Offsite Electives

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Description of Elective Experience:

The student will be paired with a licensed veterinarian, to shadow and collaborate with on various cases presented to our facility. The student will perform/assist in the completion of physical examinations, creating a plan to determine a specific diagnosis, be part of treatment option discussions, help doctor with notes (practice/observe how to write a medical record) and other patient related tasks. 

Description of Elective Experience:

The Mississippi Aquarium provides veterinary students the unique opportunity to gain experience in the field of aquatic animal medicine. Our collection consists animals from brown waterways of Mississippi, to blue oceans of the Gulf of Mexico, and beyond. Externs will get exposure to a diverse collection, including invertebrates, freshwater and marine teleost’s, elasmobranchs, non-avian and avian reptiles, mammals, and cetaceans.

Description of Elective Experience:

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Education Opportunities Submission Form

Externships/ Preceptorships


Institution Name:        Woodland Park Zoo

Address:                      5500 Phinney Ave. N.

City, State:                  Seattle, Washington

Zip:                              98103

State Abb:                   WA


Primary Contact:        Dr. Tim Storms

Position (of contact):  Director of Animal Health


Phone:                         206-548-2607


FAX:                           206-547-6962


Clinical Experience (to be gained during program):  Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo externship offers a hands-on clinical experience for fourth year veterinary students (must have completed one medical or surgical clinical rotation prior to externship). Students will work with a team of three veterinarians (including one Dipl. ACZM) and six veterinary technicians, and will receive exposure to clinical techniques, anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, surgery, quarantine, preventive medicine, nutrition, and laboratory methods for a variety of zoological species. International students are welcome to apply.


Research:  A project is required during the externship. Students may investigate a clinical case, collection health problem, or relevant topic in zoological medicine and present findings to veterinary staff. 


Allied Institutions:   N/A


Responsibilities:  The student will have a wide range of responsibilities, determined by experience level.  Minimally, each student will be expected to participate in all aspects of zoo medical practice, including participation in medical procedures, administration of animal treatments, care of quarantined and hospitalized animals, performing postmortem exams, medical record entry, learning and performing laboratory techniques, and preventive medicine. The student will also rotate through animal care areas to gain husbandry experience. Students are expected to work a Monday-Friday 40-hour week but be available for weekend days and after-hours procedures or treatments as needed.


Duration: 4 weeks. Students should request dates that do not overlap with Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s holidays due to reduced staffing and caseload.


Application Requests:  Cover letter including desired dates (list three options in priority order),  Curriculum Vitae, and two professional letters of recommendation. 


If applications are not taken continuously, at what date will this position next be available:

Open continuously


Application Deadline:  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Application > 12 months prior to desired time period is strongly recommended.


Class Standing:  Fourth-year veterinary students with a demonstrated interest in zoological medicine and completion of at least one medicine or surgery clinical rotation at time of externship. International students are welcome to apply.


Compensation:  None.


Housing:  A small, furnished apartment with kitchen and laundry facilities is available in the zoo hospital free of charge.  Parking on zoo grounds is also available.


Transportation:  None provided.  The City of Seattle maintains a public transportation system, with a bus stop outside the zoo’s front gate.  The zoo is located within walking distance to restaurants, grocery stores, and other amenities.


Insurance:  Student responsible for their own.


Expenses:  Student responsible for their own travel and food costs.


TB test/Vaccinations:  Proof of negative skin tuberculin test obtained within 6 months of start date is required. Proof of SARS-Cov-2 vaccination is required. Must be up to date with Tetanus (vaccination in the last 10 years) and Rabies (vaccine or titer in the last 2 years) protection.


Does Program accept international applicants?  Yes



For International Applicants, a reasonable proficiency with written and spoken English is required, both conversationally as well as with veterinary medical terminology. International students are responsible for acquiring the appropriate Visa.



Last updated: 

27 Sep 2023





Description of Elective Experience:

Ohio Alleycat Resource Center is a feline only facility that has a high volume low cost spay/neuter clinic, a low cost wellness clinic, barn cat program and an Adoption Center.

Description of Elective Experience:

Students are schedule for a 2 week rotation in which they will work in the following departments:

1. Emergency/Triage - evaluating patients brought in through our 24hr Animal Ambulance Service, Animal Cruelty Cases brought in through our Investigations department, Foster Appointments, and In-hospital patients. This department has in-house blood work and urinalysis equipment, ultrasound, digital radiography, and endoscopy. 

2. Surgery - 90% spays/neuters, but may also include amputations, mass removals, enucleations, C-sections, and a host of other surgical procedures.

3. Pet Wellness Clinic - Preventive and minor urgent care for owned pets. Students will gain confidence and practice in client education and communication. 

4. Wildlife Center - intake, evaluation, and handling of native Texas wildlife with the ultimate goal of release back to the community.

5. Animal Cruelty and Investigations - Ride-a-long with one of our Animal Cruelty Investigators to gain an understanding of how cruelty cases are processed and prosecuted. May include the opportunity to observe resolution of the cases in court. 

6. Equine and Farm Animals - evaluating and treating equine and farm animals in our care. 

Description of Elective Experience:

Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) is the official state animal health agency for Wyoming. Externs will assist with livestock herd testing for a range of regulatory diseases, working with both USDA and state veterinarians. Opportunities will also include participating in educational presentations for a variety of livestock species and audiences.  Externs may participate in new/ongoing disease investigations, prepare for sample collection and submission, and help with forms required for various laboratory and disease monitoring programs. 

Description of Elective Experience:

Opportunity to perform general practice responsibilities along with routine surgery and dentistry procedures.

Description of Elective Experience:

This is a state agency wildlife externship.  Case load is variable and we are often dealing with population health issues and outbreak investigations.  There is a lot of necropsy and forensic science that will occur during this externship.  Data entry, wildlife capture and sampling will also likely occur during this rotation.

Description of Elective Experience:

The extern will participate in our necropsy and surgical biopsy service as well as pathology resident rounds. 

Description of Elective Experience:

Full Dairy veterinary practice that also consults at the domestic and international level. Externs will be exposed to general dairy medicine, as well as advanced reproductive techniques, and get the opportunity to diagnose her health problems.