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Surgery Residency

Objectives of the Residency Program in Surgery

Surgery residents hold appointments as Veterinary Clinical Associates or 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. The clinical service assignments and educational programs are established to meet, and in most cases exceed, the minimum requirements for residency training programs as outlined by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). 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 surgery are as follows:

  • Provide the resident with the opportunity to become proficient in advanced diagnostic methods, and the management of small animal surgical conditions.
  • Permit the resident to satisfy the requirements for board certification set forth by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). It is the resident’s responsibility to be familiar with the most current ACVS requirements; and to ensure they meet those requirements and submit all required forms during the 4-year program.
  • 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, laboratories, publications).
  • Introduce the resident to research by facilitating completion and publication of the resident's mandatory research project.
  • Prepare the resident to flourish in the practice of surgery in the private sector or the academic setting, or to pursue further advanced training.

Individual Resident Advisor

Resident Advisor

Within 90 days of beginning the residency, the resident shall choose a small animal surgery faculty member to be his/her Residency Advisor. The resident’s choice of an advisor must be acceptable to the Program Director and the Surgery Residency Committee.

Responsibilities of Residency Advisor

  • File “Registration of Resident Advisor” (ACVS form 1b) with the ACVS and provide a copy to the resident, who must keep it on file in order to submit to the ACVS with the Credentials Application.
  • 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 Resident Advisor near the start of the program to begin developing his/her individual residency plan.
  • Supervise completion of scheduled requirements according to guidelines established by the Surgery Residency Committee.
  • 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 Surgery Residency Committee conducts its evaluations twice yearly.
  • On these occasions, the Resident Advisor also will inform the Surgery Residency Committee about the resident's progress.
  • The Resident Advisor will approve the resident’s ACVS log items (surgery cases, activity weeks, seminars, specialty rotations) and complete Semi-Annual Performance Reviews online (verifying resident rounds attendance and satisfactory program progression) no later than February 1st and August 1st each year.

Responsibilities of ACVS Program Director

  • Submit a “Program Director’s Statement” (ACVS form 1a) to the ACVS office within 30 days of the start of the resident’s program, along with a matriculation fee. (The resident will receive a copy of the Program Director’s Statement”, and must keep it on file in order to submit it with the Credentials Application.) After the form and fee have been received by the ACVS, the resident will have access to the Resident Training Log.
  • Ensure the resident has a Resident Advisor, and help them develop a training plan.
  • Verify the online ACVS Semi-Annual Performance Review, which has been approved by the Resident Advisor, no later than February 1st and August 1st.
  • Initiate program completion in the ACVS Resident Training Log at the end of the residency.
  • Submit yearly ACVS Residency Training Program Registration.

Responsibilities of the Head of Department and Section Chiefs

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

Graduate Program

The resident will complete a thesis-based Master of Science degree during the 4-year residency program. The first year of the residency program is nonclinical and is devoted to participation in Master’s level coursework and research. The Master’s course work will continue into the second year, with completion of the degree at the end of the second year. Clinical surgery training will also begin in the second year, with the third and fourth years being strictly devoted to clinical training.

Surgery Residency Program

Goals, Related Objectives and Requirements

This 4-year program combines an advanced clinical training program with a Masters degree, to educate the resident in the art and science of small animal surgery.

The resident is required to register with the ACVS at the beginning of his/her training program (ACVS form 1c “Statement of Compliance”). The ACVS website is http://www.acvs.org/ . The teaching hospital will pay the ACVS matriculation fee, but the resident must submit the appropriate documentation to the ACVS at the start of their program.

Clinic service. At least 110 weeks of the 208-week program will be spent on a surgical service (orthopedic, soft tissue, or neurologic) under the direction of an ACVS or ACVIM/Neurology diplomate. In-depth training in patient evaluation, diagnostic evaluation, therapeutic techniques, and overall surgical management of patients will be combined with experience in understanding fee structures and developing client and referring veterinarian relationships.

Rounds participation. Residents are required to participate in surgery residents’ case rounds, which are held biweekly (every two weeks). Residents also participate in daily student rounds, whenever assigned to a clinical service. Participation in scientific journal club and other rounds is also encouraged.

Research and publication. The resident will complete a research project or clinical investigation, which will result in a first-author publication that follows a scientific approach. The manuscript should be submitted to a publication on the ACVS Approved Journals List. The manuscript must be fully accepted for publication prior to August 1 in the year that credentials are submitted to ACVS.

Seminars. Presentation of six distinctly different seminars during the program is required by ACVS. This is to provide the resident with exposure to a broad variety of surgically related subjects, and to give the resident experience giving a formal scientific presentation followed by a discussion period in a public forum. Lectures to students suffice, provided the lecture is attended and critiqued by faculty. Unsupervised lectures and case presentations do not qualify for ACVS seminar requirements. Seminars may not include multiple presentations of the same topic or lecture. Attendance and participation in the departmental Faculty-Intern-Resident Seminar Program is required. Participation in this program will enable the resident to present at least 3 of the 6 seminars required by ACVS.

