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Vida’s International Veterinary Training Center (IVTC) in Costa Rica offers veterinary students an amazing opportunity to enhance their surgical skills and improve their confidence though providing high quality and ethical spay and neuters while helping local animals in need. All services are provided free-of-charge to local animal shelters. IVTC externs will master their skills in performing physical examinations and patient surgical preparation, including pre-medication, IV catheter placement and endotracheal intubation. Externs will monitor patients during anesthesia and participate actively in spay and neuter procedures and recovery. There will also be time to explore Costa Rica’s amazing biodiversity, visit local animal shelters and practice wildlife medicine.
Key takeaways: one-on-one hands on learning experience in a controlled, motivating and supportive environment; proficiency in performing minimally invasive spay and neuter surgeries; population control; and, familiarity with shelter and wildlife medicine.
Externs rotate through medicine, ambulatory, and surgery. They assist technicians in setting up for admission of emergencies and patient care, as well as directly observe and participate in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed by veterinarians. Externs are called in for emergencies, and are expected to participate in morning and evening rounds. Externs are placed at one of two of our full service hospital locations, in the heart of the Bluegrass and have the opportunity to shadow up to twelve veterinarians. Caseload includes neonatal foal critical care, dystocia deliveries, cesarean deliveries, reproductive services, dentistry, podiatry, colics (medical and surgical), infectious diseases, elective procedures, general and preventative medicine, anesthesia, in-hospital critical care, prepurchase exams, lameness examinations, among many others.
Our goal is to help control animal overpopulation in communities in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. If you are a student seeking a supervised and ethical hands-on service learning experience with animals, Vida is the right program for you! This is a high quality educational program for those who wish to gain clinical and practical experience in the field of Veterinary Medicine.
Our program focuses mainly on the sterilization of felines and canines in field clinics; however, participants will also gain experience working with large animals. We operate field clinics in accordance with the International Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association -Field Services Guidelines which emphasizes patient and volunteer safety, high quality pain management protocols, appropriate post-operative care, and the ethical participation of volunteers in surgical procedures.
Behavior problems continue to be the leading cause of death for our pets; the ability to recognize, diagnose and treat basic behavior problems is critical for all veterinarians in general practice. The goal of this externship is both to provide fundamental skills necessary for basic implementation in a general practice and cultivate the skills of those students with experience, knowledge and ambition for more challenging behavior problems.
Busch Gardens Tampa, Animal Care Center
Type of Experience: Zoo Animal Medicine
Practice Name: Busch Gardents Tampa, Animal Care Center
Description Experience: Four clinical veterinarians with a combined 54 years experience in zoo animal medicine. Two are board certified in the American College of Zoological Medicine. A Board Certified Veterinary Pathologist with 15 years experience.
Institutional Resources: A 3 year old12,000 sq. foot, fully equipped, State of the Art Veterinary facility. A quarantine facility. A collection of roughly 220 exotic animals including over 300 species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Educational Resources: A comprehensive library of veterinary textbooks ; many related to exotic animal medicine. Access to the JAVMA & Journal of Zoo & Wildlife Medicine. Daily rounds of ongoing cases. Access to in-house medical records program. Will be expected to complete a small research project/data mining, under the guidance of the veterinarians.
Responsibilities of Students: They will participate in morning rounds to discuss the cases for the day. Students will observe veterinarians during both field procedures and hospital procedures. They will also observe veterinarians and technicians administering treatment to hospitalized cases. They will learn how to formulate diagnostic and treatment plans for animals in the collection. They will be involved in formulating diagnostic and treatment plans for injured wildlife brought to the park. Time will be spent observing the veterinary pathologist performing gross necropsies and learning comparative anatomy, recognition of gross lesions, and sample collection procedures for histopathology and ancillary testing. Students will learn about the importance of a preventative medicine program for a zoological collection and be exposed to various aspects of it. There will be opportunities to observe the veterinary technicians in the clinical lab and learn how to run blood chemistries and hematology. Technicians will also familiarize students with preparing fecals for parasite exams and identifying parasite ova.
During down time in the clinics students will have an opportunity to work alongside animal care specialists who care for animals in the collection. This will expose them to proper husbandry techniques, exhibit maintenance and behavioral conditioning. They will also be able to spend time in the Nutrition Center learning what it takes to feed our collection on a daily basis and learning about nutritional aspects of animal health from our Nutrition Manager.
Students will always be encouraged to participate in discussion of cases and ask questions. Veterinarians will be challenging students to apply the knowledge and skills that they have worked so hard to develop in the course of their veterinary education.
Student Supervision: Direct supervision at all times by one or more of the 4 clinical veterinarians and/or Veterinary Pathologist for at least 8 hours a day for 5 or 6 days per week.
Is Housing Available? No
Clinical Supervisor: Michael S. Burton VMD, Peter Black DVM, Dominique Keller DVM, Maria Spriggs DVM
Green Meadow Veterinary Hospital is a growning mixed animal practice. We currently have a fulltime veterinarian/owner and a well trained support staff. We are looking to expand our veterinary staff to 4 fulltime veterinarians. The majority of our practice is small animal but our large animal side is growing. We see small and large animal patients in the hospital and provide ambulatory services for small and large animal patients.
We are a busy four doctor general practice that has been open for over 50 years. We have 4 full time technicians, a fantastic support staff and a loyal client base. We invite you to come experience the daily workings of our hospital. We do surgery five days a week and perform almost every orthopedic and soft tissue surgery in-house (the rare back surgery is typically sent to a referral hospital). We encourage students, soon-to-be-doctors, to be involved with each and every case - this includes dialogue with the doctors and hands on experience.
We provide a broad spectrum of diagnostic procedures through in-house testing and the use of external laboratories. We also work closely with local practices when special diagnostic procedures are
required. The facility includes a well-stocked pharmacy, in-hospital surgery suite, in-house digital x-ray capabilities, a closely supervised hospitalization area, and indoor boarding kennels with outdoor walking areas.
Interning here will be very hands on and in some cases very demanding. We can usually get upwards to 10 surgeries a week, mostly spays and neuters and we are frequently busy. There are some slow days but there is always something to do.
Shadowing and practice of veterinary medicine paired with coach/mentor Dr. for duration of externship and tailored to individual students' interests and skillset in a fast-paced small animal practice
Topics can include: Conservation & Wildlife Medicine (East African Large Predator & Prey Animal Health Monitoring & Interventions; Rescue; Restoration; Livestock-Wildlife-Interface Disease Monitoring; One Health [Echinococcus-Research]); Field-Lab Diagnostics; Community Conservation & Education; Human - Wildlife Conflict-Mitigation
Participate in all program activities (incl. non-vet) so as to gain sufficient insight into complexity of wildlife health & conservation particularly at the wildlife-livestock- & conservation area-community interface.
The Uganda Carnivore Program (www.uganda-carnivores.org) is multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to the monitoring, research, and conservation of predators in Uganda. We focus on both scientific research and monitoring and community-based wildlife conservation. Students can be involved in all aspects of our program.