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A Challenging Career: Laboratory Animal Medicine “Rodents, and Monkeys, and Hares, Oh My!” Name of LA vet presenting.

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Presentation on theme: "A Challenging Career: Laboratory Animal Medicine “Rodents, and Monkeys, and Hares, Oh My!” Name of LA vet presenting."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Challenging Career: Laboratory Animal Medicine “Rodents, and Monkeys, and Hares, Oh My!” Name of LA vet presenting

2 Clinical Veterinary Medicine Clinicians (small, large, mixed) may feel a call to a new type of career challenge. Lab Animal field not understood well because vet curricula doesn’t present much on this career option. Never too late – may enter 20+yrs Join me on a walk through this exciting career option!

3 Laboratory Animal Medicine High demand Diverse jobs Good pay Flexible hours Specialty Boards (not required/encouraged) American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) American Association for Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP)

4 *at time of application

5 Training Route Commonly – enter career through a postdoctoral “residency” training program. Clinical focus: learn LAM & administration of running an animal research program. Research focus (NIH): may pursue an MS or PhD Combination program: learn lab animal medicine, administration and research.

6 Finding a Training Program Visit the ASLAP web site Visit the ACLAM web site Talk to a lab animal vet Do an externship…more info later.

7 Salary for LAM Trainees Postdoctoral training stipends 08 NIH scale starts at $39,264 – for no experience but increase ~2-3K for each prior year of health- related training experience. Non-NIH residency stipends may be higher. Insurance varies with program. Travel money varies for C.E. meetings. May receive funds for graduate degree. Veterinary school loan payments may be deferred.

8 Where are these training* programs? * ACLAM approved programs; Size of program varies from 1-2 trainees up to trainees!

9 Externships Typically 2-12 weeks Usually summer programs but can be throughout the year. Flexible experience depending on interest. Room and board may be covered (depends on program). May receive a small stipend for living expenses.

10 Externships Where? academia – LAM training programs Academic medical centers – medical schools, graduate schools biotechnology & pharmaceutical companies NIH, USDA National Primate Research Centers (8) Visit the ACLAM web site 02.pdf

11 Experience Route Part-time LAM job – good way to start. Many options at small colleges, contract labs Full-time lab animal job – ready to plunge. Be ready to spend a lot of time reading & learning to become a proficient LAM vet. CAUTION: Always best to have an experienced LAM mentor to learn from!

12 Experience Route (cont.) Must get involved in C.E. for best learning: American Assoc. for Lab Anim. Sci. (AALAS) American Coll. Of Lab Anim Med (ACLAM) American Soc of Lab Animal Practitioners (ASLAP) Local branch AALAS meetings Public Responsibility in Med & Research (PRIM&R) IACUC 101 training American Veterinary Medical Assoc. (LAM session) Others – focus on surgery or research interests

13 2011 Salary Range for ACLAM Diplomates, all employers 0-5 yrs: $81 – 258K 5-10 yrs: $53-$500K 2011 Salary Range for non-ACLAM vets, all employers 0-5 yrs: $68-122K 5-10 yrs: $66-203K 2011 salary range: for all lab animal vets: $68K – $500K

14 Lab Animal Work Extremely varied depending on program Large University Large diversity of species – mice to monkeys Research areas span broad base Many LAM vets and techs to work with/learn from. Small College May be rodent only or few species May be only one area of research – neuroscience May work alone as consulting vet

15 Lab Animal Work Extremely varied depending on program Large Pharmaceutical Company Large diversity of species Research areas focused on drug/device discovery Many LAM vets and techs to work with/learn from. Small Contract Laboratory May be rodent only or few species Research depends on client base – toxicology, etc May work alone or with one other vet

16 Department Structures Dept of LAM or Bioresources Lab animal veterinarians, technicians, animal care staff. Provide care for animals and manage animal program: housing, feeding, costs, equipment. May assist with animal study technical support. Department of Comparative Medicine Similar but may have stronger focus on providing veterinarians & technicians to participate in collaborative research or lead research projects.

17 LAM/Bioresources Director – usually an ACLAM Diplomate Operations/Animal Care Staff – oversee animal care program – daily observations, husbandry, environmental monitoring. Veterinary Staff – provide health care, preventative medicine program, technical and surgical support. Run a high quality lab animal program in support of good science/investigator research needs.

18 Comparative Medicine “One world, one health, one medicine.” A field of study concentrating on similarities and differences between veterinary medicine and human medicine. Study of biology and diseases of animals to improve human and animal health. Departments often support clinical care, daily husbandry operations and research collaboration.

19 Diverse career opportunities Clinical Veterinary Medicine Administration Research Public Health – MPH Teaching and Training Pathology Surgery Regulatory oversight (IACUC) Public education to thwart animal activism

20 Clinical Veterinary Medicine Provides health care for variety of species. Expertise in model development & review of research protocols for animal welfare. Provides technical support for research – x-rays, ultrasound, biopsy sampling. No 2 days are alike! Attending veterinarian = USDA term for vet with authority for animal care and use program.

