The Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences offers a three-year residency training program in Small Animal Surgery.  The program is designed to meet all the requirements of a surgical residency program as outlined by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). The surgery resident should refer to the ACVS website to become familiar with these requirements. These can change on a year-to-year basis.


  • Formal training and clinical experience in the discipline of small animal surgery.
  • Experience in the field of laboratory and/or clinical research.
  • Experience in didactic and clinical teaching.
  • A surgical education that will help prepare them for the certifying examination of the ACVS.

The Program

The Resident and his/her adviser may select one of two programs:

General – four quarters in Soft Tissue and four quarters in Orthopedics

Specific – five quarters in Soft Tissue or Orthopedics and three in the other



Clinical rotations for the surgery residents are constructed in the spring of each year. The residents rotate through the various services on the following schedule:  Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sept, Oct-Dec.  Surgery residents are assigned to the Soft Tissue, Orthopedic, and Emergency Surgery services based on individual resident's requests (in conjunction with adviser) and the need to ensure full resident coverage on these services.

Elective rotations in other services (neurology, cardiology, internal medicine, oncology surgery, etc.) to fulfill ACVS requirements are scheduled as requested when possible. Residents may elect additional rotations in the various areas of small animal surgery based on their interests, but they must ensure that minimum requirements with regard to case numbers as set by ACVS are met.


The surgery residents are expected to assist in the teaching of the students on the clinical rotations.  This includes case evaluation and work-up, patient management, and surgical technique. The residents are expected to take an active part in rounds that are offered on the rotation.

Surgery residents are required to assist in the teaching of the student surgical laboratories. The chief surgery resident is responsible for scheduling the residents for these laboratories.

Didactic lecture opportunities are available and can be arranged between the resident and the faculty member(s) teaching that particular course.

Research and Publication

Surgery residents are required to undertake and complete a research project during their program. Publication requirements are: two manuscripts completed and ready for submission to a refereed journal by the end of the three-year program. ACVS publication requirements must be met by the end of the resident's program.

Seminars and Rounds

Regular attendance and presentation at seminars and rounds is required. It is also mandated by ACVS. The following opportunities currently exist for the surgery residents:

  1. Surgery resident rounds
  2. Journal club
  3. Textbook review sessions
  4. Radiology rounds
  5. Resident seminar


It is the surgery residents' responsibility to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the ACVS website. The resident must make sure that all the necessary forms (including the surgery log) are correctly filled out, verified, and submitted to ACVS in a timely fashion. Failure to do this could seriously jeopardize the residents' program and standing with ACVS.  These tasks are completed online.

The Program Director and resident's advisor should be consulted to ensure that all ACVS requirements are being met.