Veterinary Internship and Master’s Degree in Aquatic Animal Health

Organization: Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo and the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine
Location: Tampa, FL, us
Job or Internship: Internship

The University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine (UF-CVM) and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo (TLPZ) have developed a two-year post-DVM training opportunity which combines clinical training in zoological and aquatic medicine with graduate study in manatee health and conservation. The program requires a two-year commitment with a starting date of January 2, 2014. Upon completion of the training, the incumbent will have two years of clinical training in zoological and aquatic medicine (24 hrs/week) from TLPZ and a Master of Science degree from the University of Florida. It is expected that the trainee will produce at least one scientific publication each year, including original research related to graduate study. Research findings will be presented at a national scientific meeting. The incumbent will be expected to present at least one lecture per year in one of the aquatic animal health program courses and may have an opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for one on-line course if desired.

The trainee will serve as a clinical intern and work under the supervision of veterinarians at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for a maximum of 24 hours per week. Job responsibilities at TLPZ include:

  • Providing professional medical care and oversight of the husbandry care and well-being of the animal collection. 
  • Helping to implement and maintain the minimum standards of veterinary care as required by the Animal Welfare Act and APHIS-USDA.
  • Will be expected to develop to become proficient enough to provide a full range of medical care for the collection in the absence of the Senior Veterinarian/Medical Science Director and or the Associate Veterinarian. 
  • Assist in the management of the long term preventative medicine program to include parasite surveillance procedures and control, immunization, infectious diseases screening such as using serology and tuberculosis testing, and dental prophylaxis, birth control, humane euthanasia standards and regular physical examinations.
  • Assist in overseeing the quarantine program to include clinical and laboratory tests for disease.
  • Regularly maintains and updates the medical records (MedArks) including diagnosis, prescribed treatment and medications, and other relevant data.
  • Assists in monitoring disease prevalence within the collection.
  • Implements and monitors approved collection diets to assure that nutritional requirements are being met.
  • In concert with the Medical Science Director and Associate Veterinarian, implements animal and husbandry sanitation protocols including review of products.
  • Assists and performs necropsies on animals in the collection as to cause of death, disease surveillance, and SSP/TAG requirements.
  • Assists in writing grant applications, researches and publishes articles in both scientific and popular publication and promotes public education through lectures.
  • Develop knowledge of veterinary procedures and practices with collection specimens, exotic animals, and wild animals and technical expertise to apply those practices.
  • Develop knowledge of guidelines established by standard veterinary medicine procedures; specialized veterinary medicine procedure such as AZA, AAZV, APHIS-USDA.
  • Acquire experience in applied biology, unique anatomy, special physiology, social structure and reproduction of a wide variety of wild animals.
  • Experience and expertise in drugs used in wild animals, their use and safe handling including ultra-potent narcotics; also the various dart systems used to administer the drugs.

Simultaneously, the trainee will pursue a master of science degree through mentorship from faculty in UF’s aquatic animal health program. The graduate research component of this program will focus on a defined aspect of manatee health.  For the 2014-2016 program, the emphasis of study will be coagulation disorders and the potential role these may have in cold stress syndrome (CSS) of the Florida manatee.  

As a graduate student at the University of Florida, the trainee will be required to complete requirements for the Master of Science degree. This includes 30 credit hours of graduate course work, some of which may be transferrable from prior veterinary education. Although it is expected that most course work may be completed without travel to main campus, the successful incumbent must be able to travel to Gainesville (approximately 2 hrs away) as needed for course work and to support research activity. The trainee is expected to fulfill the requirements of the Master of Science degree by Dec 2016, with proper support from his or her mentoring committee.

The trainee is also expected to participate in the University of Florida Aquatic Animal Health program’s extensive teaching and public outreach programs.   

Basic Qualifications: A DVM or equivalent degree is required.  A minimum of one year clinical experience, either in private practice or clinical internship is required.  Demonstrated research experience and a demonstrated track record in publication of research or clinical reports is highly desirable. Candidates with demonstrated clinical proficiency with non-domestic species will be viewed favorably. The ability to work well with UF and LPZ personnel is essential.    

How to Apply: How to Apply: Interested persons are requested to dually apply to the University of Florida and Lowry Park Zoo.  For the University of Florida, please send application materials to Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd, Search Committee Chair, Dept of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, PO Box 100136, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0126; phone 386-643-8904, e-mail:  Materials include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and contact information (names, addresses, and email and telephone numbers) for three professional references from whom recommendations may be requested. All of the above must be post-marked by November 1, 2013, to be considered for initial screening. The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Lowry Park Zoo applications must be submitted online at the Lowry Park Zoo website at under “Veterinary Internship and Master’s Degree in Aquatic Animal Health”.  Only online applications will be accepted at Lowry Park Zoo. The search committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to review applications until an appointment is made.