The veterinary externship at the South Florida Wildlife Center is designed to introduce the extern to wildlife medicine in a high-volume veterinary hospital and to expose the extern to the basics of wildlife handling, husbandry, and rehabilitation. The extern will be trained in the physical exam, triage, diagnostic testing, and surgery of a variety of wildlife species. They will gain knowledge of many common disease and injuries seen in willdife, be exposed to the operations of a wildlife center, and gain knowledge in humane coexistence with willdife.
The SFWC consists of a fully-functional veterinary hospital, staffed with a full-time veterinarian and 3 trained wildlife technicians. The hospital is fully equipped with an ICU that has the capacity to provide heat and oxygen support for multiple patients, 3 anesthesia stations, digital radiology, a lab area with multiple microscopes, an Abaxis chemistry analyzer, and Istat analyzer, and a lead testing kit. There are multiple monitoring modalities utilized during anesthesia. The SFWC also has a large campus with indoor and outdoor wards for recovering patients, and larger habitats for patients being rehabilitated for release, and a nursery ward, staff by 10 trained rehabilitators. We have a library with literature available for research in a variety of topics relevant to wildlife rehabilitation.
The students are schedule 5 days a week, 40 hours a week (9-hour shifts with a one-hour lunch) - however students are expected to stay after hours if work dictates, which could possibly translate into a 45-hour work-week. The externship coordinator assumes that the student has an open schedule unless stated otherwise, and schedules the extern as best suits their education and the needs of the clinic. This includes one weekend day a week and at times, holidays. Externs will always work alongside a staff member and we strive to put them with a veterinary as much as possible during their "rounds" rotation.
We have an on-site apartment that can house up to two students in the same room. It has a kitchen that is shared with employees in that trailer and a bathroom. We require a refundable $50 cleaning deposit, and have cleaning protocols that must be followed, since it is a shared space. There is Wi-fi available, and computer access if necessary, although we strongly suggest that students bring a laptop. We do not allow pets in the apartment.