Program Structure

Lab Animal Residency Program Structure

The 36-month program consists of approximately 27-33 months of intensive, faculty-mentored clinical rotations and 3-9 months of dedicated research. 

The didactic portion of the program is scheduled to minimize disruption to the clinical and research rotations, but participants are expected to participate in this portion during the entire 36 months. Faculty-mentored clinical rotations constitute 75% of the 1st year, with 25% remaining to explore available research opportunities.

In the 2nd and/or 3rd year of the program, the participant will commit to a research-intensive effort in which they will design, conduct, and write up a research project. Participants’ research efforts are expected to result in a first-author peer-reviewed scientific journal by the winter of their final year, if participants have not yet published such an article upon starting the residency program. This publication serves as one of the requirements for participants to be eligible to take the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine board examination at the end of the training period. In cases where participants successfully publish their research in their first 2 ½ years of the program, the final 6 months of their final year may consist of clinical rotations or additional research projects.

The figure below shows the proportion of clinical, research, and didactic commitment during a typical participant’s training program.

Clinical Training

Stanford has a large and diverse population of animal species and participants in our laboratory animal medicine training program have substantial clinical caseloads. Participants provide clinical care for all the species at Stanford and are given responsibility not only for individual clinical care, but also for evaluating and resolving colony and management issues during their clinical rotations, thus providing excellent preparation for their future careers. Each trainee is responsible for evaluating and addressing all clinical and programmatic issues in one area during a rotation lasting 1-3 months.  

The area for each rotation has a primary species or topic focus and is mentored by the clinical faculty with responsibility for that area. Clinical education is provided via on-call duty during the week (shared between trainees and staff veterinarians) and evening and weekend care (rotated equally between all trainees, staff, and faculty veterinarians). Participants must gather clinical histories when working up cases which require significant interaction with researchers to determine the cause and provide effective resolution to clinical and research-based problems with guidance from their faculty and staff mentors.  Rotation assignments are dependent on the number of trainees participating but are listed below with the required time. 

  • Large Animal (8 months)

  • Rodent (8 months)

  • Anesthesia and Surgical Protocol Support (3 months)

  • Gross and Histological Pathology (3 months)

  • Aquatics, Avian, and Invertebrates (2 months)

  • Training and Compliance (1 month)

Didactic Training

Stanford has a rigorous didactic training requirement comprised of seminars, journal club, “blue book” review, and pathology rounds. There are additional training opportunities that do not require the same level of time commitment but are nonetheless important components of the program. Didactic training requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Laboratory Animal Medicine Seminar Series
  • Journal Club
  • “Blue Book” Review
  • Pathology Rounds
  • Mock Exams
  • Webinars and Teleconferences sponsored by NABR, OLAW, National Primate Regional Centers