The University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine (UIUC-CVM) in conjunction with Brookfield Zoo Chicago, and John G. Shedd Aquarium offers a three year residency in Zoological and Aquatic Animal Medicine. The residency is approved by the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) and is supervised by at least three Diplomates of this college. The residency is supported by a minimum eight full-time zoo, aquatic, exotic and wildlife veterinarians between all the facilities. The residency is designed to integrate experiences from all institutions to provide clinical training that will enable the resident to become competent in exotic, zoo, aquatic and wildlife medicine and provide the necessary requirements to be eligible for certification in the American College of Zoological Medicine.

Residents rotate among the University of Illinois, Brookfield Zoo Chicago, and the Shedd Aquarium. Residents spend their first year with the Zoological Medicine Service at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and their second and third year rotating between Brookfield Zoo Chicago and the Shedd Aquarium. The second and third year rotations will be between four to twelve months and residents will spend approximately 10-14 months at each of these facilities. Residents also rotate through The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. These world class institutions offer extensive exposure to zoological and aquatic species including: megavertebrates, large carnivores, non-human primates, marine mammals, herptiles, birds, fish and small mammals. Residents gain clinical experience under the direction of veterinary and management staff including handling and immobilization, providing preventative medicine, management of sick and injured animals as well as population health. Residents have the opportunity to rotate through relevant specialty services while at the University of Illinois. The program includes training in research and scholarly writing and requires the completion of a Non-Thesis or Thesis Master’s Degree which includes graduate level coursework (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Zoological Medicine Seminar, and Special Topics in Zoological Medicine) through the University of Illinois. Residents rotate and regularly interact with the University of Illinois Zoological Pathology Program which provides primary service to the institutions based in Chicago.

Primarily emphasizing clinical medicine, the residency will provide scientific opportunity and require scholarly activities of publication and teaching. Residents participate in weekly multi-institutional journal review courses, rounds, and teaching veterinary students on clinical rotations at each facility. Residents will also participate in teaching some didactic course work and laboratories that are part of the veterinary curriculum. Residents are required to write and submit three manuscripts produced in conjunction with their residency for publication to fulfill residency requirements and to receive their residency certificate at the completion of their program. At least one manuscript must be an original research project which meets the Non-Thesis manuscript-based Master’s degree guidelines and will be selected with input from veterinary mentors.

Funding is provided to attend and present at a continuing education conference annually as well as one-time attendance at the ACZM preparatory course. The position starts in mid July of each year with annual re-appointment for a maximum of three years based on annual performance. Residents will be employed by UIUC-CVM and compensated on a scale of standard residency programs (in Champaign-Urbana $35,093 yr1, in Chicagoland $42,500 yr2 and $43,000 yr3) which includes benefits through UIUC-CVM with vacation and sick leave accruing monthly. Applicants must hold a DVM from an AVMA accredited program and have minimally completed a one-year internship or equivalent practice experience. Licensure to practice or eligibility for licensure in Illinois is needed to apply with full licensure required before beginning the second year of the residency. The University of Illinois, Brookfield Zoo Chicago, and the John G. Shedd Aquarium are interested in candidates with the highest standards of scholarship and ethics and who are committed to conservation and animal welfare. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact participating institutions the summer prior to applying or well before the application deadline. Please contact Dr. Jennifer Langan, DVM, Dipl. ACZMDr. Karisa Tang or Dr. Krista Keller for more information. Applications are accepted through the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program ( and should include a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, original transcripts, and letters of reference.

For more information on this residency program, visit the University of Illinois website.

The Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Medicine Residency Program is accredited by the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM).