National Aviary, PA

Description of Elective Experience: 

The National Aviary’s Teaching Hospital internship program provides a unique educational experience for veterinary students to learn avian medicine in a zoo setting. The curriculum has 3 components: academic lessons in avian medicine, teaching hands-on skills with patient care, and working directly with the veterinary team in medical procedures. The goals of the internship are to teach students knowledge about species variations and specialized skills necessary to practice avian medicine.

Institutional and Educational Resources - staffing, equipment, etc.: 

The National Aviary Teaching Hospital has 2 full-time veterinarians and 5 veterinary technicians who all participate in teaching and training the interns in avian medicine lessons, rounds, and hands-on skills. The hospital is equiped with medical supplies and diagnostics tests to provide full veterinary care for the 500+ bird collection, including patient wards, ICU, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, surgery, and necropsy.    

Student Responsibilities - what is expected of students in terms of hours, days of the week, shadowing or actual support?: 

The students train in the hospital from 7 am until 4 pm with a 1 hour lunch 5 days a week. The students are expected to actively participate in patient care, medical procedures, and medical rounds.  The students are to study the educational materials and weekly lessons provided to each student and successfully complete the quizzes.  Each week, the students will fill out a training checklist documenting the lessons, skills, and a case list completed.  The instructors will meet with the students to discuss the progress and review new goals.     

PIlar Fish, DVM, Director of Veterinary Medicine
Contact email: 
700 Arch Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
United States
Is student housing available?: 
Hours of supervision by a licensed veterinarian per week: 
40 hours per week