Position Summary: The Chief of Shelter Medicine is a lead veterinarian and is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Maryland SPCA’s veterinary standards of care for all shelter pets as well as the public, high-volume Spay/Neuter Clinic. This is a hands-on position that requires a highly motivated, clinically skilled and compassionate veterinarian who can lead a highly skilled team with well thought out, research-based shelter medicine protocols, foster communication and cooperation among departments, and create a positive, motivating work environment.
Maryland SPCA is a progressive shelter committed to our mission of helping people and pets in our community through innovative community programming, excellent shelter pet care, and great customer service. The shelter medicine and surgical teams are focused on increasing our capacity for life saving while also ensuring excellent quality care, high productivity, and decreased length of stay.
Reports to: Director of Operations
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Leadership Duties (est. 20%)
- Responsible for the Maryland SPCA’s medical standards of care and disease control for both the shelter and clinic operations by collaborating with Director of Operations, staff veterinarians, and management team.
- Work closely with the Director of Operations to determine adoptability of medical patients and to determine appropriate use of resources for outsourcing certain medical cases such as emergency cases, dental cases, specialist consultations (i.e. surgical, cardiac, ophthalmic, dermatologic, neurologic, internal medicine), and specialty procedures (i.e. orthopedic and soft tissue sx, ultrasound, echocardiogram, ocular sx etc.).
- Participate in strategic planning, goal setting and budgeting process with the Director of Operations and Director of Finance.
- Provide strategic direction to the Senior Leadership Team for the future of shelter medicine programs, spay and neuter programs, and building expansion/renovation efforts.
- For veterinary-related topics, be available to act as a spokesperson for the Maryland SPCA, as requested.
Clinical Duties (est. 75%)
- Provide high-quality medicine, high quality/high volume spay/neuter surgery, as well as other surgeries and dentistry services (preferred) for shelter pets and Spay/Neuter Clinic publicly owned pets.
- Evaluate the physical and behavioral health of shelter pets and diagnose, treat and prescribe appropriate medical care as needed, in accordance with shelter medicine standards of care and infection control protocols to prevent infectious diseases.
- Determine when referral to outside veterinary care providers is necessary, communicate directly with specialists when necessary to authorize required care.
- Maintain complete and accurate records of diagnosis, treatment, medications and other special care administered. Assure medical records are complete and accurate.
- Monitor and ensure compliance with all laws pertaining to controlled drugs and rabies management.
- Maintain high practice standards and excellent clinical skills; attend annual continuing education in clinical practice to improve and develop those skills.
Managerial/Administrative Duties (est. 5%)
- Hire, train, direct, provide feedback, and implement disciplinary action if needed, for staff veterinarians as well as contracted relief veterinarians.
- Conduct veterinary meetings and participate in management meetings with directors and shelter managers only when necessary.
- Responsible for controlled substance licensing, storage, logging and use for the clinic and the shelter.
- Collaborates with clinic manager to ensure exemplary service to clients and help to resolve complaints or conflicts that may arise.
- Under the supervision of the Director of Operations, prepare documentation and provide expert testimony and expertise to animal control investigations.
- Evaluate and enhance the veterinarian extern program and ensure proper instruction and evaluation.
Education and Experience:
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited college or university.
- Maryland licensure in good standing to practice veterinary medicine.
- Minimum of five years of clinical practice experience, ideally in a multi-veterinarian small animal practice or animal shelter environment.
- Shelter medicine experience preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Must have excellent diagnostic, clinical and surgical skills; must have enthusiasm and desire to learn new skills and adapt to the ongoing changes that occur in shelter medicine.
- Ability to handle dogs and cats in a safe and humane manner, with knowledge of low stress or fear free techniques, demonstrating the highest level of care and concern.
- Ability to communicate with the public, volunteers, and co-workers in a courteous and professional manner at all times.
- Skill in operating or ability to learn to operate the various software programs
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, and demanding work environment utilizing good time management and problem solving.
- Must be able to organize and execute policies and procedures as planned while maintaining the ability to be flexible.
- Must be available to work weekend days as needed; must also be available by phone after-hours.
Physical Requirements and Work Environment:
The physical requirements described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.
- Regular standing, bending, stooping and crouching while seeing patients.
- Regular sitting at computer stations and operation of electronic equipment to complete job duties.
- Regularly moving about campus to coordinate work.
- Frequent lifting, pulling, pushing and carrying animals weighing up to 50 pounds with reasonable accommodation.
- Exposure to disinfectant solutions when in kennel area.
- Subject to animal bites and scratches while handling animals; exposure to zoonotic diseases.
- Consistent exposure to animals in the workplace and animal allergens under conditions with limited alternatives available.