Cardiology Residency

The Texas A&M cardiology residency training program is a successful, productive, and well-respected program. The 3-year training program is designed to develop and refine diagnostic, therapeutic, and interventional cardiology skills while encouraging the pursuit of research. Since 2002, we have mentored and trained cardiology residents who have successfully completed the program, achieved board certification and obtained the positions they desired in practice and academia. Additional details about this program can be found at the ACVIM webpage or by contacting the program director, Dr. Sonya Gordon.

Objectives of the Residency Program in Cardiology

Cardiology residents hold appointments as Veterinary Clinical Associates (VCAs) or Veterinary Resident Instructors. Residents are expected to provide patient care teaching assistance in the clinical programs of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and successfully complete a resident research project. Faculty will make extensive efforts to provide an outstanding program, but the ultimate responsibility for value gained from the program lies with the resident.

The training objectives for residents in cardiology are as follows:

  • Provide the resident with the opportunity to become proficient in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic methods in cardiology.
  • Permit the resident to satisfy the requirements for board certification set forth by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), subspecialty cardiology.
  • Prepare the resident to express clinical ideas and concepts to other members of the veterinary profession in a concise, professional manner (e.g., seminars, lectures).
  • Introduce the resident to clinical investigation by facilitating completion and publication of the resident’s mandatory research project.
  • Prepare the resident to flourish in the practice of cardiology in the private sector or the academic setting, or to pursue further advanced training.

Individual Resident Advisor

Resident Advisor

By October 1st of the 1st year, the resident shall choose or have a cardiology faculty member assigned to be his/her Residency Advisor, and shall register him/herself with the ACVIM — specialty of Cardiology. Although each resident will have a specific advisor all cardiology faculty are actively involved in the supervision and mentoring of every cardiology resident

Responsibilities of Advisors and Cardiology Faculty

  • Ensure that the resident is aware of all requirements of the residency program and options that are available. The resident is expected to consult with his/her prospective advisor(s) within 30 days after the start of the program to begin developing his/her individual schedule.
  • Supervise completion of scheduled requirements according to guidelines established by the Medicine Residency Committee and ACVIM.
  • Suggest reading material to aid in preparation for the general and/or certifying board examinations.
  • Communicate appropriate feedback to the resident regarding his/her continued progress in the program. Although encouraged at other times as well, feedback to the resident will be provided each time the Medicine Residency Committee conducts its evaluations twice yearly. On these occasions, the resident’s advisor also will inform the Medicine Residency Committee about the resident’s progress.

Responsibilities of the Head of Department and Section Chiefs

Notify the resident of his/her assigned clinical teaching responsibilities (i.e., laboratory instruction, didactic lectures, etc.). Note: Residents will occasionally be expected to assist in didactic and laboratory instruction of students in the professional curriculum. They shall not head or have major teaching responsibilities for any course, elective, or didactic.

Graduate Program

A Master’s degree program to run concurrently with the residency is optional; residents wishing to pursue a PhD program are strongly advised to consider a consecutive type of program (e.g., PhD followed by a residency or vice versa). A resident who wishes to pursue a degree should discuss available options before their program starts or soon after with their advisor.

Specific requirements of the graduate degree program are described in greater detail in the Texas A&M University Graduate Catalog.

Cardiology Residency Program

Goals, Related Objectives and Requirements

  • Completion of a 3-year advanced clinical training program subject to formal evaluation, under supervision of board-certified individuals (internal medicine, cardiology, oncology, neurology, anesthesiology, radiology, emergency medicine and critical care) designed to educate the resident in the art and science of cardiology.
  • Preparation of the resident to qualify for examination and certification by the ACVIM. The resident is required to register with the Secretary-Treasurer of the ACVIM at the beginning of his/her training program (see ACVIM General Information Guide (GIG). The ACVIM website is .
  • Completion of a resident project including manuscript preparation and publication is required. The resident in consultation with their advisor and cardiology faculty will develop a research project early in the first year of their program. Research topic will be chosen to compliment the ongoing research interests of senior cardiology faculty. The resident is required to satisfactorily present the completed research in a departmental or medicine section seminar by June 1 of the 3rd year and a manuscript should be submitted for publication by the end of the residency.
  • In-depth training in patient evaluation, performance of diagnostic procedures, use of therapeutic techniques, and overall medical management of cardiology patients will be combined with experience in developing client relationships, fee structure, instrumentation, radiographic interpretation, and clinical laboratory evaluation.
  • Participation in didactic and laboratory instruction of students in the professional curriculum is another component of residency training. The resident may be required or elect to help with laboratories in certain courses. This affords teaching experience as well as further professional development. The resident is expected to participate in daily student rounds and to help in the clinical instruction of third and fourth year veterinary students.
  • Participation in teaching of clinical medicine and patient management in the professional student program.
  • All residents will be required to present an oral seminar to the faculty once yearly. In the first year, it is suggested that the resident present a seminar on the proposed research topic. For the second year, the resident should present data from their research project or an alternative topic. In the third year, the resident will present their final results from their research project.
  • Residents may elect to take the ACVIM general examination either a) after 2 years of his/her residency program, or b) with the certifying examination after 3 years of the residency. If option (a) is chosen, application to take the general exam is due by October 1 of the 2nd year. Application to take the general and certifying exams or certifying exam alone (if the general exam has already been passed) is due by October 1 of the 3rd year.
  • Formal evaluation by the Section of Medicine will be done at least twice yearly each year of the 3-year program. The evaluation process will be conducted by the Medicine Residency Committee. Continuation of in the program is dependent upon successful evaluations and annual reappointment.

