All Things Pets

FAQs About Veterinary Internships

by Dean Oliver

Many veterinary students don't feel comfortable jumping right into a job as soon as they finish school. The growing trend is to undertake a veterinary internship. You probably have questions about what that can look like. Keep reading for answers to many of those questions.

What's the Main Benefit of Doing a Veterinary Internship?

The main benefit of the internship is you'll gain valuable work experience. The field of veterinary medicine has a lot of specialties. If you do an internship, you can explore what kind of practice you want to focus on. You have choices ranging from small to exotic animals. Once you complete your internship, you'll have real-world knowledge of veterinary medicine.

How Do I Find an Internship?

You have different approaches to finding a veterinary internship. If you already have a relationship with an existing veterinary clinic, you can ask them if they'd sponsor you for an internship. However, several associations also provide internship matching programs. They can match you with a veterinary college or practice according to your preferences.

How Do I Know the Internship will be a Good Fit?

According to the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, you should do some research ahead of time. Visit the proposed clinic or college. You should feel comfortable in your environment. What's more, you should feel like the clinic or college has a lot they can teach you about the practice. The journal author recommends basing your decision on a multi-day externship.

Do I Get Paid During the Internship?

The short answer is that yes, you do get paid to do an internship. The amount depends on your area. The hope is you can find an internship that pays you well enough to live and even start paying off any student loans you accrued.

Can Completing an Internship Help Me Get a Better Salary?

The completion of an internship does not in itself guarantee you'll earn a better salary when you start practicing veterinary medicine. However, you can use the internship as a chance to pursue residency in a selected board specialty, the achievement of which will bump up your future salary. You can also use an internship as a chance to make connections toward a future job.

What Is a Veterinary Internship Like?

Your experience with the internship depends a lot on you. It starts with the clinic or college you choose. From there, you should expect to start with basic tasks. If you show your willingness, typically the vets will trust you with more medicine-related tasks. Likewise, you should use the internship as a learning experience by asking a lot of questions and making observations.

Consider undertaking an internship when you finish veterinary school.