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Small Animal Surgery Residency

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 |


  • Develop comprehensive, state-of-the-art expertise and clinical proficiency in small animal surgery
  • Satisfy the criteria necessary to qualify for Board Certification
  • 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

Soft Tissue Surgery Faculty

  • Dr. Mary A. McLoughlin, DVM, MS, DACVS
  • Dr. Vincent Wavreille, DMV, MS, MRCVS
  • Dr. Laura Selmic, BVetMed(Hons), MPH, DACVS-SA, DECVS, MRCVS

Orthopedic Surgery Faculty

  • Dr. Jonathan Dyce, MA, VetMB, MRCVS, DSAO, DACVS
  • Dr. Nina Kieves, DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR, CCRT
  • Dr. Stephen Jones, MVB, MS
  • Dr. Audrey Wanstrath, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA
  • Dr. Selena Tinga, DVM, PhD, DACVS-SA

Clinical Instructor Faculty

  • Dr. James Howard, DVM, MS

Current Residents​

  • Elizabeth Hoffman, DVM (July 2016 - July 2019)
  • Brittney Johnson, DVM (July 2016 - July 2019)
  • Amy Zide, DVM (July 2016 - July 2019)
  • Brian Dent, DVM (July 2017-July 2020)
  • Alexandra Kalamaras, DVM (July 2017-July 2020)
  • Sarah Salyer, DVM (July 2017-July 2020)
  • Crystal Doyle, DVM (July 2018-July 2021)
  • Geoffrey Zann, DVM (July 2018-July 2021)


  • Mary Ross, RVT (Team lead SAS)
  • Kristie Brush, RVT
  • Michelle Gilliam, RVT
  • Mat Kerzee, RVT
  • Kim McKenzie, RVT

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Prerequisites and Applications

  • All potential residents must meet the minimum requirements and qualifications (see Residency Program HandbookCVM Graduate Program Handbook and Graduate School Handbook.
  • Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. the Ohio State University 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.
  • Applicants must be graduates of an AVMA-recognized College or School of Veterinary Medicine and have completed a one-year rotating internship or acceptable equivalent clinical experience.
  • All requirements must be met to hold and maintain a limited license to practice Veterinary medicine in the State of Ohio – click here for information on licensure requirements.
  • Currently admission requirements include:
    • a minimum 3.0 GPA for all undergraduate coursework 
    • a minimum 3.0 GPA for professional (veterinary degree) studies;
    • a minimum 3.3 GPA for all graduate coursework;

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Employment and Benefits (see Residency 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 at the commencement of the residency program, all incoming residents participate in a comprehensive orientation program to introduce them to the department, college and university, to complete necessary documentation, and to facilitate integration into our program and activities.

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Advisors and Mentoring

Clinical advisor

Each resident is assigned a clinical advisor at the beginning of the program. The advisor can be changed according to the individual needs and interests of the resident.

Academic advisor

The program director will present research topics to the resident in order to identify and establish a principal academic advisor within the first three months of the program.

Masters committee

Once the specific area of research is selected, an Advisory committee will be formed 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 Masters defense. These committees must consist of at least 2 graduate faculty members.


Case management is carried out with the guidance and collaboration of experienced faculty who are recognized experts in their respective fields.

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Clinical Service Responsibilities

  • Program rotations are designed to ensure development of clinical competence in soft tissue, orthopedic and neurosurgical subspecialties.
  • Residents rotate every 4 weeks among the clinical services within the Section of Small Animal Surgery. Additional rotations through other clinical services may be arranged during the 3-year program.
  • Out-of-hours emergencies are received by the VMC Emergency service, comprised of rotating and specialty interns, and ECC residents and faculty. Surgery residents share an on-call schedule on evenings, weekends and holidays, and are expected to consult on and assume responsibility for the care of surgical patients received during this time. The resident designated to be the first responder will receive support from a predetermined senior resident and/or faculty surgeon.
  • 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 a large metropolitan area that provides a rich variety of case material as well as a referral base that includes Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Michigan. Case management is carried out with the guidance and collaboration of experienced faculty who are recognized experts in their respective fields. State-of-the-art equipment and facilities are available to develop technical expertise in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
  • Each resident is granted a minimum of 24 weeks ‘off clinic’ time during the three year program which should be primarily dedicated to completion of their graduate research project. Regular primary patient care responsibilities are not expected during this period however the resident may be assigned emergency duties, and is expected to be responsive to their established clients via phone or email in a timely manner. Refer to the Resident program guide for additional information regarding ‘off clinic’ blocks.
  • According to ACVS guidelines , at least 94 weeks of the 156-week program must be spent on a surgical service under the direction of an ACVS Diplomate.
  • Also according to ACVS guidelines, the degree of responsibility assumed by the resident shall be appropriate to the nature of the surgical procedure and training experience. The resident on a surgical service shall be responsible for:
    • Receiving clinic appointments and obtaining history and pertinent information from client
    • Supervising daily management of hospitalized animals
    • Participating in clinical teaching
    • Providing optimal clinical service and prompt professional communications
    • A minimum of 400 surgical procedures will be required in the small animal curriculum. These are subdivided into Core Curriculum Categories. Residents must perform a minimum number of procedures within each of these categories. These procedures are tracked using the Cases section of the Resident Training Log

