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Equine Emergency and Critical Care Residency

Introduction | Objectives | Faculty and Staff | Prerequisites and Applications | Employment and Benefits | Orientation | Advisors and Mentoring | Clinical Service Responsibilities | Teaching Responsibilities | Educational Opportunities | Graduate Program | Research and Scholarly Activity | Evaluations | Specialty College Requirements | Board Certification | Expectations |


The three-year Equine Emergency and Critical Care Residency Program at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine provides intensive training in the principles and practices of emergency and critical care medicine and surgery and an introduction to clinical research leading to a Master of Science degree. The Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) is a regional referral center with a diverse caseload offering residents a broad clinical education. Equine ECC residents interact with residents in Equine Internal Medicine and residents in Equine Surgery in sharing clinical duties. Residents are encouraged to work together and learn from each other. Faculty members in Equine Emergency and Critical Care are dedicated to providing strong leadership in a collegial, supportive environment. 

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  • Develop comprehensive, state-of-the-art expertise and clinical proficiency in equine emergency and critical care;
  • Satisfy the criteria necessary to qualify for Board Certification, and to prepare the resident for successful completion of the ACVECC Certification Examination;
  • Prepare for future career goals of teaching, clinical research, scientific publication, or specialized practice;
  • Attain the Master of Science degree in a specific area of research endeavor.

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Faculty and Staff


  • Margaret Mudge, VMD, DACVS, ACVECC
  • James Belknap, DVM, PhD, DACVS
  • Alicia Bertone, DVM, PhD, DACVS
  • Ramiro Toribio, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
  • Teresa Burns, DVM, MS, DACVIM


6 full-time and 3 part-time RVTs dedicated to the Large Animal ICU

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Prerequisites and Applications

  • All potential residents must meet the minimum requirements and qualifications as outlined in the Graduate Program Handbook of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Graduate School Handbook at The Ohio State University.
  • Currently admission requirements include:
    • a minimum 3.0 GPA during all undergraduate coursework
    • a minimum 3.0 GPA is required for professional (veterinary degree) studies;
    • a minimum 3.3 GPA for all graduate coursework;
    • submission of the results of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). GRE scores must have a verbal score higher than the 25th percentile and quantitative score higher than the 50th percentile. The GRE requirement may be waived for international veterinarians;
  • The residency in Equine ECC is a formalized program approved by the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care (ACVECC). As such, all residents must :
    • Be a graduate of an approved veterinary school or college.
    • Have completed a one-year internship or practice equivalency.
    • Be approved to practice veterinary medicine in a state of the United States of America, province of Canada, or country of citizenship.
    • Veterinarians who are Diplomates of allied specialties (ACVS, ACVIM, ACVA) will be considered for residency/fellowship
  • The Equine ECC faculty encourages potential applicants to either interview personally during an official visit to The Ohio State University or to complete a telephone interview with each faculty member.
  • Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. the Ohio State Unviersity cannot sponsor or process F, J, or H-1B visa applications for resident positions. We also cannot accept TN visas. Successful applicants must be available to report to The Ohio State University Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences no later than the scheduled beginning of the program.

Employment and Benefits (see Resident Program Handbook

  • Salary
  • Health insurance
  • Travel allowance
  • Personal + Professional days leave (from policy)
  • External consultation and employment
  • Licensure

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  • During the first week of the residency program, all incoming residents participate in a comprehensive orientation program to introduce them to the department, college and university, complete necessary documentation, and to facilitate integration into our program and activities.
  • Following the general orientation program for all residents, new residents will meet with the faculty to discuss and plan the initial few weeks and months of the first year of the residency.

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Advisors and Mentoring

Clinical advisors
The equine ECC faculty members will serve as clinical advisors.

Academic advisor
The principal academic advisor is decided once the area of research is decided.

Masters committee
Once the specific area of research is selected, an Advisory committee will be formed that will consist of the academic advisor, the ECC faculty and any other faculty members who may be able to provide advice in the development of a specific research project, during the project and to completion of the study. Typically, the Advisory committee serves as the Examination committee for the thesis  or non-thesis defense.

