FVBS Clinical Behavioral Residency

FVBS Clinical Behavioral Residency

Alison Gerken DVM (2nd year resident), Krista Sirois DVM (residency completed), Ariel Fagen DVM, DACVB (1st FVBS resident), Lisa Radosta DVM, DACVB, Amy Learn VMD (residency completed)

Position Announcement

The Florida Veterinary Behavior Service (FVBS) is accepting applications for a nontraditional clinical behavioral medicine residency. This is a paid, private practice, 3 year, nontraditional residency.

About Us

FVBS is a busy specialty practice in Southeast Florida with a referral base spanning 5 counties (St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade). We opened our doors in November 2006. We practice out of 3 locations (Stuart, West Palm Beach, and Coral Springs) including Coral Springs Animal Hospital, AAHA’s specialty practice of the year in 2015. Each county has a different type of client and the cases vary. All residents work in at least 2 locations to provide a well-rounded education in behavioral medicine and communication. 

FVBS has (including current residents) provided residency training for 6 residents. When the 2021-2024 resident arrives, there will be 3 other residents still in training (one third-year, one second-year, and one first-year). The other residents in the program provide a strong incoming resident support system.

We have a robust team including veterinary behavior technicians and nurses, client care representatives, and veterinary assistants to support the business in an innovative, effective, and efficient way providing exceptional client and patient care.

We see our patients regularly to provide the best care that we can for our patients (see below for the number of rechecks seen per year compared to new appointments). Our referral community is very supportive. It is commonplace for our service to see puppies, recently adopted dogs and cats, and patients early in the disease progression. Generally, our clients live close enough that they can return for in-person rechecks. Telehealth rechecks are commonly offered. 

FVBS practices in an innovative way with shorter assessment appointments and more frequent behavior treatment appointments. We are early adopters of new treatments and tests if they benefit our patients. 

There are multiple, conveniently located universities within the FVBS practice area including the University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Palm Beach State College allowing the resident to complete advanced coursework in the subjects mentioned above. 

Program Structure

The FVBS residency offers structure and assistance without micromanagement while still allowing flexibility for life considerations. There are a strong, organized, efficient support system and safety net. 

Program structure follows ACVB guidelines for nontraditional residents. It is the resident’s responsibility to read and understand the residency packet so that they can be an active participant in the structure of their program. The resident is required to fulfill all obligations as outlined by the ACVB before receiving a completion certificate. 

In addition to receiving an education in behavioral medicine, built into the resident’s schedule within the first 12-18 months depending on the aptitude of the resident are the following:

  • Observation of behavioral treatments
  • Conducting behavioral treatment appointments
  • Assisting with and when appropriate teaching puppy classes and obedience classes. 
  • Access to Fear Free modules
  • Access to Dog Nerds (online learning) courses.

Residents are provided with a workstation that allows them to access the electronic medical records system and email as long as there is internet access. They are also provided with an online textbook library including the commonly read texts on the resident reading list. Additional texts are often available as paper books. Some texts on the reading list will need to be purchased by the resident. 

Residents are also provided with access to our online Doctor Dropbox which contains articles, chapter outlines, video recordings of topic rounds, and lectures given to interns. 

Residents see 9 cases total (rechecks and assessments) each week for the first year. In the second and third years, the resident sees up to 12 cases total. There are opportunities to consult with other services as needed. The number of cases that we see and the high percentage of rechecks helps our doctors feel clinically competent and confident when they complete the residency. 

Generally, doctors work 4 days a week in the clinic, seeing cases three of those days. It is common for doctors to work in some parts on the other 3 days of the week at home studying, conducting research, preparing for lectures and rounds, and assisting with dog training classes among other things. 

Residents participate in weekly behavioral medicine rounds with our doctors and lead behavior technicians. 

At least four times per year, residents conduct rounds with the intern class at Coral Springs Animal Hospital. They teach interns throughout the year. 

There are opportunities to partner with local shelters and speak at local VMAs. Most of our residents are also given opportunities to conduct webinars and write (blogs, online resources, textbooks) within their first 2 years of residency.

