New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

After Graduation

Career Opportunities

The VMD-PhD program has been in existence since the late 1960s. Over 85% of our graduates hold positions in scientific research at academic institutions, research institutes, government agencies, or the pharmaceutical industry. Our alumni show a high level of achievement, a steady positive progression in seniority of faculty or pharmaceutical positions, and command a strong funding base. VMD-PhD (DVM-PhD) graduates are highly trained and are qualified to enter into numerous career pathways.

  • Academic Faculty
    • Veterinary scientists work at Universities, Colleges, Medical Schools, and Veterinary Schools. Sixty five percent of Penn VMD-PhD graduates are in academic careers with 30% holding the position of Department Chair, Director, or Dean.
  • Biotechnology or the Pharmaceutical Industry
    • Veterinary scientists are extremely successful in industry careers with 70% of Penn VMD-PhD graduates who enter these careers serving as either Presidents or Directors of their companies.
  • Government Health and Science Agencies
    • Because of their broad training, veterinary scientists are well suited to careers at Government Health and Science Agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. In addition to research, these veterinary scientists set public health policy.
  • Public Health and Emerging Diseases
    • The fields of public health and emerging diseases require individuals who understand how diseases spread between species as well as within populations of the same species. Veterinary scientists are perfectly suited for these exciting careers. In addition, wildlife conservation and reproductive health of species are areas of excellence for veterinary scientists. Veterinary scientists work for the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and Federal and State Public Health Agencies.
  • Regulatory Medicine
    • Veterinary scientists work for United States Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration to monitor food and drug safety. Veterinarians supervise shipments of animals, test for diseases, and design programs to control diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, and rabies.
  • Contract Research
    • Government agencies and pharmaceutical companies often require scientific studies in areas where they lack expertise. Because of their broad training, contract research is an excellent career option for veterinary scientists.
  • Military Service
    • Veterinarians in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps play crucial roles in protecting the United States against bioterrorism. Military veterinary scientists perform biomedical research, monitor food safety, and care for government-owned animals.
  • Clinical Research and Clinical Practice
    • Some veterinary scientists continue using their clinical skills by working predominately at veterinary medicine schools.
VMD-PhD Positions After Graduation
Number Current positions
37 Academic Faculty (11 as Dean, Chair, or Director)
9 Pharmaceutical or Biotech Industry (2 Directors, 1 Vice President, 3 Presidents)
9 Postdoctoral Fellows, Interns, or Residents
2 Research Staff
1 Government Health Agency
7 Private Practice

Alumni Profile: Thomas Parsons

Tom Parsons, Penn Vet New Bolton Center
  • Associate Professor, Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center
  • School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Associate Professor, Otorhinolaryngology
  • School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • VMD: 1986
  • PhD: 1989
  • Graduate Group:  Neuroscience
  • Thesis Topic: Optical monitoring of the electrical activity of neuronal ensembles constructed from identified invertebrate cells
  • The Parsons laboratory focuses on pre-synaptic mechanisms of neurotransmitter release. Hearing dictates that the inner hair cell of the cochlea must release transmitter for prolonged periods and with exquisite temporal fidelity.  Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release are being studied to understand the cellular and molecular specializations utilized by different parts of the nervous system to meet their unique requirements for neurotransmission. Dr. Parsons has also carried out some clinical research that has in recent years focused on the welfare of gestating sows.