Veterinary Residency Program

Lincoln Park Zoo’s three-year residency is a post-graduate veterinary medicine program of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited animal care in an urban setting. The program is consistent with the expectations of both the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) and European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) and is supervised by a diplomate of these colleges.

More Information

The residency is supported by two full-time veterinarians, three veterinary technicians, and a ZooMed support intern. Through clinical training and literature review, the resident gains first-hand experience in zoo medicine and becomes eligible for ACZM and ECZM certification.

Lincoln Park Zoo is home to approximately 800 animals representing nearly 200 individual species, including hoofed animals, megavertebrates, marine mammals, carnivores, non-human primates, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. During the program, the resident conducts veterinary procedures under supervision from staff veterinarians. Increasing independence in these roles is expected with each year, such that the resident graduates with knowledge expected of an associate veterinarian.

In addition to clinical medicine, the resident has opportunities to focus on nutrition, departmental procedural coordination, animal shipment and quarantine procedures, and habitat design. Pathology is coordinated through on-site participation with necropsies conducted by the University of Illinois Zoological Pathology program, which provides specialty (American College of Veterinary Pathologists ) service to aquarium and zoological institutions based in Chicago and across the U.S. Lincoln Park Zoo’s consulting team includes veterinary and medical consultants across many disciplines and specialties, including advanced imaging, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, nephrology, neurology, obstetrics-gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pulmonary, surgery, trauma, and urology.

Per ACZM and ECZM guidelines, the resident completes investigations for publications as part of their board certification. Veterinary mentors develop these projects and oversee their historic or prospective case documentation, as well as the resident’s participation in ongoing conservation and science projects supported by Lincoln Park Zoo.

The resident also guides veterinary students during their preceptorship rotations and participates in teaching and presentation opportunities at the zoo. Graduate courses in biostatistics, investigation techniques, and public health are also part of the curriculum, with pursuit of a graduate degree available 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.

Lincoln Park Zoo will fund the resident’s attendance at the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, or a similar national conference, at least once during their program, as well as one-time attendance of the ACZM preparatory course. The program’s conference rotation includes an international zoological exchange to introduce the resident to non–U.S.-based zoological veterinary medicine and procedure. Conference presentations or posters will be expected during the residency.

Applying

Openings

The position starts in mid-July every three years, with applications taken the preceding fall by a date posted by that 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.

Requirements

Applicants must hold a D.V.M. from an American Veterinary Medical Association-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.