The small animal nutrition residency training program at the University of Tennessee (UT)
is a two year program that meets the requirements as set forth by the American College of
Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN). The UT College of Veterinary Medicine currently has three
board-certified veterinary nutritionists with a ten year history of successfully training ACVN
The goal of our program is to prepare veterinarians to become diplomates in the American
College of Veterinary Nutrition and qualify them for careers in industry, academics, or
private practice. We provide industry experience by exposing residents to pet food
manufacturing operations and building relationships with industry representatives. To
excel in academic environments, we provide residents ample opportunities to teach
veterinary students and pursue research projects. Finally, our clinical nutrition service and
client interactions make our residents well prepared for a private practice career.
UTVMC has a busy clinical nutrition service that provides both remote and local nutrition
consultations. Our caseload consists primarily of homemade diet formulation and
commercial diet recommendations for dogs and cats with medical conditions. We also
manage in-patient and out-patient obesity cases and assist with enteral and parenteral
feeding plans for hospitalized patients.
In addition to managing cases within the clinical nutrition practice, residents will also be
expected to complete two graduate-level courses in nutrition, submit 3 case reports as
outlined by the ACVN, and complete an original first author research publication. We also
require rotations through other services within the UT Veterinary Medical Center (e.g.
internal medicine, emergency and critical care, community practice, avian and exotic
medicine) and encourage externships with other nutrition programs. If desired, there may
also be opportunity to pursue a PhD following the residency training.
Didactic education in the form of weekly seminars and 7 hours of graduate course work is
required for residents. Residents also participate in weekly nutrition and internal medicine
journal clubs. Seminars covering multiple disciplines, along with journal clubs, college-wide
case rounds, and specialty lectures are scheduled throughout the program.
Experience in laboratory and classroom teaching of veterinary students is an important
part of the academic residency program. Formal classroom lectures and laboratory
instructions are given by the resident during the program, and participation in grand
rounds with faculty and house officers is required throughout the residency. The resident
will also be responsible for teaching senior veterinary students who rotate through the
clinical nutrition service.
The UT Veterinary Medical Center is a state of the art facility with specialists in internal
medicine, surgery, emergency and critical care, dermatology, sports medicine and
rehabilitation, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, anesthesia, radiology, community
practice, and behavior. In addition to the standard imaging and clinical pathology services
expected at a large academic teaching hospital, equipment directly related to nutritional
practice and research includes a parenteral nutrition compounder, dual energy x-ray
absorptiometry (DEXA), force plate analysis, land and underwater treadmills, and canine
While interviews are not required, potential applicants are encouraged to visit to
familiarize themselves with the program and the facility. Remote video interviews are also