Staff Veterinarian-The Florida Aquarium

Posted: 19 May 2023| Full-Time |Florida, USA


The position must have exemplary leadership, management and communication skills with the ability to work with a wide variety of staff within the animal health, animal care, and learning departments. The Staff Veterinarian will co-manage the clinical veterinary services for the living collection at The Florida Aquarium, it’s offsite satellite exhibits and for corals and rehabilitating sea turtles at the Center for Conservation (CFC) in Apollo Beach, FL, including preventative and emergency care, diagnostic services, and pathology. The ability to work in a dynamic environment requiring flexibility and creativity is critical.

Essential Position Functions

  •  Co-manages the long term preventative medicine program for the animal collection at The Florida Aquarium and it off-site satellite exhibits, including annual examinations, infectious disease screening, parasite surveillance, immunization, birth control, nutrition, and dental prophylaxis.
  •  Provides veterinary care and support for the quarantine of incoming collection animals appropriate to the taxa, acquisition and medical history and entrance diagnostics exams on a case by case basis.
  • Provides clinical veterinary support for the aquarium’s stranded sea turtle and coral conservation programs at the CFC in Apollo Beach.
  • Works proactively to foster and maintain a positive and productive working relationship between Animal Health and Animal Care.
  • Maintains all mandated veterinary related federal and/or state licensing.
  • Responds to and manages animal emergencies.
  • Examines sick or injured animals and performs necessary procedures including surgery, radiography, and/or other required diagnostics/treatments.
  • Implements animal health related protocols including quarantine protocols, preshipment testing, and preventative medical program standards.
  • Performs necropsies and pathological analysis on mortalities of the collection.
  • Works cooperatively with Animal Care and the teams at CFC to develop and maintain transparency of veterinary processes and concerns between the various disciplines relying on veterinary care. This includes, but is not limited to, presenting the findings of animal health evaluations, test results, prognostic evaluations, treatment protocols, next steps, etc. – proactively and in real time.
  • Communicates animal health and welfare concerns with the Senior Vice President of Animal Care & Health and the Director of Animal Care.
  • Maintains and updates animal medical records in Tracks.
  • Co-manages the team of veterinary technicians.
  • Oversees the student externs, interns/residents program as assigned.
  • Conducts rounds to review health of the animal collection.
  • Participates in the animal health on-call rotation schedule with Co-Staff Veterinarian, Associate Veterinarian, and/or relief veterinarian(s).
  • Represents the aquarium at selected conferences and speaking engagements; gives media interviews.
  • Performs all other duties as assigned or required.

People Management Responsibilities

Staffing and development: 

  • Includes hiring, coaching, counseling, workload balancing, development and training


  • Establishes performance goals, conducts periodic coaching reviews, and evaluates performance


  • Communicates The Florida Aquarium’s purpose, vision, mission and values to all department team members
  • Creates an atmosphere of team concepts, integrity, risk-taking, empowerment, and trust among team members


  • Ensures the commitment to equal opportunity is demonstrated throughout all processes
  • Utilizes the potential of all team members without discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status

Education Requirements and Technical Skills

  • Doctor of veterinary medicine degree or equivalent (D.V.M. or V.M.D.)
  • State of Florida Veterinary License or ability to obtain within 1 year
  • Minimum of four years’ experience in exotic animal medicine from a zoo, aquarium or related field with specific knowledge of avian, icthyological and herpetological medicine desired
  • Previous experience with sea turtle medicine and/or rehabilitation desired
  • Post-mortem examination experience
  • Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation License required or ability to obtain within 1 year
  • DEA Certificate required
  • Working knowledge of Tracks software desirable
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office software (Excel, Power Point, Access, Outlook)
  • SCUBA certification desirable
  • Valid driver’s license required

Core Competencies

  • Customer Service Orientation — Listening to and understanding the customer (both internal and external) and anticipating and evaluating the customer’s needs; making the customer’s satisfaction a high priority in all areas of responsibility
  • Teamwork — Supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness; demonstrating sensitivity for the feelings and needs of team members and supporting team goals
  • Communication (oral and written) — Effectively expressing ideas verbally and non-verbally and actively listening to individuals and groups; preparing and focusing presentations to the characteristics and needs of the audience; expressing ideas clearly and concisely in written form, through memoranda, letters, reports, and other documents
  • Leadership (Individual) — Effective and appropriate use of interpersonal skills to motivate individuals toward the accomplishment of goals; co-creating and communicating in a clear vision through emphasis on the organization’s mission, individual and team goals, systems and rewards
  • Professional/Technical Knowledge and Competency — Remains current on developments in the field within and outside the organization; maintains proficiencies
  • Analysis — Obtaining relevant information and identifying key issues and relationships from a base of information; comparing data from different sources (both interactive and written); defining underlying problems or opportunities and recognizing trends; defining and structuring functions and teams based on key strategies and goals
  • Planning and organizing — Establishing a course of action with specific long-range goals for the aquarium; setting priorities among competing requirements and allocating resources in the most efficient and effective way; developing contingency plans that anticipate changes in the work environment

Typical Physical Requirements

  • Sitting (4 hours per day)
  • Standing (4 hours per day)
  • Walking (4 hours per day)
  • Bending/Stooping/Squatting — Occasionally
  • Climbing stairs —Frequently
  • Reaching above shoulders — Occasionally
  • Crouching/Kneeling — Occasionally
  • Pushing/Pulling — Occasionally
  • Carrying (up to 25 lbs.) — Occasionally
  • Lifting (up to 25 lbs.) — Occasionally
  • Working near moving machinery — Occasionally
  • Exposure to marked changes in temperature and humidity
  • Exposure to dust, fumes and gases
  • Typing on a computer keyboard
  • Viewing a computer screen for extended periods
  • Coping with demands (stresses that are associated with the job and/or the work environment so that acceptable levels of performance and overall contribution are maintained)
  • Ability to travel (car/Air) as needed — locally and/or nationally
  • Ability to conduct field work in collection and research
  • Daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals in a central Florida climate
  • Flexibility in working weekends, evenings, and holidays
  • Available for on-call emergencies
  • Ability to interact and be around wild animals
  • Exposure to various plants and birds
  • Subject to bites, stings and scrapes

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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