Small Animal Internal Medicine Residency

The University of Florida offers a 3-year residency program in small animal internal medicine to prepare talented veterinarians for a career in academic veterinary medicine or specialty practice.  Emphasis is placed on clinical medicine, teaching, and clinical research. Over the past 20 years, the program has a 100% success rate of candidates passing their board exams (92% on the first try) and achieving Diplomate status.

Clinical Medicine

The Small Animal Medicine referral service operates a two-team system with a faculty member and a resident on each team. An intern may also be assigned to one or both teams. Teams see cases every other day with workups, ECC transfers, consultations, and teaching on the non-receiving days.  We have a separate Primary Care service providing wellness-care, so referral cases make up a majority of the internal medicine caseload. Emergency cases, including those seen after-hours are seen by the ECC service, which is staffed by interns and ECC residents, and supervised by the critical care clinicians. Internal Medicine residents participate in daytime triage for 2 weeks during the first year.  The internal medicine residents also provide back-up medical consultation for the emergency clinicians and are on call for after-hours endoscopy (usually foreign body retrieval).

Residents spend the majority of their residency on the internal medicine service.  Additional required rotations include cardiology, neurology, oncology, nutrition, emergency/critical care, radiology including ultrasound, and clinical pathology.  Elective rotations may be chosen from other services within the hospital (anesthesia, ophthalmology, dermatology, pathology, zoological medicine, integrative medicine) or out-rotations at referral hospitals, other colleges, or human hospitals.

The University of Florida Veterinary Hospitals (UFVH) house state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment including endoscopy, laparoscopy, holmium-YAG laser, argon plasma coagulator, ultrasonography, CT, MRI, nuclear scintigraphy, fluoroscopy and an on-site linear accelerator. Unique strengths in therapy at the UFVMC include minimally-invasive cardiology, nuclear medicine, stereotactic radiation therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, hemodialysis, and laser lithotripsy. Additionally, the Imaging-Guided Interventional Service, a collaborative group of internists, surgeons, cardiologists and radiologists, performs an increasing number of interventional procedures and has collaborative ties with interventionalists from the UF Health Shands Medical Center. The Small Animal Hospital has a state-of-the-art interventional radiology suite that is used for a wide variety of minimally invasive procedures including tracheal, urethral and ureteral stenting, cystoscopic laser ablation of ectopic ureters and embolization of vascular anomalies to name a few.  Well trained animal nurses function around the clock to provide excellent patient care in the intensive care unit and progressive care ward. The UF Health Shands Medical Center is located a short walk from the UFVH, and provides a rich resource of collaborative and research opportunities as well as a large medical library. The Small Animal Internal Medicine Service is staffed by faculty with diverse interests including urology/nephrology, gastroenterology, nutrition, endocrinology, critical care, feline medicine, hematology, infectious diseases and minimally invasive techniques.


Teaching skills are developed in the clinic, in lectures prepared for the Residents’ Seminar Series, in didactic lectures given to veterinary students, and in student laboratories.  The resident seminar series is presented weekly and is designed to provide residents an opportunity to review and present scientific material.  Each resident will present one seminar yearly.  The topic must be chosen at least 3 months in advance to allow ample time to prepare for this seminar.

Additional organized rounds and seminars in support of the resident clinical and teaching programs include daily small animal medicine rounds, daily house officer rounds, tri-monthly small animal medicine journal club, weekly Medicine Seminars, monthly morbidity and mortality rounds, monthly pathology rounds as well as other seminars and rounds presented by other departments and at the UF Health Shands Medical Center when time allows. 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.


All residents at the UFVH are required to complete a research project in the biological sciences.  The form of such projects is highly variable but all involve a literature search, with subsequent development of a hypothesis and appropriate methodology to address the specific aims, and submission of a grant proposal. First year residents attend a 2-week Resident Research Training Program to help them learn to develop a research question of interest and prepare a research protocol for evaluation and feedback. Residents present their projects with results and conclusions to the faculty and at a national meeting.  A manuscript reporting the results of the project must be submitted to a refereed journal for successful completion of the program. Time for completion of the research project is scheduled during “off-clinic” weeks.  One or two additional manuscripts are also required, but these may take the form of a review article, case report, or other format not requiring traditional research. A candidate may choose to replace one of the additional manuscripts with two lectures in the Medicine Seminars series. Financial support is available to assist with costs associated with travel to a national meeting and for miscellaneous academic expenses.

For additional information about this specific program, please email Dr. Kirsten Cooke (

Resident Selection Procedure

Residents are recruited from internship programs or private practices. A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree or equivalent is a prerequisite. Small Animal Medicine faculty and residents evaluate the application pool and final selection of the resident is done via the Veterinary Intern/Resident Matching Program (VIRMP).

Selection will be based on:

  • VIRMP Application
  • Veterinary School Official Transcript from University Registrar
  • Personal Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 3 – 4 Standardized Letters of Reference from faculty members acquainted with the applicant’s clinical skills during internship or equivalent clinical training.