HomeVeterinary Resident Program Over 44 Years
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Veterinary Resident Program Over 44 Years

Categories: Veterinary Exam

Brushing a lion’s teeth, cleaning a giraffe’s ear and trimming a tortoise’s toenails are all in a hard day’s work for zoo veterinarians and those training to join the field of zoological medicine. The Sacramento Zoo plays a key role in the training of future zoo and wildlife veterinarians as the very first zoological medicine residency program in the world. Dr. Murray E. Fowler started the program at UC Davis in 1974, and as part of the training the residents in this program provided veterinary care to the animals at the Sacramento Zoo. This successful partnership has trained 36 resident veterinarians for careers in zoological medicine and given hundreds of veterinary students the opportunity to gain invaluable experience working with exotic and endangered species at locations that include your local zoo.

Sloth ExamThe multi-site, three-year residency program begins at UC Davis and the Sacramento Zoo. During the second year of the program, residents travel to the San Diego Zoo, and the third and final year of the program is at both the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and SeaWorld San Diego. This partnership benefits the animals and veterinary students and residents alike, allowing students to receive hands-on, onsite training where they gain proficiency under the guidance of knowledgeable and experienced zoo veterinarians.

Before joining the residency program, veterinarians have already received a lot of training and education. Typically, they have completed four years of undergraduate college, four years of veterinary school, and an internship for one to two years. A zoological medicine residency program is an additional three years of specialty education for a total of 13 years of college training! At the end of all of this residency, residents must then pass a comprehensive and difficult two day examination that tests their knowledge related to caring for the wide variety of animals that reside in zoos and the wild before they are board certified in zoological medicine, and considered a specialist in the field.

We celebrate those who have completed the program and welcome those who will embark on the journey to become one of the few, a zoo veterinarian.



1974–76 Dr. George Kollias, Cornell University
1976–78 Dr. David Krogdahl
1976–78 Dr. Graham Crawshaw, Toronto Zoo
1978–80 Dr. Scott McDonald, Private Practice
1980–82 Dr. Zalmir Cubas
1982–84 Dr. Don Gillespie, Cincinnati Zoo
1984–86 Dr. Joanne Paul Murphy, University of Wisconsin
1986–87 Dr. Barbara Shor
1986–87 Dr. Gretchen Kaufman, Tufts University
1987–89 Dr. James Stewart, Private Practice
1989–90 Dr. Joannes Bos
1989–91 Dr. Mark Drew, Idaho State Fish and Game
1990–92 Dr. J. Robin Scott
1991–93 Dr. Nadine Lamberski, Riverbanks Zoo
1992–93 Dr. R. Brooks Bloomfield, Private Practice
1993–95 Dr. Genny Dumonceaux, Busch Gardens, Tampa FL
1994–96 Dr. Mary Denver, Baltimore Zoo
1995–987 Dr. Lisa Harrenstien, Oregon Zoo
1997–99 Dr. Marni Lamm, LA Zoo
1998–00 Dr. Keith Benson, Riverbanks Zoo
2001–04 Dr. Lauren Howard, Houston Zoo
2002–05 Dr. Nancy Boedeker, National Zoo
2003–06 Dr. Cora Singleton, Los Angeles Zoo
2004–07 Dr. Julio Mercado, Audubon Zoo
2005–08 Dr. Deena Brenner, Denver Zoo
2006–09 Dr. Jenny Waldoch, Henry Doorly Zoo
2007–10 Dr. Conor Kigallon, United Arab Emirates
2008–11 Dr. Amanda White, USDA San Francisco
2009–12 Dr. Anne Burgdorf, Sioux Falls, SD
2010–13 Dr. Kristen Phair, Phoenix, AZ
2011–14 Dr. Matt Kinney, St. Louis Zoo
2012–15 Dr. Christine Molter, Houston Zoo
2013–16 Dr. Katie Delk, North Carolina Zoo
2014 Dr. Sean Brady, San Francisco Zoo
2015–18 Dr. Mary Thurber
2016–19 Dr. Matt Marinkovich
2017–2020 Dr. Louden Wright

The next time you visit the Sacramento Zoo, stop by the Murry E. Fowler Veterinary Hospital to possibly catch a glimpse of the residents and veterinarians performing an exam on a zoo animal!