Small Animal Intern & Residency Programs

Committed to a well-rounded and distinct learning experience

The small animal internship and residency programs allow veterinarians to further enhance their skills in companion animal care. Participants train under board-certified clinicians who are leaders in their areas of specialty and gain valuable hands-on experience by helping care for patients that come in to the small animal side of our Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Our hospital handles more than 25,000 small animal visits per year, giving interns and residents exposure to a wide-variety of cases.

Rotating Internships

About the program

Participants in this program rotate throughout our hospital’s small animal services. It takes a year to complete and is a non-degree graduate program that leads to a recognized University certificate of internship. Our rotating internship program is a great fit for veterinarians wishing to perform an advanced level of private small animal practice, looking to enter a small animal residency program, or those wanting to develop greater clinical knowledge and skills prior to entering a research career in either industry, government, or graduate work.

How to apply

Interns are matched through the AAVC’s Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program. To view a complete program description and to apply, please visit

Rotating Internship FAQs

Do you hold interviews or recommend a site visit to UGA?

No. We do not offer interviews or informal site visits to applicants. Only information contained within the VIRMP application is considered for our intern selection. Candidates interested in gaining perspective on our hospital’s culture or getting a better understanding of what working as an intern at UGA would entail are encouraged to perform an externship at UGA.

How are the emergency rotations (day and night) structured? How many weeks does the intern spend on emergency?

General rotating interns spend 9 weeks on ER rotations (3 weeks of daytime, 6 weeks of overnights) thought the year. They also cover ER shifts from Saturday 7am through Sunday 7pm and holidays on a rotating basis divided between 10 interns.

Daytime ECC focused rotating interns spend 15 weeks on ER rotations (12 daytime, 3 overnight) throughout the year. They also cover ER shifts from Saturday 7am through Sunday 7pm and holidays on a rotating basis divided between 10 interns.

Daytime ECC rotation shifts are Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm. Overnight ER rotation shifts are Sunday through Friday from 7pm to 7am.

There are DACVECC Faculty and/or ECC house officers on-site 7-days a week, with ECC staff presence in the ER scheduled until midnight during the week to assist the interns working. Additionally, there is a well-established resident and faculty on-call support system for all specialty services available to interns at all times while on ER. Interns are required to call their specialty service backup for each case they see on ER for the first 6 months of the internship, but may continue to use the backup system as needed for the entirety of the program.

How many “other” rotations is the intern allowed to choose?

General rotating interns are given 6 weeks of electives (two 3-week blocks) per year. Electives can be taken through any hospital service, however it is recommended interns rotate through disciplines not already heavily represented (>3 weeks) in the core rotation schedule. These include cardiology, neurology, oncology, radiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, pathology, or a preapproval-required research block.

Daytime ECC focused rotating interns are given 9 weeks of electives (three 3-week blocks) per year. The same recommendations as to rotation selections apply as stated above.

Is there flexibility in terms of spending more time on a service of interest?

Yes! There is some flexibility in the required or core rotation schedule. Following match results the intern director will obtain preferences from the incoming intern class before assigning rotations to maximize exposure to each individual’s area of interest as much as possible. There is also the ability to select any hospital rotation for the 6-weeks of allowed elective time (or 9-weeks for ECC focused rotating interns).

The schedule is designed to allow residency-interested interns to obtain exposure to their area of interest prior to VIRMP match deadlines to ensure they can obtain letters of reference.

Is there time available to do a research project during the internship?

Yes, we encourage all of our interns to participate in research during their intern year and most if not all hospital faculty welcome the opportunity to work with interns on projects that can be completed within the 1-year program. Interns need to keep in mind, this is a clinical position focused at providing interns robust clinical exposure to maximize their learning. Therefore, time dedicated to performing research is most commonly accomplished beyond expected clinical duties (i.e. performed in evenings or on weekends).

Most of our previous interns have participated and/or completed projects that were able to be submitted for publication or a poster/abstract presentation prior to the end of their program. We try to pair interested interns with a research mentor shortly after matching with our program to begin brainstorming ideas for a project.

Is it possible to schedule time to go to professional conferences (e.g. VCS, ACVS, ACVIM, etc.) and visit potential residency programs?

Yes! Interns are given 10 vacation days over the internship year. Up to 72 hours of leave can be taken while on any service except while on the overnight ER rotation. Service schedule permitting, interns can use these days at any time, for personal or professional travel.

What special instruction (e.g. journal club or topic rounds) is provided for interns?

