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Internships

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by MonkeyJunction, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. MonkeyJunction

    MonkeyJunction Junior Member
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    My wife is planning on doing an internship and residency now (UCD 2007) any hints on getting an academic internship. FYI gpa=3.96 but not much extracurricular, just a couple of clubs, Worked part time 1st 3 years in local hosp. How did you decide on reference letters? Especially since apps are do in early Dec. half way thru senior rotation
     
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  3. Bill59

    Bill59 Member
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    The most important factors in getting a small animal internship are GPA/class rank and references, both letters and informal references. Since by 4th year, your GPA is pretty much mathematically set, I’ll focus on the references.

    References should be from clinicians that you’ve directly worked with. Internships are clinical positions, so references that can address your clinical skills are better than someone like an anatomy professor or a researcher you did bench research with. The reality is that someone can do great in anatomy or research and be lousy in the clinics.

    For internships, the specialty of the reference doesn’t matter (it does matter for residency). If you’re looking at small animal I would focus on small animal faculty, but if you had a large animal clinician that would write a glowing letter that’s fine – a good clinical student is a good clinical student. In general, focus on faculty, not residents or interns who won’t carry the weight of experience in evaluating students. On the other hand, don’t bother with administrators like deans and assistant deans. Everybody knows that at most schools they don’t interact with the students in the clinics.

    Start now. The obvious choices are clinicians that gave you a good grade and comments and those you feel you developed a rapport with. Anyone who said something like, “You know, you should apply for an internship.” is a good choice.

    As for asking them, always start with something like, “Do you feel you worked with me enough to write a good reference letter?” This gives them an easy out if they don’t feel qualified or more importantly if they don’t feel they can write a good letter. At any hint of reservations, get someone else. A single poor letter is the kiss of death.

    Although most of the references should be from your school, if you did a clinical externship somewhere and can get a good reference from there, that’s excellent.

    Regarding visits and interviews, while nobody has the time or money to visit all the places they are interested in, I would try to visit as many of your top choices as possible. First, this is the best way to find out if you will like it there. Internship is stressful enough at somewhere you like, it’s absolutely miserable if you’re somewhere full of jerks. Second, making a really good impression at the visit, can move you up in their ranking. Realize that a few schools really discourage internship visits so if you run into that, don’t take it personal.

    Even better than an interview is to do an out-rotation or externship. Most people can come off as reasonably pleasant for a few hours but it’s really tough to fake it for several weeks on a clinical rotation. Blowing everyone away on an externship is one of the few things that can make up for less than stellar grades (which is obviously not a problem with 3.96).
     
  4. MicheleVet

    MicheleVet DVM c/o 2005
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    That is all excellent advice. :thumbup:
     
  5. Bill59

    Bill59 Member
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    One more thing …. be careful with some of the private (non-academic) internships. Although veterinary schools and residencies have to meet certain standards, internships do not – there is no organization that oversees internships. The AAVC just coordinates the match.

    Any of the academic internships are fine, as are the established private internships that everyone has heard of, like Angell and AMC. But some of the smaller, private practice internships are different. Some are not really training programs, just a way for the practice to hire someone very cheaply to see patients and pull emergency shifts. It’s good experience but you can get that kind of experience as an associate veterinarian and actually make a real salary. Another thing I’ve seen is some of these places will list a bunch of specialists that work at the practice. But the intern gets there only to find the radiologist is 200 miles away and reads the films over the internet and the ophthalmologist is there 2 days a month.

    So if you apply to any of these, make sure you talk to one of their recent interns and, if possible, visit the practice.
     

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