Veterinarian conducting research in a lab with a microscope

Pathology Training Program

COMBINED PATHOLOGY TRAINING AND MASTER OF SCIENCE BY RESEARCH DEGREE PROGRAM

The dual training (clinical and anatomic pathology) combined with a MSc by Research degree position is a paid, two-year advanced training program. This position provides a unique opportunity for training in both clinical and anatomic pathology, as well as an opportunity to earn an MSc by Research degree in a related area such as Public Health, Tropical Animal Health, Conservation Medicine or other research areas supported by Ross Vet.

The objectives of the pathology training are partial preparation for American College of Veterinary Pathologists Board Certification, with the expectation to sit Phase 1 of ACVP board exam, and development of skills in teaching and diagnostics in clinical and anatomic pathology. The combined training/MSc will prepare the candidate to be a strong contender for competitive residency and research positions internationally. We are currently exploring a collaboration with another ACVP residency center where the candidate will spend an extra year to fulfil the residency requirements and become ACVP board exam eligible. 


PATHOLOGY TRAINEE DUTIES & RESPONIBILITIES 

Our full team is comprised of four anatomic pathologists and four clinical pathologists, ACVP board-certified or currently board eligible and preparing for Phase II of the examination. Pathology trainees are expected to spend a portion of their time interacting with veterinary students, primarily in the laboratory setting, and performing diagnostics under the supervision of clinical and anatomic pathologists, with weekly rotations. The trainee will have ample training and learning opportunities in subspecialty areas of veterinary clinical pathology and anatomic pathology, including cytopathology, hemopathology, histopathology and autopsy.

The trainee is also expected to complete a MSc by Research degree program, and to submit two manuscripts suitable for publication. Additional duties and responsibilities may be assigned by the Biomedical Department or Pathology Division Head as needed.
 

PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS

To be considered for this program, candidates must possess the following:

  • A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree or equivalent
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work with others in a collegial team atmosphere
  • A strong desire for advanced clinical pathology and/or anatomic pathology training, leading to ACVP/ECVP-Board certification

 

START TERMS

This combined Pathology Training and MSc by Research Degree Program operates on a two-year cycle. The next intake for this program will begin on July 1, 2023.

 

REQUEST INFORMATION

For more information about this program, please contact Talent Acquisition at RossVetJobs@rossvet.edu.kn

 

OUR FACILITIES

Ross Vet offers a unique program of training on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. A curriculum with innovative use of technologies and simulations, provides the best possible training for tomorrow’s veterinarians.

A new Research and Pathology building was inaugurated in 2018, crating 13,000 square feet of research space, including eight laboratories. The site features 2,000 square feet dedicated to pathology, including:

  • Autopsy and histology suites,
  • An overhead camera,
  • An interactive viewing gallery,
  • A multiheaded microscopy room for 10 observers
  • Space for small group meetings

The research and pathology sections of the building were designed to BSL-2 biosafety standards.

Our ongoing research focuses on key issues strategically relevant to One Health in tropical and developing countries and include zoonotic diseases, food safety and security, environmental health, and conservation medicine. 

PATHOLOGY BOARD EXAMINATION

IN TERMS OF EXTENDING THE PROGRAM TO COMPLETE ACVP BOARDS, WHAT ARE THE CURRENT OPTIONS?

There are several options depending on the candidate with plenty of flexibility. The trainee will receive full support to sit for phase 1 of the ACVP board exam, during the second year of the training, once a candidate is eligible. We have had cases of trainees opting to move into a pathology residency program, and then passing the ACVP board exam later. Others have opted to go for the alternative route and passed the pathology board exam beforehand. Some have even moved into a PhD while studying for boards.

STRUCTURE – REQUIREMENTS

I NOTICED THAT YOUR PROGRAM IS 2 YEARS LONG WITH COMPLETION OF A MASTER’S DEGREE. IS THERE AN OPTION TO FOREGO COMPLETION OF THE MASTER’S DEGREE AND REDUCE THE TIME OF THE INTERNSHIP?

The completion of a master’s degree is required. Our program is designed for someone with very little exposure to pathology but with a strong motivation to learn. If your accomplishments already include a Master’s degree, you are most likely above the level for which this program was designed. 

HOW MUCH TIME IS ALLOCATED TO THE RESEARCH COMPONENT OF THIS PROGRAM, AND HOW IS THIS TIME SCHEDULED TO FIT IN WITH THE OTHER ASPECTS OF THE TRAINING?

This will vary depending on the project: teaching and service duties including training will be prioritized followed by research duties and other activities such as organizing weekly rounds (WSC or own cases), assisting with the submission of 2 cases each year to WSC etc.

IS THERE STIPULATION ON THE RESEARCH COMPLETED AS PART OF THE MSC PROGRAM, OR IS THERE FLEXIBILITY TO FORMULATE THE RESEARCH PLAN?

