Small Animal Surgery

The residency in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Melbourne’s U-Vet Hospital is designed to provide advanced clinical training in small animal surgery and clinical research skills.

Residents are immersed in a varied clinical small animal surgery caseload and allied disciplines in a 3-year program that is composed of clinical work and completion of two part-time Masters degrees. The Master of Veterinary Science (Clinical), MVSc is the research degree, and the Master of Veterinary Studies, MVS, is the clinical and coursework degree. This residency program provides a unique skill set which sets our graduates apart from other solely-clinical residency programs, and makes them uniquely qualified to pursue ongoing clinical research activities as well as becoming specialist surgeons.

Residents in Small Animal Surgery can choose certification of their Residency training program through either the Australia New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVSC) Chapter of Surgery (Fellowship), the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS). It is likely that we will be able to offer enrolment in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) Residency training program after June 2019.

There are currently 2 registered specialists in small animal surgery (1 ACVS Diplomate and 1 ECVS Diplomate) that lead the program. In addition to our Diplomates and residents, we have 1 full time residency trained faculty veterinarian who will sit ACVS Boards in February 2019, two general practice veterinarians and 4 full time nurses who complete the small animal surgery team. The surgery team is supported by an excellent central sterile supply team and dedicated surgical and patient nursing staff.

A large and varied caseload (predominantly canine and feline with a small number of exotic patients) provides ample opportunity to receive depth and breadth in surgical training across major surgical disciplines.

We have well established surgical theatres and infrastructure including: four dedicated surgical theatres and a large multi-table surgical teaching room, Trumpf surgical lighting with in-built cameras and monitors for surgical teaching, laparoscopy, arthroscopy and thoracoscopy instrumentation and expertise, total hip replacement, fracture fixation systems (DCP and locking plate and screws, interlocking nails, IMEX external fixator system), interventional radiology equipment and standard and specialized surgical instruments. We have access to a complete range of advanced diagnostic imaging including: digital radiography, ultrasonography, fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, nuclear scintigraphy and nuclear medicine that are used in our case management.

The residency program is structured to provide the 144 weeks of supervised clinical training that is required by the ANZCVSC / ACVS and ECVS Residency training programs. Over the course of the program, residents will spend a minimum of 72 weeks in small animal surgery, 35 weeks in Masters and independent study, 22 weeks in training-related disciplines. The balance of the time will be spent on additional surgery training, other external rotations and training in related disciplines (TRD), continuing education, and vacation.

This is achieved case management of clinical cases in the small animal surgery service under the direct and indirect supervision of the Faculty specialist surgeons. Advanced clinical training is achieved by resident surgery-specific cases rounds, research seminars, morbidity and mortality rounds, journal club and clinical research. Residents are integrally involved in teaching and assessing third and final year DVM students.

We are looking for a self-starting team player that demonstrates a vigorous pursuit of knowledge and intellectual curiosity and sound basic clinical surgical experience. 
Demonstration of advanced training through post graduate education or Membership of professional bodies by examination in small animal surgery or publication in peer reviewed journals is desirable.

Applicants must have a degree registrable with the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria. While we encourage international applications, those who are not permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand, are subject to full fee-paying status as research higher degree students for tuition in the Masters degrees. Residents are eligible for travel stipends, research start up funds, one week per annum continuing education & four weeks per annum vacation. Continuation in the program is based on satisfactory progress at each of regularly scheduled assessments.

More information on the program can be found at:

For more information please contact:

Dr Stewart Ryan

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