Small Animal Resident Selection Processes at a University Teaching Hospital: An Analysis and Recommendations for Improvement. Academic Article uri icon


  • Concerns regarding resident performance within a small animal department prompted a review of selection practices, with the intent of improving validity and efficiency. Information was gathered from semi-structured interviews and descriptions of current processes; emphasis was placed on determining how the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program application was used. Processes were found to lack standardization and rely heavily on arbitrary judgments. In addition, faculty members expressed concerns regarding their reliability and the time spent generating candidate rankings. Suggestions for improvement were based on current practices in personnel psychology and human resource management. The need for standardization within and across specialty groups was emphasized, along with a multiple-hurdle approach in which a substantial deficit or red flag in any component results in candidate disqualification. Comprehensive recommendations were made for the selection process as follows: Each application undergoes initial administrative screening for employment eligibility and academic cut-offs; eligible applications are scored by 2-3 faculty members using defined ratings on four equally weighted pre-interview criteria (i.e., veterinary education, post-graduation experiences, personal statement, and standardized letters of reference); phone calls to colleagues with knowledge of the applicant follow specific guidelines and a rating scale; veterinary-situational structured interview questions with appropriate rating scales are used to assess candidates' standing on specified competencies identified as important for success; and the interview score is weighted equally and added to the four pre-interview components to determine the final rank. It is hoped this new approach will take less time and facilitate the selection of successful residents.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Med Educ

author list (cited authors)

  • Cook, A. K., Creevy, K. E., Levine, J., & Arthur, W.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Cook, Audrey K||Creevy, Kate E||Levine, Jonathan||Arthur, Winfred

publication date

  • January 2021