All out rotations can be done locally with the exception of farm animal, lab animal and equine.
Residents have access to hospital teaching rounds at Coral Springs Animal Hospital. 

There are many opportunities for research whether they be prospective, survey or retrospective studies. 

1 Position Available

Deadline for Application: December 1, 2022 (it is highly recommended for candidates to visit our service). Because of Covid, video conferencing is being used for interview and visits with our team. 

Supervising Clinician: Lisa Radosta DVM, DACVB

Learn more about Dr. Radosta here: Dr. Radosta’s bio

Inclusive Dates of Program:  7/5/2021 to 7/5/2024

Employment Information
Salary: $41,000

Opportunity to earn additional cash compensation:  Residents may practice emergency medicine, primary care medicine and teach dog training classes as long as it does not interfere with their duties or progression through the residency and it doesn’t interfere with the terms of their contract. Outside work may not start until the resident has been in the program for 4 months.

Benefits: $1500 stipend for approved Continuing Education annually, uniform allowance, healthcare.

Vacation: Full-time residents earn 14 days of paid vacation annually. 

Is a contract required? Yes

Is a non-compete clause required? Yes. Residents are required to sign a 12 month non compete clause for behavioral medicine spanning the treatment area serviced by FVBS at the time of contract signing. 

Is a State license required? Yes 

Is a DEA license required? Yes

Is USDA accreditation required? No

The following information represents the average of cases in direct support of this program.

Total Number of Annual Cases: 570 new cases and 1600 rechecks per year

Number of Faculty/Clinicians in Direct Support of Program: 1

Assigned to the Emergency Service per shift: No formal emergency duties necessary however the resident will need to cover phone/email emergencies on some holidays and at other times when necessary.

Prerequisites other than being a Graduate of a College of Veterinary Medicine: Completion of a one-year internship or general veterinary medicine practice equivalent.

Requirements for Application

Personal Statement
Curriculum Vitae

3 Professional References (provide phone numbers, relationship, qualifications). These should be sent directly to Dr. Radosta at drradosta@flvetbehavior.com.

Requirements for Application
Once the application has been received, the resident will be interviewed via video conference. 

Announcement Date
Results will be released to candidates on January 30th. 

Contact with current residents
Please email us at info@flvetbehavior.com to get in contact with any of our current or past residents. 

Additional Information about Program
The overall objective is to provide the clinical experiences and learning opportunities sufficient to enable the resident to meet the requirements to sit the board examination of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) while contributing to the clinical service and teaching programs of the Florida Veterinary Behavior Service. The specific objectives are outlined below.

  • Provide advanced training and skills in clinical animal behavior within, but not confined to, the hospitals with which Florida Veterinary Behavior Service (FVBS) is associated. Training will emphasize the diagnosis and treatment of problems and abnormal behaviors of companion animals. Case management will include follow-up with pet owners, behavior modification, and communication with referring veterinarians
  • Provide education experiences in veterinary behavioral science, and also in the related disciplines of ethology, sociobiology, internal medicine, anatomy, neurology, neuroscience, neurosurgery, clinical pathology, psychopharmacology, learning theory, and comparative, developmental, physiological, and clinical psychology (including client counseling). 
  • Provide clinical teaching experience of externs and interns who rotate through the Behavioral Medicine Service, headed by Dr. Lisa Radosta. Additionally, there will also be opportunities to lecture to veterinarians, technicians, and other organizations.   
  • Provide experience in designing and implementing one or more research projects in the area of animal behavior. This research experience is expected to lead to at least one publication in an approved peer-reviewed journal that is first-authored by the resident.   
  • Provide limited training in the diagnosis and treatment of cases in the Neurology, Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Exotics, and Orthopedic (non-surgical days only) Services by means of 2-week rotations through these Services. 
  • Provide guidance in obtaining advanced knowledge regarding large animal and non-companion animal behavioral medicine through auditing courses, externships, participating in seminars and workshops, and self-directed study.

AA/EOE. In addition, FVBS welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation or genetic information. Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks, and motor vehicle checks. 

For additional information, please contact us at drradosta@flvetbehavior.com or call us at 561-795-9398.