Clinical teaching. The resident is required to participate in the clinical education of graduate veterinarians and veterinary medical students assigned to the surgical service rotations.

Didactic teaching. During the first year, the resident will assist in the instruction of graduate level anatomy and neuroanatomy in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences. Participation in didactic and laboratory instruction of students in the professional curriculum may be required during the remaining three years of the residency program

Resident evaluation. The resident's progress and formal evaluation will be assessed by meeting with the Resident Advisor at least twice yearly throughout the 4-year program. This is typically done together with the Surgery Residency Committee. Continuation of the residency is contingent on the resident's satisfactory evaluation by the Surgery Residency Committee. If the resident is deemed to have minimally acceptable performance, the resident will continue the program on probation, and ACVS will be notified of this probationary status. At the subsequent review, a decision will be made whether the resident may continue in the program.

Appointment

The academic rank of the resident will be Veterinary Resident Instructor.

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 (VSCS), 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.

A Texas Veterinary license is required. A "special" license can be obtained by taking a short jurisprudence test during initial orientation. The cost of the annual license is paid for by the teaching hospital.

Some discretionary dollars are available on an annual basis for residents to use for the purchase of books or attendance of meetings.

Certification of Completion of Program

A certificate of completion of the residency program will be presented to the resident upon successful completion of the 4-year surgery residency. A certificate will not be given for partial completion of a 4-year program or if the resident project is incomplete or unsatisfactory.

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 surgery as outlined by the ACVS.

Residents are required to participate in the emergency services provided by the Small Animal Hospital. The emergency surgery duty schedule will be assigned by the Head Resident using a rotating schedule. Although every effort will be made to make emergency duty assignments as fair as possible, variations in assignments may be necessary to facilitate the function of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Residents are expected to present at least 3 seminars in the departmental Intern-Resident Seminar Series over the course of the 4-year program. Presentations in the hospital-wide morbidity and mortality rounds may also be required.

Residents must complete a basic research project or clinical investigation, using the scientific method. If funding is required, the resident is expected to seek outside funding for the research project with guidance provided by the Resident Advisor or the faculty member supervising the project.

During the first year, the resident will assist in the instruction of graduate level anatomy and neuroanatomy in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences. During the last three years, the resident is required to participate in daily student rounds and to help in the clinical instruction of third and fourth year veterinary students. The resident is also required to participate in the clinical education of interns assigned to the surgical service rotations. The resident will be expected to assist in didactic and laboratory instruction of students in the professional curriculum, but will not have major teaching responsibilities for any didactic course during the clinical portion of the residency.

Coursework for the Master’s degree will be concentrated in the 1st year of the residency, although some courses will be taken during the 2nd year.

The resident is responsible for understanding the requirements of their program and completing all required forms, based on the ACVS Residency Program Guidelines for the year in which the residency begins. This document can be found in the Residents section of the ACVS web site (www.acvs.org).

Service Rotation and Educational Program

First-Year Resident in Surgery

  • The resident must submit Statement of Compliance (ACVS form 1c) to the ACVS office within 30 days of the start of the program.
  • The resident should receive a completed copy of the “Program Director’s Statement” (ACVS form 1a) from the Program Director within 30 days of the start of the program, and the resident should keep this form on file for the Credentials Application. The resident will not have access to Resident Training Log until the Program Director has submitted this form to the ACVS along with a matriculation fee, which is paid by the department.
  • The resident must identify a Resident Advisor within the first three months. The resident should receive a completed copy of the “Registration of Resident Advisor” (ACVS form 1b) from the Resident Advisor within the first 3 months of the start of the program, and the resident should keep this form on file for future submission with the Credentials Application.
  • The Resident Advisor and resident should meet at the beginning of the program to formulate a plan that ensures the Masters degree and ACVS requirements will be met within the 4-year program.
  • A proposed schedule should be made for completion of the Master’s degree coursework.
  • The Resident Advisor and resident should meet regularly to discuss goals and assess progress for coursework and research.
  • Year 1 resident has no clinical duty assignments.
  • The resident will participate in didactic teaching of lectures and laboratories as assigned.
  • The resident must begin documentation of training using the web-based ACVS Resident Training Log. Items to be submitted include activity weeks, seminars, and supervisors. All items must be approved by the Resident Advisor and verified by the Program Director by February 1st and August 1st.

