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Rebecca A. Packer, MS, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)
Assistant Professor, Neurology/Neurosurgery
Successful residency applicants will have completed a 1-year small animal rotating internship in
medicine and surgery, and be able to prove successful completion of a DVM or equivalent
degree. In special cases, equivalent work experience may be considered in substitute of the 1-
year internship, by method of petition to the department. A judgement will be made as to the
validity of work experience equivalency, and the applicant will be notified of the decision.
The Neurology/Neurosurgery Residency at Purdue University is a three-year program that is
designed to provide advanced training in neurology and neurosurgery, and to satisfy the ACVIM
residency requirements for board-certification in Neurology. *A non-thesis Master of Science
degree program must be pursued concurrently. A PhD degree may be pursued if desired in place
of the Master’s degree. Coursework for the graduate degree is designed to prepare candidates for
the ACVIM board examination. Individuals already holding a PhD degree may petition the
department head to have the Master’s degree requirement waived. Residents will be trained
under the primary direction of Rebecca A. Packer, MS, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology), with
adjunctive support from faculty members that are ACVS and ACVIM Diplomates in other
specialty areas. The faculty position for an additional board-certified Neurologist is currently
The resident will participate in clinical rotations and assume primary responsibility for small
animal patients. Large animal patients may be examined on a consultation basis. The resident
will participate in the neurological/neurosurgical emergency duty on a rotating basis with the
surgical residents. The majority of time will be spent on clinical neurology/neurosurgery
rotations, with additional rotations in related areas required for competency and board-
certification. Additional out-rotations at local medical schools or hospitals will be arranged as
available to observe additional neurology, neurosurgical, and/or electrophysiology procedures.
At the end of the program, residents are expected to have proficiency in neurology,
neurosurgery, neuropathology and neuroanatomy, clinical pathology, electrophysiology, and
neuroradiology. Residents are required to participate in a resident research project as a
requirement of the residency program, and collaborative research projects are currently active
with the Center for Paralysis Research, the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, the
Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Participation in Neurology journal club, Neurology resident rounds, Neuropathology rounds,
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Neuroradiology journal club, and House Officer Grand Rounds are required, and are designed to
prepare the resident for board-certification. All residents are required to present a House Officer
Grand Rounds seminar during each year of their program. Didactic coursework is required as
part of the Master’s degree, and is intended to prepare residents for the ACVIM
general/qualifying board examination in addition to providing advanced medical education.
Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital is a well-equipped, full service veterinary
referral hospital. Clinical facilities include electrophysiologic capabilities, gait analysis, fully-
equipped surgical suites capable of spinal and intracranial procedures, minimally-invasive
surgical equipment, brain biopsy device, and diagnostic imaging facilities. A linear accelerator
is available on-site for performing radiation therapy. Advanced diagnostic imaging facilities
include fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine, helical CT scanner, and MRI access. Currently MRI
access is available through several means: off-site imaging at a local MRI facility, as well as a
shared-use 3T MRI capable of functional imaging that is located on Purdue University main
campus (with designated Veterinary School prep area). An in-house permanent high-field MRI
unit will be available in Fall/Winter 2008 at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Candidates interested in an academic career may request enrollment in a combined
residency/PhD program. This would require at least 2 years of graduate study beyond the three-
year residency and obtaining additional funding.
Performance reviews will be conducted every 6 months, with annual renewal of employment
contingent on satisfactory review of clinical performance, academic knowledge, and
professional/ethical conduct. A residency certificate will be awarded upon successful
completion of the program.
Applicants should furnish a completed AAVC application form, complete curriculum vitae, a
brief letter of intent, veterinary college transcript and three letters of recommendation from
faculty or employers familiar with the candidate’s clinical knowledge and skills.
Interviews are strongly encouraged, and considered upon request from qualified candidates. To
request an interview, email Dr. Rebecca Packer at firstname.lastname@example.org. The faculty will review
your request and application, and will then determine whether an interview will be arranged.
Purdue University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
*Description on Web address:
Please refer to the Directory of Internships & Residencies prepared by the American Association
of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) for complete details.
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Residency Program Requirements
For ACVIM minimum requirements of Neurology Residency Programs, please see the General
Information Guide (GIG) on the ACVIM website (www.acvim.org). The Neurology Residency
Program at Purdue University meets or exceeds all of these requirements for ACVIM board-
certification in the Specialty of Neurology.
Sample Clinic Schedule*
(*Non-required rotations at off-site facilities may be subject to availability of the facility)
YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3
31.5 wks Neurology/Neurosurgery 32.5 wks Neurology/Neurosurgery 28 wks Neurology/Neurosurgery
2.5 wks Veterinary Radiology 1 wk Radiation Therapy 1.5 wks Neuroradiology (human hospital)
1.5 wks Anesthesia 1.5 wks Oncology 1.5 wks Neurosurgery (human hospital)
2.5 wks Orthopaedic Surgery 2.5 wks Internal Medicine 9 wks Board Prep/Study
2.5 wks Soft Tissue Surgery 1 wk Neuropathology 8 wks Open for Research/Study
3.5 wks Internal Medicine 6.5 wks Board Prep/Study 4 wks Vacation
1 wk Clinical Pathology 3 wks Open for Research/Study
3 wks Open for Research/Study 4 wks Vacation
4 wks Vacation
Journal Club/Rounds Schedule
Neurology Journal Club – Held weekly. Focus is on those journal articles relevant to clinical
neurology and board preparation. Discussion will include content/theory presented in the
paper, as well as methods of critically reviewing scientific articles. The first journal club
meeting of each year will be a tutorial on critical review of articles and the various types of
Neurology Resident Rounds – Held weekly. Focus is on case based or topic based review in
preparation for board exams, including Neuroanatomy, Neuroradiology, Neuropathology,
Neurophysiology, Clinical Neurology/Case management, and Theory.
Neuropathology Rounds – Held once monthly as a joint effort between the Neurology service,
the Clinical pathology service, and the Anatomic pathology service. Includes evaluation/review
of cytology and histopathology slides from neurological hospital cases, and topic discussion of
Neuroradiology Journal Club – Held twice monthly as a joint effort between the Neurology
service and the Diagnostic Imaging service.
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Neuroscience Journal Club – Held weekly in association with the Center for Paralysis Research
and the Department of Basic Medical Sciences. Graduate students and other interested house
officers and faculty attend. Attendance by Neurology Residents is encouraged as
case/appointment schedule allows.
VTH Histopathology Rounds – Held 3 times per semester. Review of histopathology results
from selected hospital cases. All house officers, students, and faculty attend.
House Officer Grand Rounds/Seminar – Held weekly. All house officers are required to present
one hour-long seminar each year of their program. All house officers and faculty attend weekly.
Attendance at Neurology/Neurosurgery rounds at the Indiana University Medical School in
Indianapolis will be encouraged as schedule permits.