Clinical Veterinarian

at Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) - Brookfield Zoo
Location Brookfield, Illinois
Date Posted July 16, 2019
Category Veterinary Practice – Zoo
Job Type Full-time
Reference Number #1892BR
Contact Phone (708) 688-8881


The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) is looking for a Clinical Veterinarian to join a strong Veterinary Services team committed to providing the highest quality veterinary care.

This position provides veterinary care for a diverse animal collection of over 500 species and 3,000 animals.  The zoo believes in a philosophy of proactive, preventative medicine and strives to provide the best possible animal care and welfare.  Veterinarians maintain a close, cooperative partnership with Animal Programs staff to maximize success.  The mission of the Veterinary Services Department is to provide a visionary level of veterinary care to our patients, to inspire people of all backgrounds, and to passionately advance the professional standards for zoological medicine in a way that impacts the conservation of wildlife and nature.

This position reports directly to the Vice President of Clinical Medicine and will join an experienced team consisting of 3 other clinical veterinarians (ACZM and ECZM diplomates), a veterinary radiologist (ACVR diplomate), an ACZM veterinary resident, 7 certified veterinary technicians, a hospital manager, and additional support staff.  The zoo’s 20,000 square foot hospital facility is outfitted with the latest medical equipment, including a large-bore CT scanner and comprehensive in-house clinical pathology laboratory.  Department operations are well funded and dedicated capital funds provide annual investment in new medical equipment.  The University of Illinois Zoological Pathology Program (5 dedicated ACVP diplomates and 3 residents) is housed at Brookfield Zoo and provides complete pathology services, as well as many collaborative opportunities.

We are searching for an enthusiastic veterinarian who places a high value on providing compassionate clinical care, supporting the larger aims of the institution, and working collaboratively with Animal Programs staff.  We maintain a strong team-oriented environment and are a seeking a self-motivated person committed to excellence and cooperative growth.  This position is a rewarding opportunity to work for a dynamic, values-driven organization that is dedicated to animals and conservation.  We offer a truly unique environment and rewarding opportunity for significant personal and professional growth.

The Clinical Veterinarian contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society (“CZS”) by serving as a broadly experienced, board-certified clinical veterinarian and providing the highest level of veterinary medical care for the animal collection. This position contributes to multiple CZS veterinary programs and is heavily involved in monitoring animal health at the collection level. This position helps create innovations and excellence in programs, enabling the Veterinary Services Department to meet the highest standards of specialized veterinary care for zoo animals.

Primary duties and responsibilities:
Provide comprehensive medical care from a preventative medical approach including, but not limited to: medical observations, physical examinations, disease and parasite prophylaxis, and quarantine procedures. Administer and monitor anesthesia when appropriate. Evaluate results of diagnostic examinations, medical imaging, and clinical pathology specimens. Recognize signs and diagnose causes of acute and chronic illnesses, infectious and noninfectious diseases, and/or injuries affecting animals in the collection. Prescribe and/or administer appropriate medical treatments to treat, cure, and/or control medical concerns. Perform minor or major surgical procedures and/or administer medications using currently accepted veterinary standards. Provide medical screening, quarantine examination, certification of health and/or crating of animals for animal shipments to and from the zoo. Respond to requests from animal care staff concerning routine and emergency medical care for animals in the collection. In consultation with curatorial staff, determine when animals require euthanasia and perform this procedure when appropriate.

Remain current on general, zoo, and wildlife veterinary knowledge, as well as pertinent regulations and veterinary standards (federal, state, industry, etc.) which may affect CZS programs and provide recommendations for complying with relevant regulations. Properly document and prepare written medical records in a timely manner for all medical procedures and observations. Follow guidelines for the maintenance, internal and external use, and distribution of departmental records. Assess information for investigating health or medical-related problems.  Develop and conduct clinical research projects on conditions affecting the health of the CZS animal collection and other topics (health-related research on captive and free-ranging wildlife) as directed by the Vice President, Clinical Medicine. Provide veterinary assistance as needed to other research efforts within the Society and through external collaborators as directed.

