Our internship program is rotating in nature, meaning our interns will participate in both equine and food animal, medicine, surgery, equine lameness, and emergency rotations. In general, our interns spend about 60-65% of their time in equine, 30% in food animals, and 5-10% of the time in an area of their choosing. Interns are assigned to a senior clinician’s service rotation for four-week blocks of time on a rotating basis. Sometimes there will also be a resident assigned to the service in addition to the intern.
Most service groups will have two to four students per block (student blocks are 2 weeks). Interns only have “in house” responsibilities, meaning they do not go out on farm calls or get assigned to the theriogenology or ambulatory groups. When scheduling permits, interns may request a four-week optional block where they can elect to spend time in theriogenology, community practice, or ambulatory (field service) with clinicians that do either general equine or food animal farm calls.
About the Caseload
Our caseload is approximately 65-70% equine and 30-35% of food animals. The predominance of the horses are Quarter Horses used for western performance (roping, reining, barrel racing, pleasure), some racing Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, some hunter/jumper and dressage types, and the rest composed of a variety of other breeds and performance type horses. Beef cattle and meat goats predominate in food animals, but we do see a few sheep and pigs on occasion. We see few dairy cattle, with the only dairy in the area the university dairy.
Interns get a large volume of hands-on experience, especially during after hour emergencies. Interns are only responsible for “in-house” emergencies. They do not go out and do any “on farm” emergencies. The emergency case load is approximately 70% equine and 30% food animal.
Equine emergencies are going to be about 80-90% referrals and 10-20% local clients. Food animal emergencies are going to be about half local and half referral clients. Interns share in the after hour emergency duty responsibilities equally. Each one will be “on-call” one-half of the time (i.e. one week of every two, every other weekend).
There are always medicine and surgery residents and senior faculty available for consultation and case involvement. Interns and residents take primary call where they answer phone calls from referring veterinarians and clients, receive emergency cases, and do the initial work up. During a week on call, the intern has three nights of “primary” on-call responsibility, two nights of being back up or “second call” responsibilities, and two nights of being on “third call.” Interns are called in to assist with all surgeries regardless of whether the intern is on primary, secondary, or tertiary call.
We believe strongly in our program being a teaching/training program, so there are always an internal medicine and surgery faculty member on call to assist interns and residents. Our interns consult with the medicine or surgery resident on call, and the senior faculty members before making decisions about how a case should be managed and before discussing specific options with the client. The same is expected of our residents. The interns are assisted by residents and senior faculty from the time of admission until a treatment plan is generated, especially early in the internship year.
We want to allow our interns and residents to gain experience, but under the auspices of our clients and patients receiving the best possible care we have to offer. We feel strongly that working with residents and senior faculty only serves to enhance the intern’s learning, while providing our clients and patients with the best possible care.
Interns are encouraged to publish case reports or become involved in a research project during their internship year and participate in giving seminars and lectures to both small and large groups of students, faculty, and veterinarians.
Completion of this internship allows our interns to pursue further advanced training (i.e. residency training) or to become a responsible part of a quality private veterinary practice.
Interested applicants should apply through the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians matching program. The website is www.virmp.org .