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Veterinary Resident Program Helps Address Shortage

Researcher working in a laboratoryTo help address a national shortage of veterinarians certified to work with laboratory animals, CDC has begun a new residency program in laboratory animal medicine that combines hands-on training with classroom work.


High-tech laboratories across the nation struggle to find experienced veterinarians who are qualified and interested in working in laboratory animal medicine. The problem is expected to get worse as the nation's government and academic institutions build more secure laboratories to research deadly and complex diseases.

Researcher working with a microscope

In an effort to fill this vital need and to help address the shortage of veterinarians certified to work with laboratory animals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun a residency program in laboratory animal medicine. One of about 40 such programs in the country, the CDC program combines classroom training with hands-on experience in CDC's most sophisticated high-containment laboratories to help prepare veterinarians for careers in biomedical research.

The two-year training program, which is a partnership between CDC and nearby Emory University's Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, began in July with its first two residents and is accepting applications through Dec. 1, 2008 for the 2009–2010 class.

The CDC program is unique in that it offers residents the opportunity to work closely with CDC scientists and to learn the skills necessary to work in high-containment labs, which is experience they can't get in many places. Residents will obtain more than 200 hours of academic coursework at Emory University, 2,000 hours of hands-on experience in CDC's lab facilities and mentoring for infectious disease research from a CDC scientist. Graduates of the program will be proficient not only in the day-to-day care and treatment of laboratory animals but also in working in high-containment laboratories (Biosafety Levels 3 and 4), designing scientific experiments, using animal models, and administering lab animal medicine programs. The program was accredited in June by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM). Individuals who successfully complete this program will meet the training requirements needed to take ACLAM's certifying examination. Trainees will work at CDC for at least two years following the program.

Who Is Eligible

Candidates for this program must:

  • Have earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree or the equivalent from an American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited veterinary school;
  • Be a US citizen or hold permanent residency status; and
  • Be eligible to obtain and maintain a US government security clearance.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended and a cover letter with a statement of career goals and aspirations, curriculum vitæ, and the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of three professional references.

For more information, contact Dr. Nathaniel Powell at The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348, 24 Hours/Every Day -

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