Integrative and Mobility Medicine Residency

Program Information

The program is designed to fulfill the requirements of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Applicants are expected to fulfill the requirements of this College and to sit for the board examination when eligible.

Program goals, history, and benefit

Integrative medical techniques are increasingly prevalent in small animal specialty and general practice, but there are relatively few advanced training programs in this area of medical practice. The integrative medicine service at the University of Florida was an early innovator in this field with the establishment of an acupuncture internship program. The service and integrative field has expanded considerably since the first interns completed that program in 2005. The new College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation now provides an opportunity for specialty training that incorporates many integrative techniques including exercise programs, therapeutic modalities (ultrasound, shockwave, laser therapy), electrostimulatory devices (electroacupuncture, TENS), soft tissue treatments, hyperbaric oxygen, and nutrition.

The goals of the program mirror those suggested by the ACVSMR. These include:

  • Develop a high level of clinical skill and expertise in the field of sports medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Develop a critical understanding of working knowledge of the current veterinary and human literature related to sports medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Apply literature and strong fundamental knowledge in anatomy and physiology to the clinical application and research investigation of new diagnostics and treatments.
  • Use a problem-based approach to patient care.
  • Demonstrate competence in teaching, communication, and presentation of knowledge within the specialty.
  • Demonstrate exceptional ethical standards and professionalism.

The program is designed with a canine emphasis as the caseload within the service is presently about 90% small animal, 5% exotics, and 5% large animal. Opportunities for collaboration with the equine sports medicine faculty and house officers (equine sports medicine interns) can be provided for those with dual interests. The service, exclusive of equine cases, manages a high volume of rehabilitation and sports medicine visits, totaling about 2,500 annually. Integrative medicine is increasingly regarded by students, owners, and affiliated specialists as a necessary aspect of veterinary care and education. The proposed program should prepare practitioners for careers in progressive private referral practices or in academic veterinary medicine.

Program Design and Schedule

The program was designed based on a template established by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. The program will be three years in duration, assuming satisfactory progress of the trainee.

The acceptance of one publication and submission of a second will be required prior to awarding the residency certificate. One publication should be hypothesis-driven original research, whereas the other may be a case report, case series, or other investigation. The original research will be required to be in an area recognized by ACVSMR to fulfill the publication requirements of the College. A presentation to the resident seminar series will be mandated annually. Participation in scientific conferences is encouraged and attempts will be made to secure funding for presentation of scientific abstracts and data at relevant conferences. Opportunities for speaking at the International Canine Sports Medicine Symposium will be provided.

The program requires completion of the following (156 week distribution):

  • Direct contact clinical weeks under supervision of faculty diplomate of ACVSMR (72 weeks)
  • Independent Study or Additional Clinical Rotations in the Integrative Medicine Service (35 weeks)
    This requirement was established by the ACVSMR for trainees not in residency at a particular program site, but is still listed as a requirement of in-residency programs. As a result, some of this time will be reserved for chief blocks to allow management of the service floor (6 weeks), for board preparation (4 weeks), and additional clinical time to focus on a particular modality (e.g. nutrition, hyperbaric oxygen).
  • Specialist Mentoring in Allied Fields (23 weeks)
    Diagnostic Imaging (8 weeks), Mentor: Matt Winter DACVR, ultrasound/MRI/CT/radiography
    Orthopedic Surgery (6 weeks), Mentor: Matt Johnson DACVS, lameness, gait analysis, arthroscopy
    Internal Medicine (3 weeks), Mentor: Richard Hill DACVIM DACVN, nutrition, GI disease, exercise
    Neurology (3 weeks), Mentor: Sheila Carrera-Justiz, DACVIM (Neurology), neurologic exam, MRI
    Pain Management (3 weeks), Mentor: Andre Shih DACVAA, acute and chronic pain, anesthesia
  • Special Rotations (20 weeks)
    These rotations will be used accommodate the resident’s research and continuing education. It is expected that the following will be included: 4-8 weeks of research time, to be determined with the coordinator based on the project 4 weeks of manuscript preparation 8-12 weeks for elective rotations in other services, CE travel, equine sports medicine experience, and/or rotations at our facilities.
  • Annual Leave
    15 days of leave are to be provided annually, consistent with hospital policy for house officers.