Represent the Society before other zoos; conservation, professional, and educational organizations; the media; governmental agencies; donors; and the public in a well-informed, positive, and responsive manner. Develop and maintain professional contacts with veterinarians of other zoos and professional organizations, nationally and internationally. Actively participate in professional organizations that advance the Society’s interests. Serve on committees of such organizations and take a leadership role within these organizations as appropriate. Compose articles for publication and make presentations to professional organizations as requested.

Under the direction of the Vice President, Clinical Medicine, assist in development of departmental and institutional goals, with a focus on creating innovations and excellence in veterinary care, animal welfare, and conservation leadership. Actively participate in regular department meetings with Animal Programs managers and oversee coordination of animal shipments. Serve on CZS committees, teams, and task forces as requested.

As requested by the Vice President, Clinical Medicine, oversee designated daily clinical operations such as case management, procedure and case scheduling, laboratory operations, medical records management, communication with Animal Programs managers, coordination of quarantine, coordination of outgoing animal shipments, regulatory compliance, and other operation needs.  Work with the pathology program staff concerning histopathology and post-mortem examinations to ensure recording, dissemination, and application of results. Assist in monitoring of long-term health concerns and trends within the animal collection as needed.  Actively participate in and support the employee survey and action planning process.  Other related duties as assigned.

Position Requirements and Specifications

Minimum position requirements:

  •  Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited institution or recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association required.
  •  Valid Illinois veterinary and controlled substance licenses (if non-Illinois licensed, must obtain Illinois licenses within 6 months of hire), DEA controlled substance registration certificate, and national USDA/APHIS accreditation.
  •  Five years relevant experience or training in zoo animal veterinary medicine required, including cetacean experience.
  •  Board certification by the American College of Zoological Medicine required within two years of hire.
  •  Strong communication and interpersonal skills, self-motivated, and a commitment to excellence.
  •  English fluency at a full professional proficiency.
  •  Ability to represent the organization in a well-informed, positive and responsive manner to various audiences.
  •  Good interpersonal skills; ability to work effectively with various levels of staff.
  •  Ability to guide, nurture, and develop staff.
  •  Strong organizational skills and eye for detail and accuracy.
  •  Proficiency in Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook) required.
  •  Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.
  •  Valid driver’s license.Preferred qualifications - Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.

Additional Information

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Society has had an international reputation for cutting-edge animal care and wildlife conservation that continues today.  The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.  Brookfield Zoo is located on 216 acres of land in the middle of the Forest Preserves District of Cook County and receives over 2 million guests each year.  Located just 14 miles west of the heart of downtown Chicago, it is easily accessible for those preferring either city or suburban living.  Compensation package includes a competitive salary, medical/dental/vision benefits, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k retirement plan with employer match, C.E. allowance, professional membership dues, licensure fees, and many additional benefits.

We value active participation in professional organizations, applied clinical research, scholarly activity, and involvement in conservation programs.  The position will play a key role within the Society’s Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare, serving to develop and execute clinical research projects, as well as synergize with research projects underway in other departments.

CZS places a high value on veterinary education and maintains a close academic partnership with the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine with established clinical rotations for fourth year veterinary students and a shared ACZM residency program.  This position will have the ability to hold an adjunct faculty appointment with the University and will be expected to provide outstanding mentorship and training of veterinary students and residents.

This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform. Incumbent is required to gain an understanding of the Animal Programs Department and its operations, the organization and its mission, vision, values, and operating philosophies, and how the Veterinary Services Department impacts the Society and its programs. Incumbent must be comfortable in a mission and value-driven organization. This is a salaried position and routinely involves work beyond the traditional workday or workweek, including holiday work as needed.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile.  Please visit our website at and see #1892BR.

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