Veterinary Medicine Opportunities

A variety of professional training opportunities are available for individuals at all stages of their veterinary medical education.

Clinical Externships

We offer clinical externships for veterinary students who have completed all except their last year of veterinary school.  The minimum recommended length of time for an externship here is two weeks — to give you an adequate exposure to the Primate Center and the primate medicine and research service provided at the CNPRC.

The following is a list of some of the procedures in which externs may participate when available:

  • Physical examinations and animal round-ups
  • Injections
  • Venipuncture/blood collection
  • Cystocentesis
  • TB testing
  • Bandaging techniques
  • Catheter placement
  • Fluid therapy
  • Suturing
  • Orogastric intubation
  • Ultrasound
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgery

Your learning experience here may differ, according to your skill and experience levels. The veterinary staff will do what they can, within reason, to accommodate your skill level and pace of learning. Every effort will be made to provide a good experience for you.

Unfortunately, there are no funds to support your rotation nor do we have housing provisions.  You must be able to fund your travel and stay in Davis for the duration of your time here. In addition, you will need to have a current negative test for Tuberculosis (within 12 months of your rotation) and proof of measles vaccination or a measles titer. Failure to have TB and measles health clearance with you on your start date can delay the start of your externship for up to a week.

To arrange an externship, please send us a copy of:

  • A letter stating your career goals with your requested dates and possible alternate dates
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Your veterinary academic transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation

Externship questions or application requirements can be sent to:

Kari Christe or Jenny Gunter
California National Primate Research Center
University of California, Davis
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA  95616-8542

The Laboratory Animal Medicine (LAM) residency training program at the University of California, Davis is designed to prepare veterinarians for a career in LAM and fulfill eligibility requirements for the certifying examination for the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. The program objectives provide the training opportunities described below; for additional details refer to the ACLAM Role Delineation Document. The program is best suited for trainees with strong clinical skills. Prior completion of a master’s degree or acquired research experience is preferable, but not required.

The program’s objectives are to:

  1. Participate as the clinical attending veterinarian on the UCD campus in the prevention, diagnosis, control and treatment of disease of laboratory animals including, but not limited to, mice, rats, rabbits, cats, dogs, pigs, ruminants, and nonhuman primates
  2. Provide and perform diagnostic services to campus investigators, through participation in the Comparative Pathology Laboratory and the primate pathology laboratory services including anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, microbiology, serology, and molecular diagnostics
  3. Work with the campus attending veterinarian to provide consultation and advice on compliance with animal welfare laws, regulations, and standards to campus investigators
  4. Provide consultative services and instruction to campus investigators and students on aspects of laboratory animal medicine and science including animal restraint, sample collection, aseptic surgery, anesthesia and analgesia, and alternatives to minimize, alleviate, or prevent pain and distress
  5. Participate with the staff of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee in animal use protocol preparation and review
  6. Work with facility managers in the development and management of animal husbandry programs and the design of animal facilities
  7. Design, implement and publish an investigative project under the guidance of a research mentor

The Laboratory Animal Medicine Training Program is traditionally a 36-month program with emphasis in traditional laboratory animal medicine or nonhuman primate medicine, for those interested in academic or scientific research careers. However, a 24-month program could be considered for those who have previously completed or wish to enter into a Ph.D. program (where they will complete an expanded research project required of Laboratory Animal Medicine residents).

Courses and activities:

The clinical duties vary with the trainee’s focus, either in traditional laboratory animals or nonhuman primates. Full-time service when on clinical rotations throughout the program with regularly scheduled (at least one week/month) evening/weekend/emergency on-call duties. (See the table below). The equivalent of one year of full-time clinical service is required to meet expectations of the training program.

The scope of clinical duties varies with focus and on-going research projects. The traditional laboratory animal focused trainees may see any type of vertebrate species used in research while assigned on service to Campus Veterinary Services, including many vertebrate species used in research for investigators within the College of Biological Science, School of Medicine, and School of Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary staff also performs facility visits to research animals housed at facilities managed by various departments and other offsite University-affiliated locations. The clinical activities at CVS are balanced by veterinary reviews for newly submitted animal research protocols, program administration activities such as laboratory visits, semi-annual facility inspections, and post-approval monitoring of selected animal use protocols. These non-clinical activities are done in conjunction with senior veterinarians at CVS and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee’s staff. Other activities include post-operative cases (in sheep, rabbits, frogs, nonhuman primates, and sometimes swine), management of spontaneous and research-related clinical problems, and pre-project physical examinations of various species.