Evaluation and Requirement Monitoring

Residents will be evaluated biannually, at which time progress in fulfilling the requirements will be assessed and a report generated to the ACVSMR as required. A case log will also need to be provided to the primary faculty mentor. A total of 400 logged cases are required by ACVSMR. Logs must include case identification, dates, diagnosis, treatment plan, and follow-up. The medical records system of the service should accommodate this template readily and not be onerous. Core skills established by ACVSMR must be reviewed and signed by the faculty mentor or affiliated specialty mentor. 200 hours of seminar participation is required in the period of the residency. The resident seminar series will provide an estimated 120 hours. The intern sports medicine and rehabilitation rounds will be held weekly and will account for a minimum of an additional 120 hours, sufficient to meet the requirements.

*Download the complete residency requirements of ACVSMR

Continuing Education
ACVSMR requires 50 hours of outside sports medicine CE. The trainee will be allowed to attend the International Canine Sports Medicine Symposium, which provides 16 hours of education annually. Attendance at other state, local, or national meetings can fulfill the remaining requirements. A continuing education log will be required.

Daily schedule and general requirements

The period from 8-9 AM will be reserved for rounds. Monday and Friday morning rounds will be held with faculty and other house officers to facilitate a journal club (monthly), mock boards (annually), case presentations / review, and physiology rounds. Wednesdays are reserved for intern and resident seminars. Seminars in medicine and morbidity & mortality rounds will be attended by the trainee. The service receives drop-off and scheduled appointments Monday through Friday. The resident is expected to share the clinical caseload with other house officers and the faculty as assigned. The resident will develop a rounds session for the students on one topic annually to be delivered when scheduling permits. Weekend and evening on-call duty is expected and will be shared with other house officers.

Supervised time will be under the direction of a Diplomate of ACVSMR. Justin Shmalberg DACVN DACVSMR will serve as service chief, program coordinator, and primary mentor. Dr. Huisheng Xie DVM PhD (acupuncture) and Dr. Lindsay Hochman DVM MPH CVA (acupuncture, rehabilitation, public health) are the other service faculty.

A complete list of specific daily resident requirements can be provided by Dr. Shmalberg at the request of the potential trainee.

Affiliated Faculty

  • Sheila Carrera-Justiz DVM DACVIM (Neurology) Clinical Assistant Professor and Service Chief, Neurology
  • Gabriel Garcia DVM DACVIM (Neurology) Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology
  • Robson Giglio MV MS PhD Clinical Assistant Professor, Radiology
  • Matt Johnson DVM MS DACVS CCRP Clinical Assistant Professor, Small Animal Surgery
  • Fernando Garcia-Pereira DVM MVSc DACVAA Associate Professor, Anesthesia and Pain Management
  • Dr. Richard Hill VetMB DACVN DACVIM PhD Associate Professor, Medicine and Nutrition
  • Dr. Gareth Buckley VetMD DACVECC Clinical Assistant Professor, Emergency and Critical Care

Additional Program Options

Contingent upon funding, candidates interested in extending the program to include a Master’s degree or dual residency to also fulfill the requirements of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition will be considered. Candidates with interest in a dual program should contact Dr. Shmalberg at the earliest opportunity.  Such programs will only be promised when funding is secured and after the potential resident has successfully matched to our program.


  • One year rotating or integrative medicine internship at a recognized institution or its equivalent in a progressive small animal practice.
  • Candidates must possess a veterinary diploma from an AVMA-recognized college or equivalent.
  • A demonstrated interest in sports medicine and rehabilitation will be necessary. Candidates with experience or certification in acupuncture, hyperbaric oxygen, or rehabilitation will be given preference.


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

Total No. Annual Cases Average Daily No. Cases Presented to Hospital Average No. Cases Treated Daily as Outpatients Average No. of Inpatients Each Day Average No. Daily Surgeries Performed Average No. of Emergency Cases Seen Daily
2,500 10 10 1 0 0

Number of Faculty/Clinicians in Direct Support of Program: 8

Application Requirements

  • Standard VIRMP Application Packet
  • VIRMP Application
  • Veterinary School Official Transcript from University Registrar
  • Personal Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 3 – 4 Standardized Letters of Reference
  • Additional Requirements from the Program
    Letters from professionals familiar with training and clinical experience of the individual applicant is encouraged but not required.
    This program is targeted toward training individuals with an interest in academic veterinary medicine.
  • Additional information for graduates of universities outside of the United States and Canada

Visa Sponsorship

If you will require visa sponsoring or are unsure about your work status, please review the Information for Foreign Applicants page and contact this program prior to applying. Please be aware that some programs listed in the VIRMP accept applications ONLY from citizens of the United States (or Canada if a Canadian program) or from applicants who possess permanent residency status at the time of application.