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Program Directors/Clinician Investigators

Dr. Adam Birkenheuer
Phone: 919.513.8288

Dr. Katharine Lunn
Phone: 919.513.6701


Small Animal Internal Medicine Residency and Clinician Investigator Program (CI)

Program Description Summary for Internal Medicine Residency

The Internal Medicine Residency Program provides advanced clinical training in small animal internal medicine, which meets or exceeds the training requirements outlined by the ACVIM. The primary objectives of the program are to develop clinical proficiency in small animal internal medicine; gain experience in didactic and clinical teaching; and to complete one or more clinical research projects. The duration of the program is three years. Board Certification in the ACVIM is anticipated by the end of the third year.

The program is highly structured and training is achieved through supervised case responsibility (internal medicine and other specialties) and participation in daily case rounds, intern/resident rounds, and the House Officer Seminar Program. Attendance at other college rounds and seminars is encouraged, time permitting. The internal medicine resident functions as the primary clinician for general internal medicine cases, sub-specialty clinics (pulmonary and renal), daytime emergencies, and referrals. Responsibilities include the supervision and education of professional veterinary students, interns, and other residents; patient care; progressive diagnostic and therapeutic patient management; consultations and communications with clients and referring veterinarians; and the efficient organization, operation and scheduling of the internal medicine service. Residents are expected to contribute to daily student rounds, clinician case discussion rounds, and provide internal medicine backup for the emergency service and after hours intern. While the residents are given full responsibility for their clinical activities, they are expected to seek the daily guidance and opinions of faculty to ensure a comprehensive educational experience.

During the residency a generous amount of time is allotted to independent research activity. This time should be utilized to research, initiate, and complete a clinical project with at least one publication in press by the end of the residency program. Whenever possible, results of the project should be presented in abstract form at the Annual Forum of the ACVIM.

To apply for a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine, please visit the online Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program. To schedule a visit for the Internal Medicine or Clinician Investigator program please e-mail a letter of intent, CV and available date(s) to Sheri Renno and Dr. Adam Birkenheuer.

A Survey of Participants in the Small Animal Internal medicine Residency at North Carolina State University

Name Date ACVIM Boards Position
Rob Goodman 2000 Passed US Army
Marion Haber            2004 Passed Private Practice
Tonya Boyle  2004 Passed Private Practice
Mike Mazzei 2004 Passed Private Practice
Matt Takara 2005 Passed

US Army

Jim Hummel   2006 Passed Private Practice
Jason Reeder 2007 Passed Private Practice
Ashley Cruse  2007 Passed Private Practice
Jodi Nicklas 2007 Passed US Army
Cristina Perez            2008 Passed Graduate School
Rae Hutchins 2009 Passed Private Practice
Justin DeVanna 2010 Passed US Army
Michael DiCicco 2010 Passed Private Practice
Amy Davenport 2010 Passed Private Practice
Jean-Sebastian Palerme 2011 Passed NCSU Fellowship
Jessica Pritchard 2012 NA Residency in Progress
Kate Aicher 2013 NA Residency in Progress
Lauren Devine 2013 NA Residency in Progress
Laura Greene 2013 NA Residency in Progress
Genna Atiee 2014 NA Residency in Progress

Program Description Summary for Clinician Investigator (CI) Program

The Internal Medicine Clinician Investigator Program provides clinical training in small animal internal medicine (as described above) and graduate research training toward the PhD degree. The residency portion of the program meets or exceeds the training requirements outlined by the ACVIM for candidates seeking Board Certification in small animal internal medicine. The primary objectives of the program are to develop clinical proficiency in veterinary internal medicine, gain experience in didactic and clinical teaching, and proficiency in basic and applied research. The duration of the program varies according to each student's ability to satisfy program requirements, but will be no less than five years.

