Clinical Pathology Residency

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine residency in clinical pathology is a three year program designed to provide post-DVM training in veterinary cytology, hematology, and clinical chemistry. Additionally, trainees are strongly encouraged to pursue a PhD or MS degree.  The resident will participate in diagnostic service and the veterinary medicine instructional program on a full-time basis under the direction of two ACVP board-certified clinical pathologists. Time will be scheduled for tutorial instruction, rounds, seminars, guided self-study and participation in research projects. Enrollment in up to eight credit hours of graduate academic studies per semester will be scheduled.  Each year the appointment will be reviewed, with reappointment contingent upon satisfactory completion of the previous year's program.  This training program utilizes faculty and facilities of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences as well as other departments within the School of Veterinary Medicine. The starting date for the clinical pathology residency is usually in August , and annual salary is $30,000.  Completion of our three year residency program satisfies the requirements for ACVP board examination eligibility.

Clinical Pathology Residents


  • DVM or its equivalent
  • Completion of the Veterinary National Board Examination is desirable
  • Academic qualifications acceptable for admission to the LSU Graduate School

Training Activities and Responsibilities 

  • Participate in diagnostic service for the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory under the supervision of two board-certified clinical pathologists. 
  • Gain experience in teaching.
    • Assist with laboratories for the Year II veterinary student clinical pathology course.
    • Lead one or more lectures for the Year III and IV diagnostic pathology rotation.
    • Interact with Year III and IV clinical pathology elective students.
    • Lead a variety of rounds (this is a shared responsibility amongst the pathologists and trainees). 
    • Teaching house officers as well as Year III and IV students on clinics is a routine part of diagnostic service, as our laboratory is located within the teaching hospital and thus is frequently visited by those with questions.
  • Attend and participate in a wide variety of rounds.
    • Clinical pathology journal club
    • Medicine journal club
    • Chemistry case rounds
    • Cytology rounds
    • Bone marrow rounds
    • AFIP histopathology rounds
    • Oncopathology rounds
    • Dermatopathology rounds (histopathology)
    • GI pathology rounds (histopathology)
    • Ophthalmic pathology rounds (histopathology)
    • General pathology rounds
  • Graduate courses required (if pursuing a PhD or MS) during the residency include:
    • Cell Pathology
    • Introduction to Research
    • Concepts in Epidemiology
    • Advanced Clinical Pathology
    • Immune Response to Infectious Agents
    • Molecular Regulation of Eukaryotic Cell Function
  • Attend national and regional pathology conferences, ideally to present a poster, case report, or research.  Departmental travel funds are generally sufficient to cover both of the following:
    • Annual ACVP/ASVCP meeting
    • Annual Southeastern Veterinary Pathology Conference
  • Annual mock board exams are administered.


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 hours regular semesters and 5 hours summer semester). After completion of the residency program, PhD candidates continue to have tuition waived. Residents are eligible for graduate student benefits including insurance. They are allowed faculty parking privileges and 10 days of vacation per year, contingent upon approval of their guidance committee.  

Current Trainees


The starting date for the Clinical Pathology Residency is usually in August. Candidates may apply for the residency by submitting a letter of intent, official transcripts, current curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference from individuals currently familiar with the applicant's professional status. The information should be mailed to the following address:  Dr. Courtney Nelson, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Contact Information 

For correspondence and additional information please contact:

Courtney Nelson, DVM, MS, DACVP

Assistant Professor, Clinical Pathology

Veterinary Clinical Sciences

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine

Baton Rouge, LA 70803