For the first 2 months of the internship, interns meet 3 days/week for didactic rounds covering topics meant to assist them on during emergency duty. For the remainder of the year, interns have rounds on Monday and Wednesday mornings with faculty and/or senior residents presenting topics or leading discussions relevant to their specialty. Intermittently throughout the year, these sessions will be an intern and faculty led journal club (typically each intern leads 2 journal club sessions/year).

A 1-hour, hospital wide, lecture series (Grand Rounds) occurs every Friday. Both large and small animal faculty and house officers attend. Lectures are given by residents and faculty.

Many services also hold various rounding activities throughout the week in order to fulfill residency requirements (i.e. specific journal clubs, book clubs, or topic rounds) and interns are welcome to attend as possible.

Are interns required/permitted to do any public speaking and/or teaching?

Interns are required to present a 20-30 minute seminar in an Intern Lecture Series during the last month of their program. Interns also play a large role in the daily clinical education of students when on the hospital floor and occasionally in student rounds. An interest and aptitude in teaching are highly valued by our program.

How much primary case responsibility are the interns able to have?

This varies from service to service, but in general interns are given primary case responsibility on most hospital services. Interns have full primary case responsibility when they are on their emergency, internal medicine, community practice, and soft tissue surgery rotations. On other rotations, the amount of primary case responsibility varies with the caseload, the number of residents also scheduled on block, and the individual intern’s comfort level with the pertinent specialty. While these variables play a role, all faculty members make a concerted effort to provide interns with case responsibility and engage interns into the activities of the service.

Have non-US citizens been accepted into the program? What if my DVM is not RCVS or AVMA recognized?

UGA has a long history of accepting international candidates into our internship program. We evaluate all candidates individually and rank them based on their individual characteristics. Our interns are given GA Faculty licenses, so general GA state licensure is not required. These licenses can be obtained by qualified personnel from non-AVMA accredited veterinary programs. Our interns are considered graduate students of the University of Georgia, and as such some of the admission criteria are governed by Graduate School policy. That and links to more information appears in our VIRMP program description.

It is crucial that international candidates consider application processing time well ahead of the program start date (around June 20th of each year). It may take up to 10 days to obtain a social security number, which is required in order to apply for a Georgia veterinary faculty license. It may take up to 30 additional days to then receive this license. Matched international candidates should plan to be in the United States 30 days prior to the start of their internship to complete visa & licensing requirements. More detailed information for international candidates is available through the following website:

International students matching to our program must also participate in a mandatory health insurance program provided by the University of Georgia (information can be found at:

What is your VIRMP match placement rate?

Our match placement rate varies with the discipline, but our overall match success since 2014 is 96.77% with 30 of 31 candidates who applied through VIRMP matching for a residency or specialty internship.

What qualities do you seek in an intern candidate?

The intern selection committee is composed of 8-10 faculty members, with most rotating on a yearly basis. Each member has his or her own specific criteria used to evaluate intern candidates. In general, we look for individuals who will be dedicated, motivated, enthusiastic about all specialties, cooperative, & clinically capable.

Are there any current interns I could contact about the program?

If you have more questions after reviewing this FAQ sheet, you are welcome to request speaking to one to two of our current interns. You may contact the Chair of the Intern Training Committee (Dr. Andrew Bugbee, who will put you in touch with the current interns.

In the past have couples been accepted at UGA?

No, but this is not for any policy reason – it just hasn’t happened. However, we have ranked individuals who were members of a couple before.

I am a veterinary student and would like to visit UGA to do an externship on a specific service. How is this handled?

You should contact UGA’s Academic Affairs Office. While here, you can discuss the internship program with our current interns, residents, and faculty.

I am a graduated veterinarian and would like to visit UGA to do an externship on a specific service. How is this handled?

This is handled through the office of Continuing Education. You should contact them directly to arrange a paid preceptorship.

May we contact any members of the internship selection committee directly?

No. If you have remaining questions after reading this FAQ sheet, candidates should contact the Chair of the Intern Training Committee (Dr. Andrew Bugbee,

Residencies and Specialty Internships

Our residencies and specialty internships allow veterinarians to further their training in a specific discipline within the small animal field. From Cardiology to Zoological Medicine and everything in between, we offer a wide-range of opportunities. These programs are non-degree graduate programs that lead to a recognized University certificate.

Current openings

We have a limited number of slots within each service for specialty interns and residents. As a result, just because a service area in our hospital has interns and residents, that doesn’t mean that there is an opening for new applicants every year. Below are the service areas that will be accepting applications for positions for the summer of 2020.

How to apply

Residents and specialty interns are matched through the AAVC’s Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program. To view complete program descriptions and to apply, please visit