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Oncology Residency

Objectives of the Residency Program in Oncology

Oncology residents hold appointments as Veterinary Resident Instructors. Residents are expected to provide patient care and teaching assistance in the clinical programs of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Faculty will make extensive efforts to provide an outstanding program, but the ultimate responsibility for value gained from the program lies with the resident.

The training objectives for residents in oncology are as follows:

  • Provide the resident with the opportunity to become proficient in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic methods in small animal oncology.
  • Permit the resident to satisfy the requirements for board certification set forth by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).
  • Prepare the resident to express clinical ideas and concepts to other members of the veterinary profession in a concise, professional manner (e.g., seminars, lectures).
  • Prepare the resident to flourish in the practice of small animal oncology in the private sector or the academic setting, or to pursue further advanced training.

Individual Resident Advisor

Resident Advisor

By October 1 of the 1st year, the resident shall choose a small animal oncology faculty member to be his/her Residency Advisor.

Responsibilities of Advisors

  • Ensure that the resident is aware of all requirements of the residency program and options that are available. The resident is expected to consult with his/her prospective advisor(s) within 30 days after the start of the program to begin developing his/her individual schedule.
  • Supervise completion of scheduled requirements according to guidelines established by the Medicine Residency Committee.
  • Suggest reading material to aid in preparation for the general and/or certifying board examinations.
  • Communicate appropriate feedback to the resident regarding his/her continued progress in the program. Although encouraged at other times as well, feedback to the resident will be provided each time the Medicine Residency Committee conducts its evaluations twice yearly. On these occasions, the resident's advisor also will inform the Medicine Residency Committee about the resident's progress.

Responsibilities of the Head of Department and Section Chiefs

Notify the resident of his/her assigned teaching responsibilities (i.e., laboratory instruction, didactic lectures, etc.).

Graduate Program

A graduate degree program to run concurrently with the residency is optional. A resident who wishes to simultaneously pursue a graduate degree should discuss available options with Dr. Deb Zoran.

Specific requirements of the graduate degree program are described in greater detail in the Texas A&M University Graduate Catalog.

Oncology Residency Program

Goals, Related Objectives and Requirements

  • Completion of a 3-year advanced clinical training program subject to formal evaluation, under supervision of board-certified individuals (internal medicine, cardiology, oncology, neurology, anesthesiology, radiology, nutrition, behavior, dermatology, emergency/critical care) designed to educate the resident in the art and science of the practice of oncology.
  • Preparation of the resident to qualify for examination and certification by the ACVIM. The resident is required to register with the Secretary-Treasurer of the ACVIM at the beginning of his/her training program (see ACVIM General Information Guide (GIG). The ACVIM website is http://www.acvim.org/ .
  • Completion of a resident project, submission of a written report on the project to the Medicine Residency Committee, and acceptance of the report by the committee.
  • In-depth training in patient evaluation, performance of diagnostic procedures, use of therapeutic techniques, and overall medical management of oncology patients will be combined with experience in developing client relationships, fee structure, instrumentation, radiographic interpretation, and clinical laboratory evaluation and a 1 per semester oral resident/intern seminar given.
  • Participation in didactic and laboratory instruction of students in the professional curriculum. The resident may be required or elect to help with laboratories in certain courses. This affords teaching experience as well as further professional development.
  • Participation in teaching of clinical medicine and patient management in the professional student program.
  • Learning to write and publish scientific papers. The resident is required to submit 1 manuscript for publication in a refereed journal. This paper is due to the resident's advisor and the Medicine Residency Committee by March 1 of the 2nd year
  • The resident must submit a written proposal for his/her residency project to the Medicine Residency Committee no later than March 1 of the 1st year. The committee will accept, modify or reject the proposal. The resident is required to satisfactorily present the completed research in a departmental or medicine section seminar by June 1 of the 3rd year and a manuscript should be submitted for publication by the end of the residency.
  • Residents may elect to take the ACVIM general examination either a) after 2 years of his/her residency program, or b) with the certifying examination after 3 years of the residency. If option (a) is chosen, application to take the general exam is due by October 1 of the 2nd year. Application to take the general and certifying exams or certifying exam alone (if the general exam has already been passed) is due by October 1 of the 3rd year. One publication accepted by a refereed journal is required before receiving diplomate status. (ACVIM)
  • Formal evaluation by the Section of Medicine will be done at least twice yearly each year of the 3-year program. The evaluation process will be conducted by the Medicine Residency Committee. The committee may require that minimal competence be demonstrated by the resident in various skills and procedures.

Salaries and Benefits

  • Salaries are determined annually by the Head of the Department. They are standard for all residents in the Department of Veterinary Small Animal Clinical Sciences, and currently salaries increase with each year of service.
  • Residents may participate in the University's medical-surgical insurance program.
  • All courtesies, such as athletic ticket purchases, use of university facilities, etc., are the same as for other faculty.

