International applicants must have appropriate VISA and TOEFL test completed by time of residency program start date in addition to above requirements. 

Accept International Applicants



This is a non-federal (trust) position, supported by the Smithsonian Trust. Annual funding is $39,000, plus benefits.

Length of Commitment/Start Date

This is a three-year, accredited residency program. The second and third years are contingent upon successful completion of the first year. Positions are available from mid-July of the first year, through the first of August of the third year. One candidate is selected every three years.• Applications must be submitted by December 2, 2017 for the July 2018 – August 2021 time period. 

Program Description

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park is offering a three-year zoological medicine residency program, accredited by the American College of Zoological Medicine. It provides the resident with exposure to NZP’s diverse collection of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and fish, consisting of over 2300 individual animals, representing over 400 species. The residency is based primarily at the Rock Creek campus in Washington, DC, but includes time at the Front Royal campus in Virginia. The primary goal of the program is to train post-graduate veterinarians in the specialty of Zoological Medicine, meeting or exceeding the standards established by the ACZM. Residents are expected to develop and complete an independent research project as the primary author (under the guidance of an ACZM mentor), with publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Residents are expected to work 5 days per week, which may include weekend days, as well as some holidays. Residents are trust employees of the Smithsonian Institution, and are considered emergency personnel. LEARNING OBJECTIVES/DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Major objectives include: • Prepare for a career in Zoological medicine, with ability to credential for the ACZM board examination by the third year of the program. • Development of skills necessary for independent clinical management of zoological species in both captive and free-ranging settings. • Development of skills necessary for independent management and implementation of one or more hospital programs related to animal health in the zoological setting (examples include: preventative health; quarantine; preshipment; routine fecal examinations, etc). • Development and refinement of skills for communication and presentation of material to zoo staff, professional colleagues, and program mentors, including daily hospital and case rounds to veterinarians and curators, as well as weekly grand rounds with veterinary team members. • Understanding and adhering to laws and regulations governing care and shipment of zoological animals. • Familiarization with the biological, nutritional, behavioral, and physiological characteristics of zoological and wildlife animals. • Familiarization with the disciplines essential to practicing zoological medicine, including comparative pathology, nutrition, toxicology, behavior, captive animal husbandry, and exhibit design. • Knowledge of the primary and secondary literature specific to zoological, aquatic, and wildlife animals, with pertinent literature review in preparation for active or pending clinical cases and immobilization procedures. • Development of skills necessary for design and completion of investigative research, with dissemination of findings in peer-reviewed literature. • Proficiency with remote drug delivery systems and capture equipment, anesthetic agents, and immobilization protocols. • Indirect supervision and direct mentorship of 4th year veterinary student preceptors. • Organization of resident rounds and journal club, including presentation of relevant literature (approved by ACZM diplomate), and inviting and coordinating with resident, intern, and other veterinary colleagues in the surrounding area. • Presentation of clinical or research cases at the annual conference of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. • Proficiency with relevant electronic medical record system. • Proficiency in performing gross post-mortem examinations in zoo and aquarium species, and interpreting final diagnosis based on histopathology examinations. • Completion of formal coursework in fish / aquatic animal medicine. • Completion of internal rotations with the departments of Reproductive Sciences, Pathology, and Nutrition. • Develop and implement a study plan in preparation for the ACZM board examination. Minor Objectives: • Identify clinical problems encountered with free-ranging and captive zoological animals, and utilize collective resources necessary / available in the diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic approach. • Development of skills necessary to write and secure grants for research project funding. • Completion of specialized rotations at other facilities to further the candidate’s knowledge and/or skill set relevant to zoological medicine. • Attend the ACZM short or ultrashort course, pending timing and funding availability. • Participation in a field project, pending ACZM Residency Committee approval, timing, and funding availability. 

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