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Residency Available at Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Smithsonian Institution National Zoological Park Residency

Address (City, Street, State/Province, Zip)
3001 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20008

Primary Contact
Jessica Siegal-Willott

Primary Contact Email, Phone; 202-633-2747

Number of Positions Available

Matching Program?

On what date will this position next be available?
July 2021

Application Deadline
December 2020

Application should include
Cover letter explaining interest in zoological/wildlife/conservation medicine. Should mention relevant experience, career goals, reasons for applying to this program, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Curriculum vitae. Three letters of recommendation. Veterinary college official transcript. 

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, aquarium, 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


Length of Commitment/Start Date
3 year program; Start July 2021

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 (ACZM). 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 designated time at the Front Royal campus, as well as three local participating institutions – The Maryland Zoo (MZ) and National Aquarium, Inc. (NAI) in Baltimore, and The Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) in Waynesboro, VA. The primary goal of the program is to train post-graduate veterinarians in the specialties of Zoological, Aquatic Animal, and Wildlife 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. Major objectives include: • Prepare for a career in Zoological/Wildlife/Aquatic animal medicine, with ability to credential for the ACZM board examination by the third year of the program. • Develop skills necessary for independent clinical management of zoological, aquarium, and wildlife species in both captive and free-ranging settings. • Develop an understanding of epidemiology and population medicine. • Develop skills necessary for independent management and implementation of one or more hospital programs related to animal health in the zoological, wildlife, and/or aquarium setting (examples include: preventative health; quarantine; preshipment; routine fecal examinations, etc). • Develop and refine 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. • Develop and refine skills for leadership roles within a zoological, wildlife, and/or aquarium setting and within the larger zoological/wildlife community. • Understand and adhere to laws and regulations governing care and shipment of zoological and wildlife animals. • Develop familiarization with the biological, nutritional, behavioral, and physiological characteristics of zoological, aquarium, and wildlife animals. • Develop familiarization with the disciplines essential to practicing zoological, aquarium, and wildlife medicine, including comparative pathology, nutrition, toxicology, behavior, captive animal husbandry, exhibit design, epidemiology, and population management. • Advance knowledge and understanding 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. • Develop skills necessary for design and completion of investigative research, with dissemination of findings in peer-reviewed literature. • Develop proficiency with remote drug delivery systems and capture equipment, anesthetic agents, and immobilization protocols. • Provide indirect supervision and direct mentorship of 4th year veterinary student preceptors. • Organize resident rounds and journal club amongst participating institutions and invited colleagues, including presentation of relevant literature (as approved by ACZM diplomate). • Presentation of clinical or research cases at the annual conference of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, Wildlife Disease Association, or International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine. • Develop proficiency with relevant electronic medical record systems. • Develop proficiency in performing gross post-mortem examinations in zoo, aquarium, and wildlife species, and interpreting final diagnosis based on histopathology examinations. • Complete formal coursework in fish / aquatic animal medicine. • Complete internal rotations with options including: Reproductive Sciences, Pathology, and Nutrition at NZP, and clinical veterinary medicine at Front Royal campus. • Develop and implement a study plan in preparation for the ACZM board examination. Minor Objectives May Include: • Identify clinical problems encountered with free-ranging and captive zoological and aquatic animals, and utilize collective resources necessary / available in the diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic approach. • Develop skills necessary to write and secure grants for research project funding. • Complete specialized rotations at other facilities to further the candidate’s knowledge and/or skill set relevant to zoological medicine. • Attend the ACZM ultrashort course, pending timing and funding availability. • Participate in a field project, pending ACZM Residency Committee approval, timing, and funding availability. 

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