University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine residents and fellows influence global specialty care

Michael Coleman School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Tom Hinds School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Jamie M. Burkitt-Creedon School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Amandine Lejeune School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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Florence Soares-Dabalos School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

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The University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is known for being a pioneering institution, including in specialty training. In 1970, the school opened the nation’s first dedicated veterinary teaching hospital in order to create a center of advanced veterinary training and care.

Today, the school’s house officer program remains the world’s largest, boasting 133 trainees in 39 specialty disciplines. Residents undertaking 3-year programs comprise the majority of participants. The 112 residents serve in areas from equine surgery to ophthalmology to dairy production medicine, learning from boarded specialists while practicing on caseloads intensive enough to provide advanced training. In addition, some herd health residencies also provide the opportunity to earn a Master’s of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degree.

The school also presents opportunities to sub-specialize through specialty internships and fellowships in a wide variety of areas, from equine integrative sports medicine to oncology clinical trials to marine mammal medicine and pathology. The largest subspecialty is small animal emergency medicine.

All of these specialties are possible due to the faculty team, access to state-of-the-art procedures, robust referral case load and highly dedicated clients. In addition, the school has multiple locations of which the teaching hospital in Davis, California continues to be the primary hub. The school acts as an approved national training center for accredited specialties—for example, the school is 1 of 4 authorized American College of Veterinary Surgeons–approved Fellowship Training Centers in joint replacement surgery.

The school also supports scientific and clinical discovery as part of its house officer program. In March, the 44th Gerald V. Ling Veterinary Intern and Resident Research Symposium presented an annual opportunity for house officers to summarize their efforts to test new diagnostic methods or therapies, advance understanding of a disease, or develop new approaches to treatment.

The house officer program is global, drawing participants from 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 44 other countries. After trainees spend 2 to 4 years in their programs, they are positioned to pass rigorous specialty board certification processes, after which many of them return to their home countries to practice.

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University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Mark Stetter, DVM, DACZM (center-right, seated) with Co-Directors of House Officer Affairs Jamie M. Burkitt-Creedon, DVM, DACVECC and Amandine Lejeune, DVM, DACVIM (far right, standing) and 41 of the 133 house officers currently training at University of California-Davis. Photo credit: Vu Dao, University of California-Davis

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 261, 5; 10.2460/javma.23.03.0136

Today, as the school celebrates its 75th anniversary, it continues to evolve the program. In recognition of the importance of health and wellbeing, the House Officer Wellness (HOW) program launched in the fall of 2021 through support of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. HOW offers individual wellness support with an onsite client support and wellness professional, who helps house officers develop personalized goals in stress management, self-care, and wellbeing.

Once house officers finish their programs, they have an outsized impact on veterinary medicine. They forge new approaches to care, save lives that might not otherwise be saved, and train other veterinarians across the world. UC Davis is proud of its pioneering and ongoing contribution to specialty training.

UC Davis Veterinary Medicine

School Profile

Founded 1948 – Celebrating 75th anniversary

Total students (DVM and graduate): 700+

Total house officers: 133

Caseload: 50,000+

Annual research funding: $89 million

Student endowment: $100+ million

Annual philanthropic support: $62 million

  • University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Mark Stetter, DVM, DACZM (center-right, seated) with Co-Directors of House Officer Affairs Jamie M. Burkitt-Creedon, DVM, DACVECC and Amandine Lejeune, DVM, DACVIM (far right, standing) and 41 of the 133 house officers currently training at University of California-Davis. Photo credit: Vu Dao, University of California-Davis

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