Picking an internship

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New Member
Jun 22, 2016
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I’m a vet student entering my 4th year and interested in pursuing a small animal rotating internship post grad(maybe more). I have no particular ties, and am hoping a year of internship will help me to decide if I want to try pursue a residency. At this point, if I could choose my ‘dream job’ it would be returning to academia, so I’m mostly considering academic institutions. Does anyone feel their school has a particularly strong program, or have suggestions about how to begin paring down the large number of possibilities?

Doktor Timo

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2014
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I've been told by several people who should know that an academic internship is preferable if you're planning on doing a residency. So that's a good place to start at least. Plus, some private practice internships are really just cheap labor for the clinic and your continued education may not be a priority. As for the individual schools, I can't speak to any program being better than others. As far as I know, they're pretty similar. But there are other things to consider, for example the cost of living where you'll be. Most internships pay similar salaries, but that money won't go nearly as far in NYC as it might in, say, Ames. You also might have a favorite professor/clinician or resident who has changed schools who might be worth following. I personally know and am very fond of two clinicians who are moving to UGA and that is definitely a factor in my decision-making.


OVC c/o 2015
10+ Year Member
Dec 24, 2009
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Most academic internships are pretty similar, it may help if you have friends/contacts at other schools to chat with them to see what the program is like at their school. Or if your 4th year schedule allows, doing external rotations at schools you're interested in to see what their internship program is like. Just to give you another perspective - I went into 4th year knowing that I wanted to specialize, but I purposely chose to do a private practice rotating internship for a few different reasons. I matched to an academic residency and will be starting next week. I also plan on returning to academia one day (but will probably work for a bit in private practice first once I'm boarded because of student debt). There's nothing wrong with going with an academic internship at all, but just know that it's not your only option if the only reason you wouldn't consider private practice internships is because you fear that you won't match to an academic residency out of a private practice internship.


SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!
7+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2011
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For what its worth i too did a private practice internship and then matched to an academic residency.

You are definitely still cheap labor at an academic practice, and althouh they care about your future, that alone may not be enouh to match you to a residency (i was shocked how many interns from my 4th year did not match to residencies). And althouh salariea are low across the board, its not necessarily true that you will make the same salary as someone in a low vs. high cost of living area. Using the example above, Iowa offered $26k this year, AMC offered nearly $28k but has housing accomodations, and BluePearl NYC aoffered $37k. And although its clearly not all about the money, you should defi itely ask interns at the places you apply if they are able to live and pay all necessary expenses based on their salary, or if they have external support (spouse, family) or extra loans to survive. At moat places i think you can scrape by, but there are a few places i looked at that i just couldnt conceive living in whatever big city on however little salary amount.
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