Certification of Completion of Program

A certificate of completion of the residency program will be presented to the resident upon successful completion of the 3-year medical residency. A certificate will not be given for partial completion of a 3-year program or if the resident project is incomplete or unsatisfactory. ACVIM bylaws require institutional certification of completion of the candidate's residency before an ACVIM diploma is granted.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The clinical service assignments and educational programs are established to meet, and in most cases exceed, the minimum requirements for residency training programs in the specialty of Oncology as outlined in the ACVIM GIG. (Refer to descriptions of individual years below).
  • Residents are required to participate in the provision of emergency services by the Small Animal Clinic. Emergency duty is assigned by the Head Resident using a rotation schedule that is approved by the faculty. Generally, emergency duty is distributed so that interns have more than residents, and 1st-year residents have more than 2nd-year, etc. Usually, third-year residents provide back-up emergency duty on a rotating schedule that is shared by the senior clinical faculty. However, variations in assignments may occur if necessary to facilitate the function of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
  • Participation in the departmental faculty-intern-resident seminar program is required. The seminar program consists of a variety of scheduled professional development activities (clinicopathologic conferences, seminars and group discussions) arranged by the Head Resident in conjunction with a Faculty Coordinator. In general, activities will be scheduled weekly.
  • Residents are expected to present at least 3 seminars in the departmental Intern-Resident Seminar Series over the course of the 3-year program. Details of the requirements can be obtained from the Chair of the Residency Committee.
  • Teaching. Residents will occasionally be expected to assist in didactic and laboratory instruction of students in the professional curriculum. They shall not head or have major teaching responsibilities for any course, elective, or didactic.
  • Participation in phone consultations with veterinarians/clients. Responsibility will increase as the program progresses.

Resident Advisor

By October 1 of the 1st year, the resident must choose an oncology faculty member to be his/her Residency Advisor. The resident's choice of an advisor shall be acceptable to the Chief of Medicine and the Medicine Residency Committee.

Service Rotation and Educational Program

First-Year Resident in Oncology

  • Clinical duty assignments: 11 blocks on and 1 block off; the off block to be scheduled in the last half of the year.
  • Registration with the secretary-treasurer of the ACVIM should be done by September 1 of the 1st year.
  • A research proposal seeking outside funding for a suitable project should be completed by March 1 of the 1st year. The proposal should be submitted to the resident's advisor, the Medicine Residency Committee, and the Departmental Research Advisory Council for review prior to submission.
  • A paper should be submitted for publication in a refereed journal by May 1 of the 1st year. A final copy of the manuscript should be submitted to the resident's advisor and the Medicine Residency Committee for review.
  • Faculty-intern-resident Seminar Program Participation
    • The Head Resident and Faculty Coordinator for this program will schedule and assign responsibility for activities within this program. No more than one major presentation will be required of an individual during the 1st year.
    • Participation in the departmental program is required. In addition, attending seminars and conferences held by other units of the college (e.g., radiology, necropsy, pathology, clinical pathology, physiology, etc.) is encouraged.
  • Service Rounds - Daily rounds of assigned clinical service

Second-Year Resident in Oncology

  • Clinical duty assignments: 9 blocks on and 3 blocks off; the off blocks to be scheduled to meet the needs of the resident and the department by the best available compromise. The resident may be placed in charge of a clinical service and student group (under guidance of a senior clinician) for 1 of his/her on blocks (with mutual agreement of the resident, his/her advisor, and the Medicine Residency Committee).
  • The final plan for the resident project should be established by August 1 of the 2nd year. In general, the tasks associated with collection of original data (e.g., animal studies, analysis of specimens, etc.) for the resident's research project should be completed during the 2nd year (before July 1 of the 3rd year).
  • The 2nd-year resident may apply to take the ACVIM general examination following 2 years of his/her residency program. If this option is chosen, application to the ACVIM is due by October 1 of the 2nd year.
  • Participation in Intern-Resident seminars, clinical rounds, teaching assignments, and emergency duty will continue as described in other portions of this document.

Third-Year Resident in Oncology

  • Clinical duty assignments: 9 blocks on and 3 blocks off; the off blocks to be scheduled to meet the needs of the resident and the department by the best available compromise. The resident may be placed in charge of a clinical service and student group (under guidance of a senior clinician) for up to 2 of his/her "on" blocks (with mutual agreement of the resident, his/her advisor, and the Medicine Residency Committee).
  • Application to take the ACVIM certifying examination (or general and certifying examination) is due by October 1 of the 3rd year.
  • The following guidelines are strongly encouraged. All data analysis for the research project should be completed by December 1 of the final year, and manuscript preparation should be started. Research projects should be written in final form for submission to a refereed journal by June 1 of the 3rd year
  • Participation in Intern-Resident seminars, clinical rounds, teaching assignments, and emergency duty will continue as described in other portions of this document.