21 Administration Director, Associate Director, Surgical Director, Vice President for Research… Manages budget and staffing issues. May write grants for enhancing the program or equipment purchases. Liaison to senior management to ensure support for optimal animal program. Rare/no clinical work, lots of management!

22 Research Veterinarians may head research projects - veterinary training enhances research! Independent or Collaborative research Tremendous diversity of research Infectious disease, physiology, biology, reproduction, surgery, cancer biology, pharmaceutics, neuroscience, biomedical instrumentation, toxicology,…

23 Teaching & Training LAM vets needed to teach in veterinary schools, veterinary technician schools, graduate programs. Veterinarians can serve as trainers for other veterinary residents, graduate students, research staff, animal care staff. A well-developed training program is an essential part of a good lab animal program.

24 Pathology Lab animal vets may become dual boarded in pathology which enables them to work in a toxicology group to diagnose toxic effects from drugs. Pathologists that understand lab animal diseases and species/strain differences, will add strength to a lab animal program.

25 Surgery & Postop Care Veterinarians with a love of surgery, anesthesia, analgesia can have a challenging career in lab animal programs to develop surgical programs and teach research staff (esp. rodent surgery!) MDs doing surgery on animals can be a problem (don’t recognize species differences) – Vets doing surgery on people is illegal! Surgical vets add excellence, depth & diversity to a lab animal program.

26 Regulatory Oversight Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is mandated by USDA regulations & PHS. Must include a veterinarian w/ LAM exp. Responsible for reviewing and approving all animal use protocols. Review animal program/facilities ea. 6 months. Responsible for investigating animal concerns. Veterinary leadership enhances animal welfare.

27 Animals are also provided enrichment in the form of exercise, toys, music, group housing, videos and other food treats. Environmental Enrichment

28 Alternatives (3Rs) 3Rs = Reduce, Refine, Replace Reduction of animal numbers Better statistics, less redundancy. Refinement of animal models Less invasive, less pain/distress. Replacement of animal models Cell culture, computer modeling, etc.

29 What Species Will I Work With? Depends on type of program ~95% of research animals are rats/mice. Rodents, genetically-engineered. ~5% other species Domestic species (dogs, ferrets, pigs). Non-human primates (NHPs - OW vs. NW). Exotics – woodchucks, bats, fish, amphibians, reptiles, etc. May work at large NHP facility – one of eight National Primate Research Centers.

30 LAM versus Private Practice Clientele - pet owner vs. scientist – different issues. Individual care vs. herd health – depends on study, some rare & valuable strains/species. Diagnostics – pursue if you have time, money, tools – write up interesting cases. Hours / Schedule – usually less weekend work! Tools – ultrasounds, MRIs, endoscopy, varies widely. No two days are alike!

31 Work Hard but Have Fun!

32 Must Work Well with Human primates too!

33 How’s the job market? Steady; continuing demand for LAM vets Future looks bright Opportunities are varied & exciting; need for diverse skills and experience!

34 Where are the jobs? Anywhere biomedical research is performed Academia – both large and small programs Pharmaceutical Companies Biotech Companies Hospitals Government-Military-NIH Public health Throughout the US / world

35 Salaries: “Show me the Money!” Starting $43-$93K* (varies w/ program, experience, boards) Avg. starting salary for academia and/or industry jobs in 2005 w/ 0-5 yrs exp.= 71K (non boarded), 90K (boarded) Residency Salaries Start ~ $37K – no experience Consulting to supplement income. * Info based on 2005 ACLAM/ASLAP Salary Survey

36 Comparative Medicine and Public Outreach A lot of misinformation is spread about animal research. Public surveys reveal that majority of Americans support the need for animal research – but support is declining. Public does not realize the many benefits of animal research to both people and animals. Public does not always know that animals are treated humanely and with great respect.

37 Raise your hand if…. You have ever been vaccinated You have ever taken a medication You have ever had surgery/hospital stay You have ever had thyroid disease You have ever donated/received blood You know someone who has diabetes You know someone with cancer You know someone with other diseases…

38 Medical Advances Examples of medical advances from animal research: Vaccines against polio, measles, and smallpox; Open-heart surgery, coronary bypass, valves Diabetes therapies “Iron lung used for polio victims, 1956”

39 Animals Benefit Too!!! Pookie: Living with diabetes Buddy: After his heart surgery Maggie: Breast cancer survivor Lucy: After her kidney transplant

40 Highlights of this career… Exciting/diverse career - improving both animal & human lives. Steady demand, good positions available for range of experience & skills. Lucrative– good pay/benefits. Neat tools – always new challenges. Great environment – flexible hours. Great colleagues… COME JOIN US!

41 Questions?


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