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Career Focus Areas
Cornell University
College of Veterinary Medicine

Companion Animal Medicine

A Diversity of Opportunities

With clinical services offered in all major specialties and a robust animal caseload, Cornell provides an ideal environment for you to prepare for a career in companion animal medicine. Whether your goal is primary care or specialty practice, we offer many opportunities to tailor your learning experience to your career interests.

Elective Coursework

During the first three years of the curriculum, you can choose from more than 20 companion animal elective courses to gain in-depth knowledge on topics such as exotics medicine, clinical nutrition, management of behavior problems, minimally invasive surgery, pain management, basic and advanced exotic animal medicine and more.

Early Clinical Exposure

You will have opportunities to work in the companion animal hospital, helping to connect preclinical education with real-life cases. Student-organized initiatives, such as the Cornell Spay Day or Cornell Southside Clinic, also provide increasing clinical responsibility to preclinical students.

Small Animal Medicine professor talking to students

Student holding a dog

Clinical Training

During your fourth year, you will rotate through 25 clinical services within the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, and gain plenty of hands-on experience. In addition to your Core rotations, you can tailor your rotations to your clinical interests by choosing elective rotations and off-campus opportunity blocks.

Student Clubs

Drive your own educational interests by joining one of the Companion Animal Medicine clubs: the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), the Cardiology Club, the Cornell Society for Veterinary Pain Management, the Society for Veterinary Ophthalmology, the Pet Loss Support Hotline, the Small Animal Clinical Skills Club (SACS), the Sports Medicine Club, the Student Chapter of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (SCACVIM), the Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (SVECCS) or the Surgery Club.

These clubs often work with companion animal clinicians to provide rounds or other educational opportunities to preclinical students.