Zoo Medicine


The Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center partners with the Sacramento Zoo to provide veterinary services and training opportunities for veterinary students and zoological medicine residents. The program is run by Dr. Ray Wack of the UC Davis One Health Institute.

Since 2000, the long-term collaboration between the Sacramento Zoo and the School of Veterinary Medicine was formalized into a unique partnership to share facilities and expertise, to accommodate the training of zoological medicine residents and to further wildlife conservation. Zoological Medicine residents spend their second and third years at the the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park and SeaWorld.


Established in 1974 by Dr. Murray E. Fowler, the Zoological Medicine Service and Residency Program was the first zoological medicine residency in the world. It provides instruction to veterinary students, training for residents and clinical services to the zoological community. Dr. Ray Wack, head veterinarian at the Sacramento Zoo, coordinates the residency.

Dr. Wack also coordinates the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Zoological Medicine Curriculum and is the primary clinician for the Zoological Medicine Service at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital. The service provides the primary instruction to students in the Zoological Medicine Track in both didactic and clinical settings. It is the only service that provides contract services to zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), thus giving students and residents unique access to a diversity of species.

The Zoological Medicine Service accepts referral cases from zoological institutions and provides phone consultation. It is one of the premier training programs in the world for students and residents interested in zoological medicine and ecosystem health.

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