The Veterinary Pathology residency program in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is a three-year program designed to concurrently fulfill requirements for ACVP board eligibility and to partially fulfill the requirements for the PhD degree, unless the resident has previously attained the PhD degree. The resident will participate in diagnostic pathology services and in departmental instructional programs on a full-time basis. Time will be scheduled for instruction, seminars, conferences, guided self-study, and participation in research projects. Enrollment in up to 8 semester hours of graduate study per semester (5 in summer semester) can be scheduled. Specialty board certification is an important credential in veterinary medicine and the successful student will make an early commitment to preparation for the board examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP).
Requirements include the DVM degree or equivalent and academic qualifications acceptable for admission to the Pathobiological Sciences Department Graduate Program and to the LSU graduate school. Successful completion of the Veterinary National Board Examination and licensure by a state board of veterinary medicine is desirable. The starting date and reappointment date is August 1st each year, unless negotiated otherwise, and the appointment title is Resident and House Officer, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine. Starting salary is $30,000 per annum. Appointments will be reviewed and renewed annually. Residency stipends last for 3 years. At that time the resident is expected to obtain graduate student funding either through grant support from the research mentor or through successful competition for an SVM-wide stipend.
A three-year residency program, depending on the options followed, of diagnostic biopsy and necropsy rotations, classroom and laboratory education, and pathobiological research will meet the following objectives:
Successful completion of the residency program will earn a certificate of residency in veterinary pathology and eligibility for the ACVP certification examination. Enrollment in the residency program can be separate or it can be incorporated into a PhD degree program. The latter is strongly encouraged unless the candidate already possesses the PhD degree.
The resident will be assigned a guidance committee, which is composed of pathologists and which will oversee the progress of the training program, supervise preparation for the ACVP examination, encourage scholarly activities, and provide general counseling.
During the second year, a qualifying examination will be given by the guidance committee to those residents who will pursue the Ph.D. degree. Upon successful completion of this examination, the student will be eligible to formally become a Ph.D. student. The guidance committee will function until the oversight of the resident is discharged to the Graduate Advisory Committee or until completion of the residency, whichever comes first.
The University provides a waiver of tuition for full-time residents and house officers, as long as the semester-hour limit is not exceeded (8 hrs regular semesters, 5 hrs summer semester). After completion of the residency program, PhD candidates in the LSU graduate school also have a full tuition waiver.
Residents are eligible for graduate student benefits including student insurance. They are allowed faculty parking privileges and 10 days of vacation per year, contingent upon approval of their guidance committee.
The following schedule will constitute the typical yearly activities for a resident:
Occasionally, circumstances (e.g. funding stipulations or research obligations) may arise that prohibit a candidate from following either of the aforementioned options. In these cases the resident, along with the guidance committee, may formulate an individually tailored program. The program must then be approved by the pathology faculty.
It is essential that residents take control of their cases in order to learn the profession; yet quality of results must be assured for our clientele. Therefore, residents will attend necropsy orientation with the VMED 5452 course. They will be trained in the Necropsy SOPs, Trimming SOPs, and Pathology SOPs by faculty pathologists and in the Safety SOPs by the SVM safety officer.
During the first 2 years of training, all necropsy and biopsy cases will be reviewed with the Duty Pathologist. Deficiencies will be discussed and remediated (for example, inadequate tissue sampling will result in the resident retrieving the wet tissues and trimming appropriate tissues, improper trimming technique will likewise result in retrimming of the wet tissues, inappropriate interpretations or comments will be corrected before the final report is submitted). The duty pathologist will sign out all reports.
Senior Residents will have increasing autonomy and will have signage privileges. However, at least 10% of all cases will be monitored by faculty pathologists assigned to the service with the senior pathologists. Cases will be selected at random and if problems either in content or timeliness are noted, they will be addressed with the Senior Resident. It is anticipated that initially 20-25% of the cases will be monitored with reduction to 10% as the faculty is convinced of reporting quality.
Residents will be evaluated annually to determine whether or not they are making satisfactory progress in their program. Evaluations are constructed by the Residency Coordinator with input from all faculty pathologists. The Resident will be evaluated on Scholarship, Service, Teaching, Attitude, and Areas of focus or needed improvement for the coming year. The evaluation is written and will be discussed individually between the Resident and Residency Coordinator. This evaluation will be used by the Residency Coordinator and guidance committee in making their recommendations to the Department Head regarding annual appointment renewal.
When residents enter their graduate training, the oversight of that resident is primarily transferred to the research mentor and graduate committee. Those who have selected Option 2 and, in some cases the Flexible Option, will have continuing obligations as described above and will continue to receive annual evaluations from the residency coordinator. The residents are encouraged to seek out research mentors with a history of research productivity and ongoing extramural support. In these settings, the resident will be expected to apply for NIH, K08 support, or USDA postdoctoral grants as applicable.
For correspondence and additional information please contact
Dr. Ingeborg Langohr
Department of Pathobiological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803