Residency Program

Lincoln Park Zoo’s three-year veterinary residency focuses on exotic animal medicine in an urban zoo setting.

A Three-Year Learning Experience in Exotic Animal Medicine

Lincoln Park Zoo’s three-year veterinary residency focuses on exotic animal medicine in an urban zoo setting. The program is consistent with the requirements of both the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) and European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) and supervised by a Diplomate of these Colleges.

The residency is supported by two full-time veterinarians, three veterinary technicians and a ZooMed support intern. The clinical training and literature review is designed to prepare the resident as competent in zoo medicine and, by completion, to be eligible for ACZM and ECZM certification.

Lincoln Park Zoo’s roughly 1,000 animal collection represents more than 200 individual species, including hoofed animals, megavertebrates, marine mammals, large carnivores, non-human primates, herptiles, birds, fish and invertebrates. During the program, the resident is supervised during their responsibilities for veterinary procedures and record maintenance throughout the collection. Increasing independence in these roles is expected with each year completed.

With advancing program status, the resident will additionally focus on nutrition, departmental procedural coordination, shipment and quarantine procedures, and exhibit design. Pathology is coordinated through on-site participation with necropsies conducted by the University of Illinois Zoological Pathology program, which provides ACVP service to aquarium and zoological institutions based in Chicago. Multiple veterinary and medical consultants are part of the consulting team for the program, including advanced imaging, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, neurology, obstetrics-gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pulmonary, trauma and urology.                                             

Per ACZM and ECZM guidelines, the resident will have scholarly opportunities to complete original research for board certification. Construction of grants for such projects will also be mentored. Four additional publications will be expected that utilize historic and prospective case availability or are concurrent with ongoing conservation and science projects supported by the institution.

The resident will guide veterinary students during their preceptorship rotations and participate in teaching and presentation opportunities at the institution. The resident will complete a graduate biostatistics course. Other advanced academic courses or pursuit of a graduate degree will be considered for interested residents.

Routine journal and literature assessment are assigned and reviewed with mentor and staff veterinarians for board preparation. ACZM- and ECZM-required library inventory is maintained on site or through electronic subscriptions for resident studies.

The resident is funded to attend AAZV or a similar national conference at least once during their program and for one-time attendance of the ACZM preparatory course. Additionally, an international zoological exchange is incorporated into the conference rotation to introduce the resident to non–U.S. based zoological veterinary medicine and procedure. Conference presentations or posters will be expected during the residency.

The position starts in mid-July every three years, with the next opening in 2016 and applications taken the preceding fall by a date posted by September. Annual re-appointment for a maximum of three years will be based on annual performance. Residents will be employed by Lincoln Park Zoo with compensation and benefits provided in accordance with their position grade.

Applicants must hold a D.V.M. from an AVMA-accredited program and have minimally completed a one-year internship or equivalent practice experience. Licensure to practice or eligibility for licensure in Illinois is needed to apply, with full licensure required before beginning the residency. Queries can be made to Kathryn C. Gamble D.V.M., M.S., Dipl. ACZM, Dipl. ECZM (ZHM) at Applications should include a letter of intent, application form (available at, curriculum vitae, original veterinary school transcripts and three letters of reference. All application materials are to be sent to and must be complete by application deadline for consideration.