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Internship/Residency U of G, Zoo Atlanta, G Aq

Address (City, Street, State/Province, Zip)
2200 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602, USA

Primary Contact
STEPHEN J. DIVERS (UGA), Sam Rivera (ZA), Michelle Davis (GA)

Primary Contact Email, Phone

Number of Positions Available
typically one every year, occasionally two.

Matching Program?

On what date will this position next be available?
generally every year (see

Application Deadline

Application should include
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact and/or visit UGA/GA for further information ( Alternatively, representatives from UGA, ZA and GA are usually present at the Annual Meetings of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, Association of Avian Veterinarians, Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, and Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians. To apply please contact the matching program at

Experience Required
Candidates must be fluent in written and spoken English, and foreign applicants whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores obtained within the previous 2 years. All applicants must be licensed to practice veterinary medicine in their country of origin, and priority is given to those candidates that fulfill the following: 1) Completion of a 1-year small, large or mixed animal rotating internship is preferred (or 2-3 years of practice experience in domestic animal, exotic, zoo and/or aquatic animal medicine). General clinical competency is essential. 2) Excellent academic record with previous research experience and veterinary publications. (Submission of a class rank helps in the evaluation of non-US veterinary graduates). 3) Previous veterinary experience in the US with a reference from the supervising veterinarian (e.g. externships at US veterinary hospitals, zoos, aquaria, or private practices). An externship at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Zoo Atlanta, and/or the Georgia Aquarium can often be arranged. 4) This is a demanding program and applicants need excellent organizational and interpersonal skills - demonstrable collegiality and ability to work as part of a clinical team are essential.

Accept International Applicants

The current salary stipends (2016-2017) are 1st year - $30,450.00, 2nd year - $31,451.00, and 3rd year - $32,528.00 and 4th year $32,528.00, with annual modest increases in line with inflation. The next open position will be advertised through VIRMP in September 2018, with a start date of July 15th 2019. Additional housing benefit is provided for the two years in Atlanta. Residents at the University of Georgia are classified as graduate students, and thus for the purpose of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program are not considered to be full time employees. Please consider this information if you plan to participate in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness or other loan repayment programs.

Length of Commitment/Start Date
Typically 4 years (for residency with Masters), occasionally we offer a 3 year program (without Masters)

