Comparative Medicine – Experiential Learning

Clinical Care/Research Support

Residents experience the breadth of animal research performed on the College Station campus as well as satellite facilities and off-campus rotations (e.g., nonhuman primate rotations, below). Residents work alongside the Comparative Medicine veterinarians. The percentage of working hours spent on clinical duties varies over the three-year residency. During the first year, residents spend approximately 75% of their work hours in seeing clinical cases, providing animal care and research support, and training in various lab animal techniques. As residents advance through their second and third year, this time is reduced to approximately 50% and 30% of total working hours, respectively. (Coursework is ongoing throughout the three-year residency.) The reduction in clinical work hours allows residents dedicated time to perform their research project (i.e., mainly year 2) toward fulfillment of the ACLAM-required first author paper. During the later half of year 3, reduced clinical hours allows residents protected study time and ACLAM Board preparation.

Animal Species and Facilities

Residency rotations are divided among three primary areas: 1) Veterinary Medical Park (VMP) and Animal Science Teaching, Research, and Education Center (ASTREC) (horses, cattle, small ruminants and swine); 2) Laboratory Animal Resources and Research (LARR) Facility (rodents, dogs, cats, bats, frogs, rabbits); 3) Texas Institute of Preclinical Studies (TIPS) (swine, small ruminants); Texas A&M Institute of Genomic Medicine (TIGM) (transgenic mice); and multiple satellite vivaria served by the Comparative Medicine Residency Training Program (CMP) containing a variety of species.

Animal Biosafety Training

In addition to ABSL-2 and ABSL-3 animal research space, Texas A&M is now home to the Global Health Research Complex, a new state-of-the-art BSL-3Ag facility capable of holding species as large as bison.

Nonhuman Primate Training

Texas A&M does not currently conduct research utilizing nonhuman primates on its campuses. However, we have agreements with several institutions where nonhuman primates make up a significant portion of the research animal census. All residents in our program must complete a mandatory four-week nonhuman primate rotation. An optional second rotation is possible for interested individuals

Regulatory Training

Residents receive IACUC training and have an opportunity to serve on the IACUC as an alternate member. Duties include reviewing protocols; writing/reviewing guidance documents and standard operating procedures; performing IACUC facility inspections and semi-annual reviews; and all other IACUC member duties.