Cornell University Hospital for Animals


Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Robert Kirk DVM '46 Practitioner-in-Residence


“Being a Kirk Practitioner-in-Residence has been a blessing: it has granted me the opportunity to give back to the students who are the true heart of the profession, in coaching them through some of their "firsts," cheering them onward and upward as they experience that first taste of victory, and sharing in their hopes, dreams, fears, and tears shed along the way. Every day that I am able to give back is a good day. As a Cornell DVM Class of 2008 graduate, I am in the unique position of having one foot on either side of the door. I remember what helped (and didn't help!) as a student; and I can more easily relate the "real world" experiences to what the students need to hear and see. I feel that I learn from the students as much as I hope they learn from me. I highly recommend this program to any and all who are interested. Come with an open mind, and you will be touched for life.”

Dr. Ryane Englar, Cornell ’08

Guzman Kirk

Words cannot describe the joy I felt each and every day I was here! I spent two weeks as Kirk’s Practitioner during the summer of 2015 and an additional week in the fall. I worked with so many of the amazing clinicians that have joined the Cornell family since I graduated in 2000. Cornell continues to attract and keep the best of the best. They are all so amazing, creative, personable and work oh so very well together! They made me feel like part of the family, like I had known them for a lifetime.

Dr. Collins, our current CPS Chief, embodies true love and devotion for all creatures, great and small à la James Herriot. I met so many of his critters, each one, a family member, from bees, chickens, and ferrets to voles and mice and of course dogs and cats! And they are all such gentle souls! It’s so reassuring to know that our future generations of Cornell vet students have him as a role model.

Dr. Ada Guzman, CU '95 & CVM '00


“Cornell's Kirk Practitioner-in-Residence program was truly one of the highlights of my professional career. I treasured the opportunity to share my clinical experience with students, and interacting with the faculty 10 years after graduating was a true pleasure. The program made me aware of how much I had learned on the “outside,” and I was able to share my stories from “the trenches” with third- and fourth-year veterinary students. In addition, I also learned quite a bit from my experience, being able to interact directly with Cornell practitioners who are involved in cutting edge clinical research and practices. It was an experience I will remember forever, and I hope to return to the program in the years to come.”

Dr. Rachel Meyer, Cornell ’01


"When I graduated in 2000, professor Mary Smith said that 50 percent of what we just learned will be obsolete in seven years. With that in mind, it's easy to see the need to keep on top of new advances and techniques to provide patients with the highest standard of care available. Coming back to Cornell was an eye opener. On medicine, I saw Dr. Center (internal medicine) use the new CT to scan a Yorkie with a potential liver shunt in minutes. Dr. Rawlinson (dentistry) took time to show how she uses digital radiography. I received some great rabbit tips from Dr. Morrisey (exotics). And after 10 years, it is still a learning experience for me to watch Dr. Hornbuckle (Community Practice Service) work up everyday cases with students, going over their differentials and options as they get their new-grad feet wet. It's never too late to learn new tricks and I am grateful the Kirk Practitioner-in-Residence program gave me a unique way to do so."

Dr. Chris Kennedy, Cornell '00


I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the Kirk Practitioner-in-Residence Program.  The clinicians from the specialty services, Dr. Brian Collins from the Community Practice Service, and all the technicians and staff were so willing to share their knowledge and answer my questions.  They made me feel right at home and taught me so much in a short period of time.  Even more fulfilling was working one on one with the students.  They are so excited to learn and to seek advice from general practitioners.  I am certain that although I was there to help teach them, the students taught me twice as much.  This time was so well spent and has been the highlight of my career.  I would urge any general practitioner who shares my love of learning and teaching to take part in this program.  It is well worth the time that you will be away from your practice!

Dr. Elizabeth Wilcox, Cornell ‘05

To apply
To be considered for the program, veterinarians may send their CV and a letter of application to the address below. The letter should describe what you hope to gain from the program, the length of time and dates you wish to be in residence, and the service(s) you wish to rotate through. You are welcome to describe other educational experiences you may wish to provide for students. Due to immigration, licensing and liability restrictions the program is not open to foreign nationals.  Your application will be evaluated by Dr. William H. Miller as the faculty director for the program. Send the application electronically to Pilar A. Thompson, program coordinator, to or by mail to:

Robert W. Kirk Practitioner-in-Residence Application Committee
c/o Pilar A. Thompson, Program Specilaist
Cornell University Hospital for Animals
CVM Box 46
Ithaca NY 14853-6401