Second-Year Resident in Surgery

  • The Resident Advisor and resident should meet at the beginning of the year to review the plan for completing the Masters degree by the end of year 2 and the ACVS requirements by the end of year 4.
  • A proposed schedule should be reviewed for completion of the specialty rotations on anesthesia, pathology, medicine/emergency critical care, and diagnostic imaging. It is recommended that two weeks of off-clinic time include a specialty rotation in anesthesia during the second year. Pathology can be difficult to schedule, so should be planned well in advance.
  • The program plan should include a time line for presenting 6 different seminars during the program. It is recommended that 2 seminars be presented during each of the last 3 years.
  • The Year 2 resident is typically assigned to 40 weeks of surgery rotations and 8 weeks off-clinics. (Four weeks of off-clinic time are generally scheduled during the last half of the 2nd year.) The remaining 4 weeks occur during the winter and spring holidays, and will be assigned based on the needs of the hospital. Requests for specific clinic rotations or off-clinic time (for research, out-rotations, professional meeting, or vacation), should be requested as soon as these preferences are known.
  • The resident will participate in clinical service, emergency duty, teaching, rounds and seminars, as previously described.
  • The resident will participate in the departmental Faculty-Intern-Resident Seminar Program. No more than 2 major presentations will be required of a resident during the 2nd year.
  • The resident will participate in clinical and didactic teaching of veterinary student rounds, lectures and laboratories as requested.
  • The resident must document training using the web-based ACVS Resident Training Log. Items to be submitted include surgery cases, activity weeks, seminars, specialty service rotations, and supervisors. All items must be approved by the Resident Advisor and verified by the Program Director by February 1st and August 1st.

Third-Year Resident in Surgery

  • The Resident Advisor and resident should assess progress of research and specialty rotations, and schedule the best use of the off-clinic time for the remainder of the residency. The off-clinic time will be scheduled to meet the needs of the resident and the department by the best available compromise. The Resident Advisor and resident should meet at the beginning and end of each off-clinic period to discuss goals and assess progress for those weeks.
  • The Year 3 resident is typically assigned to 36 weeks of surgery rotations and 12 weeks off-clinics. (Four weeks of off-clinic time are generally scheduled during the last half of the 2nd year.) The remaining 4 weeks occur during the winter and spring holidays, and will be assigned based on the needs of the hospital. Requests for specific clinic rotations or off-clinic time (for research, out-rotations, professional meeting, or vacation), should be requested as soon as these preferences are known.
  • The resident will participate in clinical service, emergency duty, teaching, rounds and seminars, as previously described.
  • Attendance at continuing education courses related to veterinary surgery is highly recommended. In general, the third year resident(s) will be assigned to clinical duty during the ACVS Symposium. This may be subject to change. However, every effort will be made to allow each resident to attend ACVS twice during the four-year program, with emphasis on attendance during the fourth year.
  • The resident will participate in the departmental Faculty-Intern-Resident Seminar Program.
  • The resident will participate in clinical and didactic teaching of veterinary student rounds, lectures and laboratories as requested.
  • The resident will maintain the ACVS Resident Training Log. All items must be approved by the Resident Advisor and verified by the Program Director by February 1st and August 1st.

Fourth-Year Resident in Surgery

  • The Year 4 resident is typically assigned to 40 weeks of surgery rotations and 8 weeks off-clinics. Four of the off-clinic weeks occur during the winter and spring holidays, and will be assigned based on the needs of the hospital. Requests for specific clinic rotations or off-clinic time (for research, out-rotations, professional meeting, or vacation), should be requested as soon as these preferences are known. The off-clinic time may not be taken during the last 8 weeks of the year without approval of the Surgery Residency Committee.
  • The resident may be placed in charge of a clinical surgical service and student group (with supervision by an ACVS diplomate) for up to 8 weeks (with mutual agreement of the resident, his/her advisor, and the Surgery Residency Committee).
  • The resident will participate in clinical service, emergency duty, teaching, rounds and seminars, as previously described.
  • Attendance at continuing education courses related to veterinary surgery is highly recommended. Every effort will be made to allow the fourth year resident to attend the ACVS Symposium.
  • Continue with research project and publication preparation. All data analysis for the research project should be completed by December 1st, and manuscript preparation should be started. Research projects should be written in final form for submission to a refereed journal by February 1st. The manuscript must be accepted by an approved journal prior to August 1st. Satisfactory completion of a research project is required for residency certification.
  • The resident will participate in the departmental Faculty-Intern-Resident Seminar Program. The resident should present his/her completed research in a departmental or surgery section seminar by June 1st.
  • The resident will participate in clinical and didactic teaching of veterinary student rounds, lectures and laboratories as requested.
  • The resident will maintain the ACVS Resident Training Log. All items must be approved by the Resident Advisor and verified by the Program Director by February 1st and August 1st.
  • Read updated ACVS Credentials Application Guidelines, which are usually available in March.
  • Application to take the ACVS certifying examination is due by August 1st. The resident should plan in advance to get necessary signatures and review, as some faculty may not be available in July.