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Lead Veterinarian

Posted: June 11, 2024 Expired: November 27, 2023
Virginia Living Museum
Newport News
2 Year

Virginia Living Museum

Lead Veterinarian

General Statement of Duties

The Lead Veterinarian is responsible for the comprehensive medical and surgical care of the Museum’s live animal collections (both program and exhibit) to ensure compliance with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) current standards and guidelines. This position recognizes the capacity to achieve greater results by integrating skilled volunteers, leveraging their diverse knowledge and skills.  He or she must be a practicing veterinarian licensed in the state of Virginia prior to start date. This position reports directly to the Senior Director Living Exhibits.


  • DVM or VMD degree from an AVMA accredited university or school of veterinary medicine.
  • Must possess and maintain all necessary licenses, permits, certificates and credentials required by the laws of the United States, the State of Virginia and all other appropriate governmental agencies prior to start date (including any certification and credentials required).
    • Must be able to obtain and maintain a DEA controlled substance registration certificate within 3 months of hire.
    • Must be able to obtain and maintain a national USDA/APHIS Category II Accreditation within 3 months of hire.
  • Minimum of 2 years of professional experience practicing veterinary medicine with zoological, exotic companion animal, and/or wildlife species.
  • Demonstrated experience in captive management and health monitoring of zoological species.
  • Thorough knowledge of approved animal husbandry techniques.
  • Familiarity with AZA accreditation standards and related policies.
  • Trained in chemical immobilization techniques.
  • Proof of rabies vaccination and maintain appropriate titers.
  • Willingness to participate in scientific studies and clinical projects.
  • Must hold and maintain independent insurance and provide proof to the Museum.
  • Strong leadership skills; previous experience supervising/mentoring staff, volunteers and/or interns.
  • Above average ability to organize, manage time, and set priorities while meeting deadlines.
  • Effective problem analysis and resolution skills; ability shift priorities to meet needs.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills.
  • Intermediate level computer knowledge and Microsoft Office skills.
  • Must be able to remain calm, make sound decisions and provide clear direction in crisis situations.
  • Professional demeanor displays sound judgement, discernment, integrity, and confidentiality and discretion.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be a positive, enthusiastic representative of the Virginia Living Museum.
  • Manages a comprehensive veterinary care program for the Museum’s live animal collections (both program and exhibit) based on current AZA Standards and the Guidelines for Zoo and Aquarium Veterinary Medical Programs and Veterinary Hospitals (; ensure that the Museum’s program emphasizes preventative disease control measures. This includes a preventative medicine program, annual examination schedule, quarantine protocol, pre-shipment requirements, disease surveillance, pathology, disinfection of animal enclosures and equipment, and controlled drug protocols.
  • Supervises and trains staff and volunteers to assist with veterinary care.
  • Provides comprehensive medical and surgical care to all collection animals.  Responds and addresses all animal health concerns.
  • Provides emergency on-call coverage for the animal collection seven days per week via phone and/or on-site visits or delegates coverage to assigned on-call veterinarian(s).
  • Performs gross necropsies and interprets histopathological results and relays these results to Animal Welfare staff.  Reviews all mortalities and collaborates with Animal Welfare staff to prevent future mortalities.
  • Conducts all in-house laboratory analysis including chemistry, cytology, fecal analysis, hematology, urinalysis, and proper sample handling and processing for outside laboratories and research collaborations.
  • Maintains medical records for all collection animals using Species 360. Creates and maintains medical record including entry of all diagnostic sample results, anesthesia records, gross necropsy records, histopathology reports, veterinary specialist consult reports, and keeper communication.
  • Follows and ensures all veterinary volunteers adhere to all museum safety and security policies and procedures.
  • Maintains medical supply and drug inventory, controlled drug logs, and appropriate disposal of expired drugs and supplies.
  • Reviews and participates fully in emergency response preparedness including animal escape, venomous bite response, fire, and weather emergencies.
  • Participates in animal collection management with the Museum’s Animal Welfare Senior Director and all curators.
  • Provides advice related to animal nutrition plans, husbandry and enrichment protocols, Institutional Collection Plan (ICP) updates, and animal welfare issues.
  • Works with an appointed AZA Veterinary Mentor to ensure that the veterinary program is compliant with current AZA Standards and Guidelines.
  • Establishes and maintains professional relationships with local AZA facility veterinarians and veterinary specialists.
  • Provides an annual zoonotic disease training session for all staff.
  • Maintains clinic, surgery, radiology, and necropsy areas in a professional manner.  Assists in the operation and maintenance of all veterinary laboratory and imaging equipment.
  • Maintains chemical immobilization equipment and participates in routine staff training.
  • Ensures that the Curators are apprised of relevant medical and welfare laws and regulations regarding the Museum’s live animal collections and maintaining current AZA Standards.
  • Coordinates all veterinary specialist consultations, emergency care, medical treatments, on-site medications and supplies, and veterinary clinic equipment maintenance.
  • Provides and/or coordinates transport of animals leaving the facility for medical care or transfer.
  • Enhances the guest experience by ensuring the museum’s live collection is thriving and when requested, providing entertaining and educational opportunities for guests.
  • Serves on and participates in the Museum’s Safety, and Animal Welfare Committees.
  • Directly advises the Executive Director on animal quality of life/end of life decisions. 
  • Other duties as assigned.

Essential Job Requirements:

  • Ability to work flexible hours on-site to include evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Ability to be on-call 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year, unless on-call coverage is delegated to another assigned veterinarian(s).
  • Must be able to express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word and perceive detailed information through oral communication.
  • Must be able to write well, providing clear and concise information.
  • Ability to restrain animals to lift and/or exert up to 50 pounds of force.
  • Ability to be around a variety of live animals and wildlife.
  • The candidate must have visual acuity to be able to operate motor vehicles and/or equipment.
  • Must be able to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, push, pull, lift, grasp, feel, and utilize repetitive motions.
  • Must be able to move throughout the Museum’s building(s) and outdoor trail as needed.
  • The candidate will be subject to outdoor environmental conditions such as wind and humidity; occasionally work may take place in narrow areas.
  • Must be able to follow MSDS guidelines when handling chemicals; occasionally the candidate may be subject to atmospheric conditions (fumes, odors, and dust).

Experience Required

• Minimum of 2 years of professional experience practicing veterinary medicine with zoological, exotic companion animal, and/or wildlife species.


Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, Short & Long Term Insurance, Vacation, Sick and Personal Days

How to Apply

Qualified applicants please submit a VLM application, cover letter, resume and references.  No phone calls, please.


Virginia Living Museum
524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd
Newport News, VA 23601
Phone: 757-595-1900


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