Program Description

The Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences offers a 3 year residency program (starting approximately July 15th and ending approximately July 14th of the final year) in small animal internal medicine to prepare veterinarians for a career in academic veterinary medicine or specialty practice. Emphasis is placed on clinical medicine, clinical teaching and research in preparation for board examinations. Progression to the next year of the residency program is contingent upon completion of the goals for the previous year.

  1. Clinical Medicine 

    The Small Animal Medicine referral clinic operates 2 separate medicine services with one faculty member and one resident on each service. Services see cases every other weekday, with non-receiving clinic days reserved for case work-up and teaching. Residents take primary responsibility for inpatients and outpatients within the team concept. Residents follow a cycle of roughly 4 to 5 weeks “on-clinic” duty in the Small Animal Internal Medicine Service then approximately 2 weeks “off clinic” duty. During “off-clinic” weeks, required rotations include anesthesiology, emergency medicine, neurology, ophthalmology and radiology. External rotations at other Universities or referral practices are also encouraged (but not required) to broaden resident experience and expertise. Elective rotations in other specialty services are also possible including, focused experience in radiology, anatomic pathology, cardiology, clinical pathology, dermatology and oncology. Elective rotations are suited to meet the individual resident needs and interests. In addition, a time-table for completion of the residency program and a skills checklist for procedures and techniques required to be perfected during the residency are provided.

  2. Teaching

    • Resident Lecture Series. The resident lecture series is presented bi-weekly and is designed to provide residents an opportunity to review and to present scientific material. Each resident will present one seminar yearly. The topic should be chosen at least 3 months in advance to allow ample time to prepare for this seminar. The seminar must be presented to at least 2 faculty members at least one week prior to the actual presentation to allow time for critique of the material for these seminars. Ideally the resident may want to contact the editor of a journal before choosing a topic to see if the editor feels it will be of interest for publication in journals such as Compendium.
    • Additional organized rounds and seminars in support of the resident clinical and teaching programs include twice-daily Small Animal Medicine Rounds, Radiology – Pathology rounds, weekly Student Grand Rounds, weekly Clinical Pathology Rounds, weekly Small Animal Medicine Journal Club and Textbook Review Session, and biweekly Anatomic Pathology Rounds. The menu of rounds and seminars is tailored to assist residents in literature review and board preparation and to expose them to a broad range of clinical and academic experiences. 
  3. Teaching skills are developed in the clinic and in lectures prepared for fellow residents, faculty members, and veterinary students. Residents are invited to participate in the biweekly Resident Lecture Series as defined below. Faculty support and critique are provided. In addition, residents are involved in physical examination and diagnostic testing laboratories, and presentations at clinical problem conferences or didactic lectures to freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior veterinary students as approved by the residency committee members. 

  4. Research

  5. All residents at the Iowa State University Veterinary Medical Center are required to complete a research project. The form of such projects is highly variable and may include retrospective or prospective clinical or non-clinical studies. All projects involve a literature search, with subsequent development of a hypothesis and appropriate methodology to answer a scientific question. Residents present their projects with results and conclusions to the faculty in a formal atmosphere at a designated time in June of their second or third year. A limited amount of time for completion of the research project is scheduled during “off-clinic” weeks (a total of 20 weeks over the 3 year program is allotted for research and elective rotations).

    The project must be completed during the residency and ideally should be submitted for presentation at one of the annual ACVIM meetings or another national meeting. A manuscript on the project, suitable for publication, must be prepared and submitted to the medicine faculty; this manuscript may serve as one of the first or second author publications required for completion of the residency program. Funding from Service incentive monies (approximately $3,000.00) is available on a competitive basis in the Fall of each year for these residency research projects. Medicine residents generally compete for these funds by researching the literature and writing a proposal of their choice. These grant proposals are generally due in October and are evaluated and ranked by the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Research Committee and reviewed by the Small Animal Medicine faculty. The completion of this research project with a manuscript suitable for publication is mandatory. Failure to complete this will result in withholding of the residency certificate.

    Projects must obviously be realistic in terms of achievable goals and financial feasibility. Time necessary for completion of the project should be taken into account when planning rotations and schedules. Good planning done well in advance, is clearly critical. The project is intended to be an entry into the world of scientific investigation and is believed to lead to better trained residents who are equipped to make significant contributions to veterinary medicine.

  6. Graduate Degree Program
    A combined residency/graduate program leading to a Master of Science or Doctoral degree is currently available at Iowa State University. Those residents wishing to pursue a graduate degree should enroll in the graduate college in the Fall of their first year.

    A graduate committee should be identified within the first twelve months of the program. This committee should have at least two members of Veterinary Clinical Sciences faculty. Faculty members from other sections in the college and University may also serve as graduate committee members.

    Successful completion of each year of the residency will include documentation of appropriate progress being made in the graduate program. Residents that enroll in concurrent graduate programs will have a small reduction in their on clinic schedule time; however, emergency duty obligations will not differ from residents in non-graduate programs. Residents interested in this option need to organize their graduate studies such that they are compatible with the primary goal of preparing the candidate for board certification in internal medicine. The class schedule must be approved by the Resident Advisor and the Major Professor and the schedule should be submitted to all members of the Residency Committee prior to the onset of the semester.

    The resident will meet twice yearly with the Resident Advisor and Major Professor to review the progress of the graduate program and the impact of the graduate program on the residency. It is the responsibility of the resident to arrange these meetings, preferably in December and June.

Library and other Literature Resources

A wide selection of current journals is available in the library and online. Each resident is required to be familiar with pertinent articles in the current literature. Reasonable expenses for photocopying are defrayed by the Hospital.