Primate medicine-focused trainees will work with macaque species (rhesus and cynomolgus) and one New World species (titi monkeys). There are daily clinical and surgical cases both spontaneously occurring illness as well as research driven projects at the California National Primate Research Center. Due to the scope of the program, trainees already confident in entry-level clinical veterinary skills can translate their skills to the host of species they encounter here. Research support-related, non-clinical activities are fostered and facilitated in a similar fashion to the CVS model.

Coursework includes classes focused on medical primatology, nonhuman primate zoonoses, laboratory animal seminars 8 months/yr, monthly training days devoted to sharing information with other trainees in the region, touring facilities, participation in wetlabs (primate, rodent anesthesia techniques, swine interventional techniques & handling, ferret techniques, etc), seminars, case reports, short topic presentations at weekly rounds, guest speaker presentations, comparative pathology rounds, nonhuman primate pathology rounds, various rounds and seminars at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital as well as the School of Medicine. Trainees practice teaching skills to veterinary students on elective laboratory animal and primate medicine rotations, undergraduate students, classroom continuing education for animal care staff and veterinary technicians, along with presentation of assigned materials for the laboratory animal seminars.

There is a diversity of opportunities for trainees to develop research skills in the laboratories of NIH-funded researchers across campus. While working on a research project under a faculty member’s oversight, the trainees learn research methodologies along with all the skills necessary to complete a project. Seminars for graduate students on research design, statistical analysis and grant writing are offered each year. There are opportunities for grant submission throughout the program depending on interest and writing ability. Off campus activities are possible with local biotech companies in the Sacramento region in particular.

The combined training program (Traditional Laboratory Animal/Primate Medicine) incorporates rotations between units including Campus Veterinary Services, Comparative Pathology Laboratory, California National Primate Research Center, Mouse Biology Program with options to take Fish Health and Management as well as take in activities during training days, hosted seminars on and off campus (Center for Comparative Medicine, National AALAS, Association for Primate Veterinarians, Sacramento Valley-AALAS, District 8 AALAS regional meeting, California Laboratory Animal Medical Society meeting).

Structure and organization:

The program is organized around a series of block rotations in the first 12 months, while the balance of training (24 months) allows for more flexible duties to execute research, write up results, and obtain additional skills including veterinary reviews of research protocols, as determined in consultation with the co-Directors and associated mentors where indicated. See table for more detail:

LAM Resident Training Program Effort Allocation in months

Rotation 1st yr* 2nd/3rd yrs Traditional focus 2nd/3rd yrs Primate focus
CVS 3 6
CPL 3 3* 1*
CNPRC 3 1 10
Primate Pathology 1
Research Time 12 – May be done concurrently with CPL & protocol reviews  12 – May be done concurrently with CPL & protocol reviews
Fish Health  1 – (elective)   1 – (elective)

* Only 11 months in the first 2 years are accounted for as there are 24 vacation days each year. Research time is available concurrent with the CPL activities in the 2nd/3rd years. Residents consistently request additional time in lab animal pathology so this allows them to have additional opportunities to review study materials while completing their research project.

Faculty participating in direct support of the program:

Kari Christe, DVM, DACLAM – Manager of Primate Medicine at the CNPRC
Co-Director of resident training program and full-time clinician at CNPRC
Clinical primate medicine research project mentorship

Laurie Brignolo, DVM, DACLAM – Senior Veterinarian at Campus Veterinary Services
Co-Director of resident training program and full-time clinician at CVS
Clinical laboratory animal medicine research project mentorship

The program boasts 10 ACLAM and 6 ACVP boarded faculty veterinarians in which trainees will be mentored in clinical and non-clinical activities provided. This provides diverse points of view and learning opportunities from the various faculty backgrounds and interests.

Process of evaluation:

Rotation objectives discussed on a monthly basis during clinical rotations. Veterinary school evaluations are submitted after 6, 12, and 24 months. Appointments after the first and 2nd years are contingent on satisfactory performance during the preceding year.