There is flexibility in choosing the topic of your research by facilitating meetings with various Principal Investigators (PI’s) and incorporating previously mastered techniques would be a plus. We strongly encourage some pathology component to be included in the MSc project.

IS THERE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY (IHC) ON A REGULAR BASIS AND, IF SO, WHICH ANTIBODIES ARE ROUTINELY USED?

Our Histology and Research lab has the infrastructure and offers support for performing IHC. This is performed mainly as part of research projects and is not routinely used for diagnostic cases.

HOW FRESH ARE THE AVERAGE NECROPSY CASES?

Most of the submissions are fresh cases. While we encourage clinicians to work with us in submitting cases as soon as possible, we do sometimes we get frozen cases during school breaks or when cases come from other islands.

IS THE INTERNSHIP AVAILABLE THROUGH THE MATCH PROGRAM, OR DO I APPLY ELSEWHERE?

Unfortunately, our training program is not available through the match program.

CASE LOAD

WHAT SORT OF CASE LOAD IS PRESENTED TO THE PATHOLOGY UNIT IN TERMS OF NUMBERS OF CASES AND SPECIES?

Anatomic pathology has about 200 autopsy cases per year and about 100-150 biopsies per year. Clinical pathology averages are estimated at:

  • Hematology: about 2000 cases per year
  • Chemistry: about 2000 cases per year
  • Cytology: about 200 cases per year

Below are examples from previous years for autopsies and histology service.

 

BENEFITS

CAN I UNDERTAKE EXTERNSHIPS IN OTHER UNIVERSITIES DURING MY VACATION TIME?

The program offers funding for one continuous education event each year (course, conference etc.) The trainee is strongly encouraged to attend the annual ACVP or ECVP meeting at least once and prepare and present a poste or oral presentation of own research or a case report.

WHAT BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE WITH THIS INTERNSHIP?

The trainee will receive Coach airfare to relocate to St. Kitts and to repatriate once the program is complete.  In addition, a lump sum payment of US $1,000 for reasonable and customary costs associated with relocation is provided.  

Currently, RUSVM’s policy allows Interns to take 10 days paid vacation per year, the date and timing of which must be scheduled in advance with the approval of the Department Head, Biomedical Sciences.  

Also at current, all health benefits for trainees are currently covered by the University at 100% of cost, with the option to cover spouse and/or dependents with 100% of the health care benefit costs covered by the trainee in the form of payroll deduction.  This benefit is subject to change or cancellation. 

HOW WILL I SUBMIT MY LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION AND WHEN?

To standardize and simplify our process and to allow us to more easily compare and contrast recommendations, if chosen for an interview you will receive an email with a link to our reference system.  Within the system you will be prompted to enter the contact information for up to 5 references.  You need only submit 3 at a minimum.  Your referees will then receive an email with a similar link.  It should take them no more than 20-30 minutes to complete the reference questions. 

Dr. Matthew J. Valentine
BVMS, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVP. ‘17
When I accepted the internship position at RUSVM I was told that it was great opportunity, and it certainly has proven to be in my case.

“When I accepted the internship position at RUSVM I was told that it was great opportunity, and it certainly has proven to be in my case. Although developing a career in pathology is difficult coming from a clinical nonacademic background, RUSVM has a broader outlook and recognizes skillsets gained from clinical experience. The program nurtured my research into tropical arboviral diseases, allowed me to pursue a higher degree (the initial MSc turned into a PhD), and begin specialist training in veterinary anatomic pathology. Throughout my time as an intern at RUSVM (and beyond!) I was given independence and encouraged to forge collaborations with leading researchers in their fields. I also benefited from exemplary and inspirational support and mentorship from my supervisors. I am proud to call myself a Rossie! I have no reservation in recommending the program.”

Dr. Matthew J. Valentine
BVMS, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVP. ‘17
Judit M. Wulcan
DVM, MSc ‘19
I see my pathology training time at RUSVM as the single most important time in my life.

“I see my pathology training time at RUSVM as the single most important time in my life. It helped me build a solid foundation and shape the path of my career. The freedom, resources and faculty support that were available to me during my internship and Master of Science degree program gave me the perfect environment to develop, explore and grow as a budding pathologist, researcher, and teacher. Experiencing the rich culture and nature of the island was an invaluable experience.”

Judit M. Wulcan
DVM, MSc ‘19
JESSICA BAILEY ‘15
DVM, MS, DACVP
“I am grateful for my training at RUSVM."
"This internship was a great bridge between veterinary school and my pathology residency training. By the conclusion of the internship, I had a solid foundation in both clinical and anatomic pathology. This foundation set the stage for continued success throughout my pathology career. I passed my ACVP board exam after residency while working as a toxicologic pathologist.”
JESSICA BAILEY ‘15
DVM, MS, DACVP