Open Positions

Zoological Residency Program University of Zurich and Zurich Zoo, Switzerland

Prepared by Jean-Michel Hatt,
Prof. Dr. med. vet, MSc, Dipl. ACZM, Dipl ECZM (avian)
Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife 
Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich 
Winterthurerstarsse 260
CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel +41-44-635 83 42
Fax +41-44-635 89 01


The Clinic of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Department of Small Animals of the Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich offers a 4-year employment including a residency program in Exotic Animal, Wildlife & Zoological Medicine (36 months). The starting date is as defined in the advertisement. This program is supervised by Prof Jean-Michel Hatt Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine. The second ACZM Diplomate on site is Dr. Maya Kummrow. Residents completing this program will be eligible for the ACZM. The individual completing this program will have attained a broad clinical base for future involvement in a variety of nondomestic animal practices including zoos, wildlife parks, research institutions, universities, or exotic pet referral practices.

There is no tuition for the program. Professional liability insurance is provided, but health insurance (approx. CHF2’000/year) and parking expenses (approx. CHF600/year) are the responsibility of the individual. Twenty-five days of annual leave are available, as part of the off-clinics time. The average annual salary is CHF65’000.

Requirements: Candidates must be fluent in spoken German as well as written and spoken English. All applicants must be licensed to practice veterinary medicine in their country of origin, and priority is given to those candidates that fulfill the following;
1)    2-4 years of practical experience in small animal/exotic or zoo animal medicine, or completion of a 1-year small animal (or exotic) rotating internship. General clinical competency is essential.
2)    Previous veterinary experience at a recognized institution with a reference from the supervising veterinarian (e.g. externships at US veterinary hospitals, zoos, or private practices). A short externship at the Clinic of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, University of Zurich can be arranged.
3)    Excellent academic record with previous research experience and veterinary publications. 

All four years are primarily devoted to participating in the Clinic of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), University of Zurich and in field activities at a variety of zoological collections including Zurich Zoo and the Wild Animal Park Langenberg. The annual hospital and field caseload approx. 3000 cases/yr. In every 12 month period, the resident will spend 10 months on-clinic duty and 2-months off-clinics fulfilling their scholarly requirements for research and publications, and taking additional specialist externships and participating at conferences.

The residency emphasizes clinical training in the principles of zoological medicine and surgery. The clinical work is approximately distributed as follows: 49% mammals, 30% reptiles, 20% birds, and 1% fish/invertebrates, with 40% zoo animals, 50% privately owned exotic pets, and 10% wildlife. In addition to the supervising on-clinic faculty (2 ACZM Diplomates), the resident is aided by one assistant professor, one intern and another resident, three certified veterinary/medical technicians, and one veterinary assistants. There are generally 2-3 veterinary students on rotation at the VTH.

The resident is encouraged to attend and present at a national or international conference at least twice during the residency, as well as attend lectures or seminars in the Veterinary Faculty or on University campus. The resident will work under the supervision of senior faculty members and will be responsible for (1) participating in the daily activities of the medical service of the hospital including primary case responsibilities and case rounds; (2) participating in regular visits to Zurich Zoo and the Wild Animal Park Langenberg; (3) providing assistance in instruction and supervision of veterinary students assigned to exotics duty; (4) providing emergency weekend duties; (5) active participation in zoological journal clubs, book clubs rounds and rounds.

The ACZM requires that all residents receive, in addition to clinical training, some exposure to investigative approaches during their residency. Limited funds are available through the Clinic of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife for the residency research project, but grant submission for extramural grants is encouraged under faculty mentorship. 

The major aim of this residency program is to graduate veterinarians who are eligible to take the ACZM diploma examinations. To attain this goal, it is necessary to complete the publication requirements for the examinations of the ACZM by the end of the residency training, no later than March. Assuming this goal is met, the resident may be eligible to sit the exam in fall of the same year as completing the residency.

The successful candidate will be licensed to practice within the Veterinary Faculty by virtue of a faculty license. The faculty license permits veterinarians from recognized vet schools to practice within the residency program of the hospital, and may be obtained without examination. 

Interested applicants must submit
1) a letter of intent outlining special interest in the position, overall related qualifications and experience and career goals;
2) curriculum vitae
3) the names and addresses of three professional references that can be contacted for information.

Written applications (as a single pdf via email attachment) including a CV and list of publications/conference contributions (attaching examples is recommended), copies of all relevant diplomas, credentials and certificates, the name and contact details of three persons that can be contacted as references, and a brief statement about career goals should be sent to: Ms Eveline Huber, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland,

Currently open position is starting in April 2023, deadline for application September 30th 2022.

For further questions about this program, please contact:
Prof. Dr. Jean-Michel Hatt
Dipl. ACZM Dipl. ECZM (Avian)
Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich
tel: +41 44 635 83 42

Job offer as PDF (PDF, 81 KB)