Salaries and Benefits

  • Salaries are determined annually by the Head of the Department. They are standard for all residents in the Department of Veterinary Small Animal Clinical Sciences, and currently salaries increase with each year of service.
  • Residents may participate in the University’s medical-surgical insurance program.
  • All courtesies, such as athletic ticket purchases, use of university facilities, etc., are the same as for other faculty.
  • A Texas Veterinary license is required. A “special” license can be obtained by taking a short jurisprudence test during initial orientation. The cost of the annual license is paid for by the teaching hospital.
  • Some discretionary dollars are available on an annual basis for residents to use for the purchase of books or attendance of meetings.

Certification of Completion of Program

A certificate of completion of the residency program will be presented to the resident upon successful completion of the 3-year medical residency. A certificate will not be given for partial completion of a 3-year program or if the resident project is incomplete or unsatisfactory. ACVIM bylaws require institutional certification of completion of the candidate’s residency before an ACVIM diploma is granted.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The clinical service assignments and educational programs are established to meet, and exceed, the minimum requirements for residency training programs in the specialty of Cardiology as outlined in the ACVIM GIG by year of initiation of program.
  • All residents are required to participate in the provision of emergency services by the Small Animal Clinic which may include providing backup to interns on emergency cases and taking medicine transfers. Residents will be required to take case transfers on weekends to facilitate patient care of medicine referrals. In most cases this duty will occur when the resident is on a clinical rotation. The schedule will be assigned by the Head Resident using a rotating schedule. 1st-year residents have more than 2nd-year, etc. However, variations in assignments may occur if necessary to facilitate the function of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. In addition cardiology residents provide cardiology back-up on a rotating basis with other cardiology residents.
  • Participation in the departmental faculty-intern-resident training is required. The seminar program consists of a variety of scheduled professional development activities (clinicopathologic conferences, seminars and group discussions) arranged by the Head Resident in conjunction with a Faculty Coordinator. In general, activities will be scheduled weekly.
  • Residents are expected to present 3, 45 minute, seminars over the course of the 3-year program in the departmental Intern-Resident Seminar Series. Details of the requirements can be obtained from the Chair of the Residency Committee.
  • Residents will occasionally be expected to assist in didactic and laboratory instruction of students in the professional curriculum. They shall not head or have major teaching responsibilities for any course, elective, or didactic.
  • Participation in phone consultations with veterinarians/clients will be required. Responsibility will increase as the program progresses.
  • Holiday duty assignments will be determined by the Chief of Medicine and the Head Resident.

Service Rotation

First-Year Resident in Cardiology

  • Clinical duty assignments: 11 blocks on and 1 professional development block (1 block = 4 weeks); the development block to be scheduled in the last half of the year.
  • Registration with the secretary-treasurer of the ACVIM should be done by October 1st of the 1st year.
  • The research project topics should be formalized and or the project initiated the end of the first year.
  • Faculty-intern-resident Seminar Program Participation
    • The Head Resident and Faculty Coordinator for this program will schedule and assign responsibility for activities within this program. No more than 2 major presentations will be required of an individual during the 1st year.
    • Participation in the departmental seminar program and cardiology rounds is required. In addition, attending seminars and conferences held by other units of the college (e.g., radiology, necropsy, pathology, clinical pathology, physiology, etc.) is encouraged.
  • Service Rounds – Daily rounds of assigned clinical service are required, but the degree of participation will vary with the service and will be determined by the senior clinician.
  • The first-year resident(s) will be assigned to clinical duty during the ACVIM Forum.

Second-Year Resident in Cardiology

  • Clinical duty assignments: 10 blocks (1 block = 4 weeks) on and 2 professional development blocks or 9 blocks on and 3 professional development blocks if resident is able to justify need for time off to complete project or an out-rotation and it does not interfere with scheduling of the clinical cardiology service. The professional development blocks will be scheduled to meet the needs of the resident and the department by the best available compromise.
  • The research project should be initiated with substantial progress made toward completion in year 2 of the program. Manuscript preparation should begin.
  • The 2nd-year resident may apply to take the ACVIM general examination following 2 years of his/her residency program. If this option is chosen, application to the ACVIM is due by October 1 of the 2nd year.
  • Participation in Intern-Resident seminars, clinical rounds, teaching assignments, and emergency duty will continue as described in other portions of this document.

Third-Year Resident in Cardiology

  • Clinical duty assignments: 9 blocks on (1 block = 4 weeks) and 3 professional development blocks; the professional development blocks to be scheduled to meet the needs of the resident and the department by the best available compromise.
  • Application to take the ACVIM certifying examination (or general and certifying examination) is due by October 1 of the 3rd year. Acceptance of your program and credentials packet is required before the candidate is eligible for full diplomat status. See ACVIM GIG for specific requirements by year of initiation of program.
  • The following guidelines are strongly encouraged. All data collection and analysis for the research project should be completed by December 1 of the final year, and manuscript preparation should be started. Research projects should be written in final form for submission to a refereed journal by June 1 of the 3rd year. Satisfactory completion of a research project is required for residency certification.
  • Participation in Intern-Resident seminars, clinical rounds, teaching assignments, and emergency duty will continue as described in other portions of this document.