Surgical Residency Program

Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine offers a 3-year small animal surgical residency position each year. Applicants must have completed a DVM or equivalent degree as well as a small animal rotating internship at an accredited university. Applicants are accepted through the VIRMP matching program. If you have any questions regarding residency positions, please contact Dr. Karl Kraus.

Overview of the Program

The small animal surgery residency program is designed to prepare residents to practice the highest quality of surgery possible in today's world of rapidly changing technology. Residents completing the program have been successful at completing the certification examination of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and continue to serve the profession in private practice and academic faculty positions across the nation. Potential applicants are encouraged to call or write for additional information.


The goals of the small animal surgery residency program at Iowa State University are:

  • To provide training and experience in the various specialty areas of small animal surgery.
  • To prepare the resident for board certification by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
  • To introduce the resident to educational principles, provide experience and training in teaching of clinical material, classroom lectures/discussion techniques, and the presentation of material for continuing education of graduate veterinarians.
  • To introduce the resident to clinical veterinary research.

Duration of Study

The program is a three-year residency program. A concurrent MS or PhD graduate degree program is available, in conjunction with the residency program, to interested applicants.

Clinical Training

Residents receive their training in the clinical aspects of surgery through the following mechanisms:

  1. Clinical service supervised by board-certified specialist in orthopedics and soft tissue surgery.
  2. Literature review sessions supervised by a diplomate in surgery.
  3. Textbook review sessions supervised by a faculty member in surgery.
  4. Participation in seminars provided by faculty and other residents/graduate students.

Clinical Responsibilities

Residents are assigned to various clinical services in the Veterinary Medical Center. Residents have primary case responsibility but are supervised on clinics by a board-certified surgeon or other specialist. Hospitalized cases are discussed daily in clinical rounds with the students, interns, residents, and senior clinicians.

The schedule allows for ample elective clinical rotations designed to enhance the residency and provide additional training in areas of interest for each resident. Elective rotations may include clinical pathology, pathology, theriogenology, radiology, anesthesiology/critical care, or other areas of interest to the resident. Outside rotations also available (i.e. human hospital, private referral practice).

Residents are responsible for emergency cases presented to the VTH after routine office hours. This duty is shared evenly by the 8-9 house officers in the small animal section.


The focus of the program is to fulfill the requirements of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. The schedule includes rotations in orthopedic, soft tissue and neurosurgery. Required rotations in radiology, internal medicine, pathology and anesthesia will be fulfilled in the first year of the residency program. Research rotations are included in each of the three years of the residency, but subject to change depending upon the individuals research project(s).


First authorship of a manuscript in a peer-reviewed publication is a requirement of the ACVS and for successful completion of the residency program. Surgery faculty will assist residents in finding adequate research project(s) in an area of interest to the residents. Collaboration with faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine or on the main campus is available.


Iowa State University has an extensive health care plan that includes dental heath care. At the present time, two days of vacation are accumulated for each working month. Vacation times are subject to scheduling demands.

Note: The residency program is subject to change.