The Small Animal Teaching Hospital (SATH) offers several residency programmes designed for veterinarians who wish to specialise in specific disciplines related to small animal practice. They provide first class, world-renowned training for veterinary specialisation. All residents are enrolled in the appropriate EBVS affiliated programme (ECVIM-CA, ECVDI, ECVAA, ECVS, ECVN, or ECVD) and are expected to sit the examinations required to become a board certified specialist in their chosen discipline. Residencies typically last 3 years.

Programme outline

Residencies are designed for highly motivated veterinary professionals who wish to develop their veterinary skills, experience and knowledge by working under supervision in a multi-disciplinary referral hospital, studying towards specialist Diploma examinations and developing clinical research skills. There is some variation in programme requirements for the individual disciplines, but all involve predominantly clinical training. Residents also have to undertake at least one research project and must prepare a manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Available programmes

  • Anaesthesia (ECVAA approved)
  • Diagnostic Imaging (ECVDI approved)
  • Dermatology (ECVD approved)
  • Cardiology (ECVIM approved)
  • Internal Medicine (ECVIM approved)
  • Oncology (ECVIM approved)
  • Neurology (ECVN approved)
  • Surgery (ECVS approved)

Entry requirements

For most residencies the European college requires candidates to have completed a rotating internship in an appropriately approved training centre or an equivalent period in high quality small animal practice (usually two years). The requirements of the individual programmes vary: candidates should refer to the website of the regulating college for details.

Assessment and Appraisal

Each resident is continually assessed and constructive feedback is provided both informally and formally as necessary. Each resident has a formal appraisal at least annually to track their progress and ensure that all necessary tasks are completed by the end of the programme.

Application process

Posts are advertised on the University vacancies website, in the Veterinary Record and usually on the website of the relevant European college. Residencies are in great demand and, regrettably, this means that many good applicants are not successful. Potential candidates should not submit CVs when there is no post available: these are not kept on file.

Interviews typically last 20-30 minutes and are designed to test the applicant’s understanding of the role and their motivation for applying. For some posts, additional selection tools are used (e.g. written clinical tests).

Selection Criteria

Further particulars for each post are available on the university webpage, including a detailed employee specification. Applicants must hold a veterinary degree and be Members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (for some posts, candidates eligible for RCVS membership will be considered). They must be able to communicate clearly in English, both verbally and in writing. Applicants who do not meet these minimum requirements cannot be considered. Those for whom English is not their first language are encouraged to practice as a veterinary surgeon in the UK for at least 1 year prior to application to SATH programmes.

Essential personal attributes include:

  • Willingness to work hard
  • Highly developed organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to cope under pressure
  • Positive attitude at all times
  • Desire to take part in advancing veterinary science
  • Ability to work with a range of people including veterinary students, senior clinicians and nursing and support staff
  • Patience to teach and guide veterinary undergraduate students

Visiting the SATH prior to application

If you are considering applying for a residency programme, you may wish to visit the hospital first. Shortlisted candidates may be offered a short visit (typically for a day) at the discretion of the head of the service concerned.

Terms and conditions

Residents in the SATH are employed by the University of Liverpool and are staff members, not students. They are eligible for the USS pensions scheme and other staff benefits. Residents are appointed to grade 6 on the salary scale, giving a current starting salary of £28,660. As these are training programmes, residents are appointed to a fixed term contract. Their holiday allowance complies with their specific approved residency programme.

Residents are required to enrol in and fulfil the requirement of the applicable residency programme. They are also required to participate in out of hours duties as part of their training. The frequency of duty varies with operational need, but candidates should be prepared to be on duty with a frequency of 1 in 4. Residents are expected to support all clinical and teaching activities of the SATH.