Zoological Residency Program

Kantonales Tierspital Zürich

  • Publication date:

    12 April 2023
  • Workload:

  • Contract:

    Unlimited employment
  • Place of work:


Zoological Residency Program

Vetsuisse Faculty
Clinic for Zoo Animals,
Exotic Pets and Wildlif

Zoological Residency Program University of Zurich

and Zurich Zoo, Switzerland

Prepared by Jean-Michel Hatt, Prof. Dr. med. vet, MSc, Dipl. ACZM, Dipl ECZM (avian)
Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife,
Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstarsse 260, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel +41-44-635 83 42, Fax +41-44-635 89 01, E-Mail: jmhatt@vetclinics.uzh.ch

The Clinic of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Department of Small Ani-
mals of the Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich offers a 4-year employment
including a residency program in Exotic Animal, Wildlife & Zoological Medicine
(36 months). The starting date is as defined in the advertisement. This program
is supervised by Prof Jean-Michel Hatt Diplomate of the American College of
Zoological Medicine. The second ACZM Diplomate on site is Dr. Maya Kumm-
row. Residents completing this program will be eligible for the ACZM. The indi-
vidual completing this program will have attained a broad clinical base for future
involvement in a variety of nondomestic animal practices including zoos, wildlife
parks, research institutions, universities, or exotic pet referral practices.
There is no tuition for the program. Professional liability insurance is provided,
but health insurance (approx. CHF2’000/year) and parking expenses (approx.
CHF600/year) are the responsibility of the individual. Twenty-five days of annual
leave are available, as part of the off-clinics time. The average annual salary is

Requirements: Candidates must be fluent in spoken German as well as written
and spoken English. All applicants must be licensed to practice veterinary medi-
cine in their country of origin, and priority is given to those candidates that fulfill
the following;

  1. 2-4 years of practical experience in small animal/exotic or zoo animal medi-
    cine, or completion of a 1-year small animal (or exotic) rotating internship.
    General clinical competency is essential.

  2. Previous veterinary experience at a recognized institution with a reference
    from the supervising veterinarian (e.g. externships at US veterinary hospitals,
    zoos, or private practices). A short externship at the Clinic of Zoo Animals,
    Exotic Pets and Wildlife, University of Zurich can be arranged.

  3. Excellent academic record with previous research experience and veterinary
    All four years are primarily devoted to participating in the Clinic of Zoo Animals,
    Exotic Pets and Wildlife within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), Universi-
    ty of Zurich and in field activities at a variety of zoological collections including
    Zurich Zoo and the Wild Animal Park Langenberg. The annual hospital and field
    caseload approx. 3000 cases/yr. In every 12 month period, the resident will
    spend 10 months on-clinic duty and 2-months off-clinics fulfilling their scholarly
    requirements for research and publications, and taking additional specialist
    externships and participating at conferences.

The residency emphasizes clinical training in the principles of zoological medi-
cine and surgery. The clinical work is approximately distributed as follows: 49%
mammals, 30% reptiles, 20% birds, and 1% fish/invertebrates, with 40% zoo
animals, 50% privately owned exotic pets, and 10% wildlife. In addition to the
supervising on-clinic faculty (2 ACZM Diplomates), the resident is aided by one
assistant professor, one intern and another resident, three certified veteri-
nary/medical technicians, and one veterinary assistants. There are generally 2-3
veterinary students on rotation at the VTH.

Vetsuisse Faculty
Clinic for Zoo Animals,

Exotic Pets and Wildlif

The resident is encouraged to attend and present at a national or international
conference at least twice during the residency, as well as attend lectures or
seminars in the Veterinary Faculty or on University campus. The resident will
work under the supervision of senior faculty members and will be responsible for
(1) participating in the daily activities of the medical service of the hospital in-
cluding primary case responsibilities and case rounds; (2) participating in regular
visits to Zurich Zoo and the Wild Animal Park Langenberg; (3) providing assis-
tance in instruction and supervision of veterinary students assigned to exotics
duty; (4) providing emergency weekend duties; (5) active participation in
zoological journal clubs, book clubs rounds and rounds.
The ACZM requires that all residents receive, in addition to clinical training,
some exposure to investigative approaches during their residency. Limited funds
are available through the Clinic of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife for the
residency research project, but grant submission for extramural grants is en-
couraged under faculty mentorship.

The major aim of this residency program is to graduate veterinarians who are
eligible to take the ACZM diploma examinations. To attain this goal, it is neces-
sary to complete the publication requirements for the examinations of the ACZM
by the end of the residency training, no later than March. Assuming this goal is
met, the resident may be eligible to sit the exam in fall of the same year as
completing the residency.
The successful candidate will be licensed to practice within the Veterinary
Faculty by virtue of a faculty license. The faculty license permits veterinarians
from recognized vet schools to practice within the residency program of the
hospital and may be obtained without examination.

Interested applicants must submit

  1. a letter of intent outlining special interest in the position, overall related
    qualifications and experience and career goals

  2. curriculum vitae

  3. the names and addresses of three professional references that can be
    contacted for information.

Applicants are required to provide an official/certified copy of their academic
records from each institution of higher education that the applicant has attended.
These records must include all course work. Photocopies are acceptable.

All applications must be sent to the Department of Small Animals

c/o Ms. Eveline Huber
Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich
Winterthurerstr. 260
CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland

For further questions about this program, please contact:
Prof. Dr. Jean-Michel Hatt
Dipl. ACZM Dipl. ECZM (Avian)
Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich
email: jmhatt@vetclinics.uzh.ch
tel: +41 44 635 83 42