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Teaching Responsibilities

  • Teaching responsibilities include clinical teaching of senior and junior veterinary students assigned to the residents ward or emergency service.
  • Residents must participate in teaching small animal surgery skills to junior veterinary students during laboratories (including ‘Introduction to Surgery’, and ‘Small Animal Operative Practice’ courses).
  • Interested residents will be given the opportunity to develop lecture skills by preparing and delivering selected formal classroom lectures to professional students.
  • In addition, according to ACVS guidelines:
  • Seminar Requirement: The resident must present a minimum of 6 different seminars during the program. Seminars may not include multiple presentations of the same topic or lecture. These seminars must be documented in the Resident Training Log.
  • Definition of Seminar: An oral scientific presentation that is followed by a discussion period.
    • Program Directors need to be sure that their residents do in-depth presentations to peer audiences.
    • Lectures to students that are supervised, attended and critiqued by faculty can be counted toward this requirement.
    • Unsupervised lectures, case rounds presentations, presentations to audiences consisting solely of veterinary students or reviews of single journal articles will not count towards this requirement.
  • Surgery Residents’ Rounds Presentations: The resident must regularly present cases at surgery residents’ rounds. The Resident Advisor must attest to the resident’s attendance at rounds on a weekly or bi-weekly (every two weeks) basis.
  • Clinical Teaching: The resident is required to participate in the clinical education of graduate veterinarians and/or veterinary medical students assigned to the surgical service rotations.

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Educational Opportunities

  • Numerous specialty seminars, conferences, and journal clubs are available to residents.
  • A required weekly case orientated conference provides an opportunity for residents to enrich their clinical problem-solving skills.
  • A comprehensive selection of graduate level courses in small animal surgery provides residents with relevant course material for partial fulfillment of the MS degree requirements.

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Graduate Program (see Residency Program and Graduate Program Handbooks) 

  • The residency requires concurrent enrollment in the Master of Science program, and all residents are expected to maintain their coursework without compromising clinical responsibilities. Senior faculty and other residents on the rotation will maintain flexibility in scheduling so as to accommodate the required coursework.
  • Residents in MS and PhD programs must successfully pass and complete 20 didactic graded credit hours of graduate courses and 10 non-didactic credit hours of graduate courses as a requirement for completion of their degree. Residents in MS programs must complete a minimum of 30 credits total. In the past, residents have fulfilled their didactic coursework requirements by the end of the 2nd year or early in the 3rd year of their programs.
  • Original research or clinical investigation leading to scholarly publications is required by the department. Significant research leading to an MS thesis is standard for residents. Residents in the MS program can request for the non-thesis option after arrival; Residents can request a transfer to the non-thesis MSc program up until the end of the spring semester of their second year of a three-year residency program. 
  • The college’s Council on Research reviews proposals and administers funds for research projects. Opportunities also are available to collaborate on extramurally funded research projects with faculty in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, or in other departments on campus including the College of Medicine.

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Research and Scholarly Activity

  • MS thesis or non-thesis research (see Residency Program and Graduate Program Handbooks)
  • Publication requirement: Each resident must submit at least one scholarly paper to a refereed journal prior to completion of the residency program. For specific guidelines for manuscripts that would meet ACVS credentialing requirements, please refer to the ACVS Resident information brochure
  • Residents in the graduate program are expected to prepare and submit their thesis research for publication, if a MS thesis is selected

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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 Program Handbook.
  • A formal resident evaluation form (as adopted by the Graduate Studies Committee) is completed, presented to the resident for discussion. Once finalized the evaluation is distributed to the resident, Department Chair, Section Head and the Graduate Studies Committee Chair as a matter of record.
  • ACVS Requirements: Residents must meet with their Resident Advisor at least twice a year for evaluation of performance and progress. The Resident Advisor must document this evaluation as part of the Semi-Annual Review section of the Resident Training Log. Residents should complete entry of all log items in the ACVS Resident Training Log prior to each semi-annual review.
  • The ACVS is responsible for: Evaluation of each resident's progress annually as documented in the Resident Training Log, and communication of deficiencies to the Program Director, Resident Advisor and resident. If there are deficiencies deemed to be significant to the Resident Credentialing Committee’s (RCC) ability to evaluate thoroughly a Resident’s progress, the resident may be required to correct and resubmit training items.

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Specialty College Requirements

  • Develop Residency plan (see ):
    • Must include 94 weeks ACVS Diplomate supervised clinics, 31 weeks Specialty Rotations.
    • Specialty service training – 80 hours in each required specialty (anesthesiology, radiology, pathology, internal medicine/critical care).
    • Identify Resident Advisor during first calendar semester.
    • Publication/research (Publication must be accepted by approved journal prior to August 1 of the year in which credentials are submitted.)
    • Review Core Curriculum (Forms 2-EQ, 2-LA, 2-SA)
  • Initiate and maintain documentation of training using the web-based Residency Training Log. Submit items for verification by the Resident Advisor or approval by the appropriate specialty board Diplomate:
    • Surgery cases
    • Activity weeks
    • Seminars
    • Specialty service rotations
    • Supervisors
  • File Registration of Resident Advisor (Form 1b) within the first calendar quarter. Retain copy.
  • Become familiar with candidate requirements for ACVS and with the General Information Guidelines of ACVIM (consult on the internet)

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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 ACVS board certifying examinations.
  • Residents are expected to take their board exams upon eligibility.

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

For more information, please contact the VCS Education Program Coordinator:
Chelsea Allen
(614) 688-0332


Updated 5/27/21