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DVM Experiential Opportunities

USDA, Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)

The Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine is pleased to announce a collaboration with USDA, FSIS to provide veterinarians an informal way to experience and learn about FSIS and the role of veterinarians in the Agency. At the end of the experience participants will be able to describe the mission and goals of FSIS, and identify opportunities for veterinarians within FSIS and the skills, experience and/or training required for those positions.

Duration: 1 to 6 weeks (unpaid). One week is the minimum timeframe.

Locations and facilities: Experiential opportunities will be located across the country.  FSIS will evaluate each request to determine availability in the requested location during the requested timeframe.  Veterinarians will be assigned to a livestock/poultry slaughter or slaughter and processing facility.


  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine professional degree or equivalent (i.e. VMD).
  • U.S. citizenship is not required to participate in this program; however, we must have a friendly treaty in place with country of origin.
  • Current FSIS veterinarians are not eligible. 

Structure: An FSIS veterinarian will serve as the experienced mentor and assist veterinarians in identifying activities and/or projects that will allow for completion of the core and specific learning objectives over the course of their time at their assigned FSIS facility. These activities/projects will provide familiarization with the overall activities of the agency while also supporting FSIS’s mission. The actual activities and interactions can be adjusted to accommodate the veterinarians’ specific interests or any unique or special activities occurring at the facility during any particular time.

FSIS mentors will be asked to provide guidance, answer questions, and provide oversight throughout the veterinarian’s opportunistic stay to ensure the veterinarian makes progress towards meeting the learning objectives and adjust as needed.  Mentors will also provide helpful information and assess the best route for the veterinarian to pursue a future career with FSIS, if they so wish.

Examples of potential activities:

  • Observe the performance ante-mortem inspection and examination of livestock and poultry for the purpose of detecting diseases or abnormalities which would render the meat or poultry unfit for human food purposes.
  • Observe the performance of post-mortem inspection of livestock and poultry carcasses, parts of carcasses, and viscera, for the purpose of detecting abnormal or diseased conditions which would render the meat or poultry unfit for human food purposes. This could include observing on-line food inspectors as they perform visual, tactile and incisory inspections of heads, viscera, carcasses, and parts.
  • Observe a program veterinarian in making dispositions on abnormal animals, carcasses, or birds retained for veterinary examination. These dispositions could include infectious diseases, neoplasms, trauma, contamination, poisonings, residues, metabolic disorders, etc.
  • Observe conditions in the plant to assure that sanitary conditions meet regulatory requirements, and that the plant is following its Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP's) and observe the implementation of inspection verification activities.
  • Participate in the review of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans and the implementation of inspection verification activities designed to verify that official establishments meet regulatory requirements for food safety and other consumer protection.
  • Observe and participate in discussions with plant management regarding plant operations, problem conditions, correcting deficiencies, etc.
  • Assist with conducting in-plant residue tests or preparation of samples for submission to an Agency laboratory for residue, histopathology, or microbial testing.
  • Participate and assist in special projects and studies relating to veterinary medical procedures associated with meat and poultry inspection. Assist in conducting data analyses. Identify trends and prepare summary material and reports for specific work assignments.

Feedback Survey: Each veterinarian will be able to assess their experience at their assigned FSIS facility. These feedback surveys will allow FSIS and the CPCVM to assess and improve their program as appropriate.

To complete your application for the FSIS DVM Experiential opportunity, please send the following information to Ms. Brenna Evancho at

  1. Resume/CV 
  2. Proof of DVM (i.e., unofficial Transcript must show your name, college name, and date degree awarded, or current active State Veterinary License number).
  3. Available dates (1 week minimum)
  4. Location preference & acceptable commuting distance
  5. Goals/type of experience requested