In order to meet program requirements to obtain a certificate of resident training the following must be completed:

  1. Satisfactory performance evaluations as determined by the faculty involved with training the residents during their clinical activities (residents are required to maintain a case log to document the number and kinds of cases they complete)
  2. Achievement of passing grades in all required didactic courses (Medical Primatology, Zoonoses of Nonhuman Primates, Pathology of Laboratory Animals, Journal Seminar, +/- Statistics, +/- Fish Health
  3. Instructing veterinary students and technicians both clinically and didactically
  4. Submission of a grant application (travel, training, research, or intramural)
  5. Presentation of their research project at the House Officer Training Day sponsored by the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine
  6. Presentation at a conference (typically residents attend the California Laboratory Animal Medicine Society (CLAMS) or District 8 and AALAS +/- APV)
  7. Completion of a research project and submission of a paper prior to end of the 36 month program

Helpful links for more information:

ACLAM Training Programs Listing Website:

University of California, Davis Residency Program in Laboratory Animal/Primate Medicine

The California National Primate Research Center is seeking motivated veterinary students for part-time student employment opportunities in acquiring training in clinical aspects of laboratory animal medicine using nonhuman primates involved in research. The veterinary students selected will be given the opportunity to learn clinical techniques, triage animals that require treatment or medical assessment, and observe/assist with surgical procedures supporting the colony and research mission of the CNPRC. The veterinary intern will work and interact with professional veterinary staff, animal health technicians, and residents in the Primate Medicine Unit in all aspects of health care and preventive medicine to colony animals.  As a trainee, employees will acquire and gain clinical experience in animal laboratory medicine and may perform research projects. Student research projects may include topics such as assessing efficacy of the CNPRC dietary modification program, evaluation of diarrhea treatment success, evaluation of oral treatment compliance, or other topics as suggested by the student. Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Under direct supervision and successful completion of comprehensive didactic training, the trainee will assist with hospital cases, help with medical record documentation, follow up on health assessments, and/or assist with anesthesia monitoring. Trainees will be given the opportunity to observe/assist with surgical procedures, attend clinical or pathology rounds, and observe/assist with necropsies.
  • Administer and prepare supplemental feedings, administer prescribed medical treatments as directed by staff veterinarians and assist staff veterinarians and veterinary technicians directly with various aspects of managed animal healthcare.
  • Perform hospital and administrative duties such as cleaning/sanitizing instruments, preparing surgical packs, stocking medical supplies, performing equipment maintenance, performing drug inventories, checking for expired compounds, stocking supplies, and documenting medical records.
  • Maintain animal health records, including both manual and computerized health data.
  • Participate in residency training laboratory sessions.
  • Prospective employees must have flexible working hours and be willing to work weekends, evening, and holidays.

Work Environment

This position is subject to Medical Surveillance procedures and review in accordance with Federal and State Laws and Regulations and University Policy. Employee shall participate in required preventative medical and medical monitoring programs which may include blood tests, immunizations, TB screening, Blood borne and Airborne Pathogen training, etc., and are provided to meet Federal, State and University requirements.

Background Check Required: This position is a critical position and subject to a background check. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of background investigation including criminal history and identity checks.

California National Primate Research Center employees, students, and graduate student researchers are directly or indirectly engaged in the performance of work on Federal contracts and grants as well as may periodically come into contact with controlled substances; and are expected to abide by the UC Policy on Substance Abuse, the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, and the State Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990.


  • Currently enrolled in a graduate Veterinary Medicine Degree Program at UC Davis. Current enrollment status as a first or second year student preferred.
  • Skills and ability to learn in a dyadic approach to veterinary clinical and laboratory animal medicine specific to nonhuman primates.
  • Strong interest in Primate Medicine and Biomedical Research.
  • Communication, time management, and customer service skills along with the ability to work both as part of a team and independently.
  • Problem solving—the individual identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner and gathers and analyzes information skillfully.
  • A positive, can-do attitude. Willingness to take initiative and motivation to seek new learning opportunities.
  • Interpersonal Skills—the individual maintains confidentiality of sensitive and controversial information about research utilizing nonhuman primates; remains open to others’ ideas and exhibits willingness to try new things.
  • Planning/organizing—the individual prioritizes and plans work activities, uses time efficiently and develops realistic action plans.
  • Quality control & Attention to detail —the individual demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness and monitors own work to ensure quality.
  • Adaptability—the individual adapts to changes in the work environment, manages competing demands and is able to deal with frequent change, delays or unexpected events.
  • Dependability—the individual is consistently at work and on time, follows instructions, responds to management direction and solicits feedback to improve performance.

How to Apply

Please send resume and letter of interest in the internship program to Dr. Christina Cruzen, DVM, DACLAM, Manager, Primate Medicine at if you are interested.  Applications will be evaluated in the order they are received. This position is opened until filled.

For more information about the CNPRC, visit our web site at

The California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Educator & Employer (A.A./E.O.E.E.).