Program Description
The Zoological Medicine service of the Department of Small Animal Medicine & Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia (UGA), Zoo Atlanta (ZA), and the Georgia Aquarium (GA) offer a 4-year graduate program which includes a residency (which is compliant with both the American and European [Zoo Health Management] Colleges of Zoological Medicine) and a Masters degree (MS) in Comparative Biomedical Sciences (zoological medicine). Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult and websites for detailed information on residency requirements. This is a demanding program that necessitates dedication, enthusiasm, clinical competency, and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. First year graduate students matched through the VIRMP are invited into the program with advancement to the 2nd and subsequent years dependent upon satisfactory progress. In the event that the graduate student is not retained after the first year, he/she will be awarded a certificate of specialty internship. Individuals completing this program will have attained a broad clinical base for future involvement in a variety of nondomestic animal practices including zoos, aquaria, wildlife parks, research institutions, universities, and exotic pet referral practices. An original, hypothesis-driven research project is required, as is publication of a MINIMUM of 5 peer reviewed journal manuscripts by 1st March of the final (4th) year. At least 3 publications must stem from program activities. Limited (intramural) funds are available for research, but grant submission for extramural grants is encouraged under faculty mentorship. The aim is for residents to complete all publication requirements by the end of the 3rd year, with non-hospital time dedicated to study during the 4th year. It is anticipated that graduating residents will sit for the ACZM or ECZM examination within 12 months of program completion. In Sept 2018, both 3 year and 4 year programs will be advertised through the VIRMP with start dates of July 15th 2019. First and Second Years at UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital The first and second years are spent in the Zoological Medicine service within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the College of Veterinary Medicine, under the supervision of Drs Stephen Divers and Jörg Mayer (both Diplomates of the European and American Colleges of Zoological Medicine). The clinical work includes animals presented to the hospital as well as field activities at a variety of local collections including Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail and Sandy Creek Nature Reserve. The current annual hospital and field caseload is approx. 1000 cases, and is composed of 9% reptiles, 45% avian, 45% mammals, and 1% amphibians/fish/inverts. Approximately 80% of the caseload is represented by privately owned zoological companion animals, 15% native wildlife, and 5% zoo/aquarium animals. The UGA Teaching Hospital is a new $100m, state-of-the-art, tertiary referral center and is well equipped with dedicated avian, herp, small mammal, and wildlife hospitalization facilities; digital radiography, fluoroscopy, ultrasonography, 64 slice CT, nuclear scintigraphy, 3T and 7T MRI; chemotherapy and linear accelerator; flexible and rigid diagnostic and surgical endoscopy; microsurgery, radiosurgery, Nd-YAG, diode and CO2 lasers; qualified pharmacists and large pharmacy; and access to other specialists in all major disciplines. In addition, there is a fully accredited clinical pathology lab on site and a state-licensed diagnostic lab on campus. The second year resident is given primary responsibility of the Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail (cervids, felids, rodents, raptors, marsupials, mustelids, bears, alligators, snakes, turtles, amphibians, and invertebrates) and Sandy Creek Nature Reserve (freshwater and marine fish, snakes including venomous species, turtles including loggerhead sea turtles, invertebrates). The moderate caseload allows the residents to plan their own immobilizations and preventative health programs with faculty guidance. During the first year, 6 weeks of non-clinical time is provided for graduate classes, conference attendance, other rotations/externships, research, and writing. During the second year this allocation increases to 9 weeks. Additional specialist rotations, either within the College of Veterinary Medicine (e.g. anesthesia, clinical pathology, pathology, surgery, internal medicine, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care), The University of Georgia (e.g. Ecology, Wildlife) or at regional zoological institutions, under ACZM diplomate supervision are also possible. The residency period at UGA emphasizes clinical training in the principles of zoological medicine and surgery. In addition to a supervising on-clinic faculty, the residents are aided by two certified technicians, 2-3 veterinary assistants, and 2-5 senior veterinary students on 3-week elective rotations. Specialists from all disciplines are available for consultation and an extensive support infrastructure, typical of a veterinary college, is available. The residents are encouraged to attend and present at a national or international conference every year, as well as attend lectures or seminars in the College of Veterinary Medicine or on the university campus. The resident will be responsible for (1) participating in the daily activities of the zoological medicine service of the hospital including primary case responsibilities and clinical case rounds; (2) participating in regular visits to Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail, and Sandy Creek Nature Reserve; (3) providing assistance in instruction and supervision of veterinary students assigned to the zoological rotation; (4) providing emergency weekend and night-time back-up for zoological species admitted by the small animal emergency interns (each resident is on call 50% of the time with faculty support); (5) presenting one 45-minute seminar to the College each year and active participation in zoological journal club and didactic rounds. Clinical case rounds are held at least once, and generally twice a day and a DACZM is always on site. During these first 2 years the house officer will choose 3 credit hours (in addition to their clinical hours) from a selection of graduate level courses in order to fulfill the requirements for a MS degree. Many courses are available and can be used to suit specific student interests (e.g. infectious diseases, pathology, population health, statistics, experimental study design, conservation, etc). Third Year at Zoo Atlanta The Zoo Atlanta animal collection will provide the resident exposure to a wide range of zoological species. The resident will work directly with Drs. Sam Rivera, Kate Leach, and Hayley Murphy. Drs Rivera and Murphy are adjunct faculty at the UGA CVM. Dr Rivera (Diplomate of the European and American Colleges of Zoological Medicine) will be the primary resident supervisor and in charge of ensuring the resident completes the task assigned in preparation for ACZM board certification. The resident will have daily rounds of the ongoing cases with the attending veterinarians and will play an active role in the management of clinical cases at the zoo. Ten hours a week will be spent researching giant panda clinical data for publications. The resident will also participate in topic discussions/journal reviews once a week. The resident will be responsible for providing clinical veterinary care of the Zoo Atlanta animal collection focusing on surgery, anesthesia, emergency response, preventative health care, medical case management, and critical care. Teaching veterinary and veterinary technician students is expected. The resident will participate in training of veterinary staff in emergency chemical immobilization procedures and will participate in the training / on the job education of technicians, assistants, interns, volunteers, and other staff members assigned tasks related to animal health care including but not limited to, the animal hospital, medications, animal handling and restraint, anesthesia, husbandry and emergency preparedness. The resident will participate in the development and implementation of standard operating procedures for animal health care. The resident will be expected to maintain animal health records up to AZA, AAZV and USDA standards. The resident will be expected to assist in providing veterinary advice in all veterinary care related issues at Zoo Atlanta and/or outside agencies when requested. The resident is expected to maintain a close working relationship with veterinary technicians and consult with appropriate curators, when needed, in the daily assessment and planning of medical care for all collection animals. The resident will help to make sure all quarantine requirements for animals are met in the appropriate timeframe. Additionally, the resident will interact with zoo keepers and curators to ensure animal health care is proceeding as planned; participate in emergency procedures; participate in implementing changes in animal care as related to animal health maintenance of individual animals; participate and develop standard operating procedures for animal health care;. participate in necropsy assessments and pathology on any dead animals at ZA; provide guidance and instruction to zoo hospital staff and animal care staff on safe handling of animals, hazardous materials, drugs etc. when you are the attending veterinarian. Fourth Year at The Georgia Aquarium The fourth year of the program is spent at The Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health at the Georgia Aquarium. The resident will work directly with Drs Michelle Davis, Tonya Clauss, Greg Bossart (Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine),Alexa McDermott Delaune, and Chelsea Anderson. Dr Davis (Diplomate of the European and American Colleges of Zoological Medicine) will be the primary resident supervisor ensuring the resident completes the task assigned in preparation for ACZM board certification. Working at the aquarium provides a unique opportunity to gain experience in the field of aquatic animal medicine at one of the largest AZA-accredited aquariums in the world. The Center encompasses clinical medicine, animal nutrition and gross pathology. The Animal Health staff consists of 5 clinical veterinarians, 2 pathologists, 1 nutritionist, an Animal Health Coordinator and 4 veterinary technicians. The GA has a state of the art veterinary hospital with equipment comparable to that found at a teaching hospital and provides veterinary and preventive health care for a collection consisting of aquatic mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, elasmobranch and teleost fish and invertebrates. The resident will assist the Center’s staff with daily operations and clinical care for a wide variety of taxa. The resident will be responsible for performing diagnostic procedures and administering treatments in addition to assisting with the maintenance of clinical records, daily case rounds and implementation of a program of preventative medicine. The resident will also have the opportunity to assist with cases at the two Georgia Aquarium satellite facilities, the Animal Care Facility in Atlanta and Marineland Dolphin Adventure in Marineland, Florida. The opportunity may also arise for the resident to participate in off site scientific field studies or other research endeavors as research collaborations exist with the Avian and Wildlife Laboratory, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida and the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Ft. Pierce, Florida.

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