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Clinical Service Responsibilities

  • The ECC resident will be assigned to after-hours and daytime emergency/ICU services, and will complete a minimum of 72 weeks of immersion in ECC practice as per the ACVECC residency guidelines
  • Additional rotations in internal medicine, surgery, anesthesia, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, and ophthalmology will be scheduled. Diplomates of allied specialties may have some rotations waived if accepted into a fellowship program.
  • Clinical rotations facilitate development of clinical proficiency, clinical skills, and knowledge of surgery through exposure to a wide variety of cases at all levels of complexity. This goal is facilitated by location of the teaching hospital in Central Ohio that provides a rich variety of case material as well as a referral base that includes Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Michigan.
  • State-of-the-art equipment and facilities are available to develop technical expertise in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
  • Vacation time is currently a departmental and section privilege, is 10 working days per year and must be requested.  Vacation must be taken during the “off service” quarter and requires clinical advisor, research advisor and section head approval and a signed leave slip.  A conflict of the time requested with hospital needs may result in denial of the request.

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Teaching responsibilities

  • Teaching responsibilities include clinical teaching of senior veterinary students assigned to the emergency service.
  • Residents also participate in teaching technical skills to junior veterinary students during laboratories and will also be required to give a minimum of 6 hours of lecture.

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Educational Opportunities

  • Equine Research Group: A required monthly equine research group which enriches research exposure.
  • Other conferences and Journal Clubs are scheduled around the graduate course schedule. Equine ECC residents also participate in Journal Clubs and teaching rounds with the Small Animal ECC residents.
  • A comprehensive collection of graduate level courses in surgery provides residents with relevant course material for partial fulfillment of the MSc degree requirements and preparation for ACVECC board examination.

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Graduate Program

  • As part of their MS degree program, residents will complete 20 credit hours of didactic coursework and a minimum of 10 non-graded credit hours of coursework. 
  • Details of the formal requirements for completion of the MS degree can be found in the Graduate Program Handbook of the CVM.

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Research and Scholarly Activity

  • A research project will be planned and executed by the resident during the 3-year training period.  Guidance is provided in preparing a grant proposal to seek intra- and extramural funding. Residents will complete a significant piece of original research to meet requirements for obtaining their MS degree. The research is typically hypothesis-driven and may be clinical or laboratory-based depending on the selected area of study. The research will be completed and defended prior to completion of the 3-year training program, and granting of a residency certificate is dependent on successful completion of the MS degree.
  • Scientific presentations: The resident is encouraged to present the results of their research project during the annual IVECCS symposium. A poster abstract and presentation of the residents research is also made at the CVM Research Day in April each year. Finally, the Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences also requires each resident to present their research during a research seminar to the faculty in their senior year.
  • Publications: The resident must publish the findings of their research in at least 1 manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal. This is a requirement of the ACVECC Credentials committee and for completion of the MS degree.   

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  • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences: Formal Resident Performance Evaluations are completed by December 1st and June 1st each year. Details of the nature and structure of these evaluations can be found in the Residency Handbook
  • All residents and fellows must submit an annual progress report to the ACVECC resident training committee.

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Specialty College Requirements

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Board certification

  • We offer a comprehensive didactic and clinical training program that we believe provides excellent preparation for successful completion of the ACVECC board certifying examinations.  
  • It is anticipated that residents will take boards in the same year as the completion of their residency program.

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  • Service: Residents are expected to perform their duties as part of an integrated team effort to provide the best possible patient care, client service and instruction for veterinary students. We expect exemplary collegial behavior and a “can do” attitude.
  • What we expect of the resident:
    • Excellent judgment and uniformly ethical conduct. Excellent communication skills. Commitment to collegial behavior at all times.
    • Commitment to clinical service, hard work, long hours, weekends, and holidays when on service.
    • Commitment to teaching veterinary students, in clinics, in laboratories and in seminars. Residents on clinics must be readily available to students. Residents should respect student time, and be sensitive to student needs.
    • Practice clear and open communication with the faculty clinician on service. Decisions about cases should be made jointly. A decision to consult another specialist should be made in consultation with the faculty clinician.
    • Read widely in the relevant veterinary literature, so that assessments are well grounded in current best practices. Residents should be proficient a searching databases (Pubmed, CAB Abstracts, Medline, ISI, Vin, etc).
    • Timely completion of all aspects of the graduate program. Before July 15 of the third year of the program, residents will defend their Master’s project, and submit manuscripts developed from their research for peer review.
    • Seek assistance from faculty clinicians, faculty advisor, service head or the hospital director for resolution of all conflicts.
    • Adhere to the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy.
    • Seek advice and assistance from faculty clinicians on all cases. The residency is a training program, and, we look forward to providing mentoring whenever it is desirable.
  • What can residents expect of their mentors:
    • Dedication to making the residency program the best that it can be for each resident.
    • Availability for consultation and support whenever needed.
    • Regular, thoughtful, constructive feedback on academic and clinical performance.
    • Maintenance of the highest standard of clinical practice.

Click here to contact the VCS Resident Education Program Coordinator with Questions

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