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Clinical Veterinarian

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
San Francisco, United States Posted: March 22, 2024

The San Francisco Zoological Society (“Society”) is a non-profit institution that manages and raises funds for San Francisco Zoo and Gardens (“Zoo”).  The Society’s mission, supra, is summarized as the 3 c’s: to connect our visitors with wildlife so that they care about nature and ultimately conserve it.  The Society’s leadership team is comprised of a C.E.O. & Executive Director as well as a professional team of Senior Managers. The Society endeavors to meet or exceed the standards of its industry peers, including those established by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (“AZA”). For over 30 years, the Society has been continuously accredited by the AZA.

  • Upholds the Society’s mission, core values and other policies/procedure outlined in the Employee Handbook and elsewhere.
  • This position may be required to work weekends and holidays, subject to operational needs.
  • Assists the Chief Vet or designee in providing veterinary and related services for animals at the Zoo, including but not limited to, examinations, tests, diagnoses, treatments, preventive medical care, and research by performing the following duties. 
  • include the following. Other duties may be assigned or required
  • Provides medical and surgical treatment for sick or injured animals; administers medications and instructs other Zoo employees in the administration of medication to animals; supervises the tranquilization or anesthesia of animals; supervises the handling and restraint of animals requiring treatment or hospitalization.
  • Monitors general health and well-being of the collection and continually assesses and improves the preventative health care protocols for all species.
  • Participates in comprehensive preventative medicine and animal wellness program for all collection animals including annual reviews, routine examinations, vaccination, reproduction, nutrition, zoonoses prevention, parasite and infectious disease control, quarantine, and medical record maintenance. Utilizes varied Wellness and Animal Care staff expertise to bring an integrated approach to zoo animal health and behavioral care. Takes a primary role in supporting Doctor-Patient interactions that are based on positive human-animal interactions.
  • Participates in the Zoo’s behavioral training program for medical procedures. Follows Zoo’s training philosophy and adheres to training plans.
  • Follows all Zoo hospital policies. Develops policies as instructed.
  • Performs or supervises diagnostic testing.
  • Participates in management of the hospital pharmacy.
  • Performs gross necropsies to establish the causes of death; makes recommendations regarding the disposition of deceased animals.
  • Maintains accurate and thorough computerized medical records.
  • Examines animals before shipment; orders and evaluates pertinent tests; and issues health certificates.
  • Actively consults with animal management staff and keepers to identify and anticipate needed medical services.
  • Actively collaborates with the wellness department staff to identify and anticipate behavioral and training needs.  Utilizes and adheres to the Zoo’s quality of life assessment program and employs data in decision making.
  •  Observes and complies with all applicable Federal, State, County and City laws, regulations and ordinances, including AZA, DEA, USFWS, CDFW, NOAA, OSHA and USDA requirements.
  • Provides direction to help maintain the productivity needed to complete the daily tasks by the hospital staff.
  • Develops and promotes a team approach with animal division and hospital. In the absence of the Chief Vet, works with Hospital Manager to facilitate scheduling and ordering.
  • Provides technical training to improve the skill level of other staff members.
  • Participate in teaching medical skills to visiting veterinary student externs.
  • May produce and submit manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals.
  • May represent the Zoo at conferences with presentations.
  • Interacts with Zoo visitors courteously and offers proper attention at all times.
  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 
  • D.V.M. or  V.M.D. from an AVMA accredited institution and be licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the state of California or be eligible to obtain California state licensing within six months of start of employment.
  • DACZM preferred or in process.
  • Minimum five years of full time clinical zoological medicine experience and proven managerial experience preferred, or the equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities in the practice of zoo veterinary medicine.  Other abilities and requirements include:
  • Excellent medical and surgical skills are essential including strong abilities with general anesthesia for a wide variety of species in a field environment.
  • Clinical experience with a broad range of captive wildlife species is highly desirable.
  • Excellent interpersonal and professional skills necessary to establish and maintain positive working relationships with hospital staff, management, all zoo employees, members of the public, media, and donors.
  • Ability to adapt to high stress circumstances and determine course of action while directing appropriate staff. Understanding of when to hand off responsibility.
  • Ability to manage, supervise, train, and coordinate complex functions, areas of responsibility, and groups of employees.  Problem identification and report on issues and recommend solutions to appropriate manager. Be flexible in decision making and be open to ideas, concepts and solutions.
  • Proficiency in utilizing ultrasound, radiography, flexible and rigid endoscopy equipment.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a valid federal DEA license.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain USDA-APHIS accreditation.
  • Proven record of involvement in the zoo community (published papers, articles, research projects) is preferred.
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
  • Possess a high level of energy, be self-motivated, and have a commitment to professional excellence.
  • California license to practice veterinary medicine, USDA accreditation for the issuance of health certificates, DEA registration certificate for the use of controlled substances.
  • Board certification in zoological medicine or eligibility to take the board examination in zoological medicine administered by the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM) is desirable.
  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands, talk and hear. 
  • The employee frequently is required to stand and walk. 
  • The employee is occasionally required to sit, reach with hands and arms, taste and smell. 
  • The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 100 pounds with assistance.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include color vision.
  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions. 
  • The employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts and toxic or caustic chemicals. 
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to potentially hazardous animals. 
  • The position is considered to be on call weekends, nights and for emergencies. 
Salary Range:
  • $85,000-$100,000
  •  Apply via our web site at www.sfzoo.org/jobs. 
  • Candidates should submit a letter of intent, Curriculum Vitae, and contact information for three (3) references.

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