The Clinician Investigator Program is highly structured, rigorous, and embodies a spirit of cooperation amongst clinical and basic science faculty. The program was designed to satisfy the needs of those individuals who are seeking a career in academic veterinary medicine, industry, or government, and many past participants of the CI program at NCSU have highly successful academic careers (see below). Successful completion of the program is dependent upon attracting candidates of the highest caliber who are capable of excelling in this demanding program. Because of the breadth and complexity of the program, the clinician investigator will participate in a diverse group of activities with increasing levels of responsibility. Clinical activity is most intensive in the first year of the program and clinical training is as described above for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. During the second and third years, both clinical and research activities are scheduled. The remaining years of the program are devoted primarily to research activities.

To apply to the Clinician Investigator program, click here.

A Survey of Participants in the Clinician Investigator Program at North Carolina State University

Name Start PhD Boards Current Position
Russell Greene 1984 Microbiology Medicine Reference Lab/Speciality Practice
Syl Price 1985 Pharmtoxicology Medicine Industry, Elanco
Shelly Vaden 1986 Pharmtoxicology Medicine Professor, NC State University
Leah Cohn 1987 Immunology and Infectious Disease Medicine Professor, University of Missouri
Heather Jans   N/A Medicine Specialty Practice
Rance Sellon 1988 Immunology Medicine Associate Professor, Washington State University
Cathy Baty 1989 Virology Medicine Faculty, University of Pittsburgh
Julie Levy 1990 Immunology Medicine Professor, University of Florida
Kevin Monce 1991 N/A Medicine Specialty Practice
Karyl Hurley 1992 N/A Medicine Faculty, Bristol University (UK)
Karyn Harell 1993 N/A Medicine Clinical Assistant Professor, NC State University
*Paul Hess 1994 Immunology Medicine Assistant Professor, NC State University
Jody Gookin 1995 Physiology Medicine Associate Professor, NC State University
Adam Birkenheuer 1996 Immunology Medicine Associate Professor, NC State University
Karine Savary 1997 N/A Medicine Faculty, Ghent University (Belgium)
Robin Hopwood 1998 Immunology Medicine Specialty Practice
Amanda Gaskin 1999 N/A Medicine Specialty Practice
Barrak Pressler 2000 Immunology Medicine Assistant Professor, The Ohio State
Angela Mexas 2001 Immunology Medicine Research Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Jonathan Fogle 2002 Immunology Medicine Assistant Professor, NC State University
Michael Wood 2003 Comparative Biomedical Sciences Medicine Clinical Assistant Professor , NC State University
Dana LeVine 2005 Comparative Biomedical Sciences Medicine

Assistant Professor, Iowa State University

Tracy Hill 2006 Comparative Biomedical Sciences Medicine

Senior Lecturer, University of Edinborough

Katie Tolbert 2007 Comparative Biomedical Sciences Medicine

Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee

Elizabeth Lennon 2008 Comparative Biomedical Sciences Medicine PhD in Progress
Allison Mazepa 2009 NA Medicine Speciality Practice
Kristin Manning 2011 NA Pending Publication Speciality Practice
Jenessa Winston 2012 NA NA Residency in Progress
Claire Wiley 2014 NA NA Residency in Progress

* CI Program receives official recognition

Faculty in Support of the Programs


Adam Birkenheuer, DVM, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Clinician Investigator Program Coordinator)

Edward Breitschwerdt, DVM, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases

Jody Gookin DVM, PhD, Associate Professor

Karyn Harrell DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

Eleanor Hawkins DVM, Professor of Medicine

Katharine Lunn BVMS, MS, PhD, MRCVS, Associate Professor of Medicine

Steve Marks BVSc, MS, MRCVS, DACVIM, Clinical Professor of Medicine & Critical Care and Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services

Jean-Sebastian Palerme , DVM, DACVIM, Fellow

Shelly Vaden DVM, PhD, Professor of Medicine


*All faculty are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialty of Small Animal Internal Medicine

Residency Program Goals

Approximate Rotation Schedule

*IST= Independent Study Time (includes 2 weeks vacation)

NCSU Libraries provides access to ACVIM Examination Reading List materials in addition to many other relevant resources.