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rpd27

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I'm a current third year making my clinical schedule right now. I have two blocks in which I want to do externships at sites where I would like to make a good impression for the match. However, the most important aspect of an internship for me is not something that can be found on the VIRMP website.. my biggest priority is the quality of life of the interns (which I'm well aware is limited in any internship). But the question is: HOW do I find out what the QOL is like at a given internship? I don't want to waste my two externships on places that I find I dislike, just to go into the match with my foot in the door at two places I don't want to work and no connection to those I might want to rank higher. Any advice on how to obtain this info would be seriously appreciated.

On that note, if anyone knows the reputations of any SA rotating internships in/around the following areas, I'd greatly appreciate your input!
  • NYC/northern NJ/southern CT area (specifically AMC, ASPCA, BluePearl, VERG, VCA Westbury, Guardian, Long Island Vet Specialists, Oradell, VCA Norwalk/Darien)
  • Oregon/Washington (specifically VCA Northwest Vet Specialists in Portland, BluePearl Kirkland, Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle)
  • California (any)
 
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JaynaAli

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Quality of life and internship are unfortunately pretty mutually exclusive with the current state of affairs. i dont have personal experience with the things on your list but the main thing I’d ask that most directly affected my quality of life is what happens to inpatients on your days off. At my internship program, we rounded off our patients to the other doctors who were working those days and we didn’t have to come in on our days off. The 5 days a week I worked, we were there 12-18 hours (and rarely more) but the two “weekend” days were our own…we didn’t have to come and SOAP patients or call owners. I pretty much spent one of those days sleeping +/- something fun and one doing life things like grocery shopping and laundry and reading for rounds. It made things a lot more bearable to have those two days to catch up on life a little.
 
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rpd27

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Quality of life and internship are unfortunately pretty mutually exclusive with the current state of affairs. i dont have personal experience with the things on your list but the main thing I’d ask that most directly affected my quality of life is what happens to inpatients on your days off. At my internship program, we rounded off our patients to the other doctors who were working those days and we didn’t have to come in on our days off. The 5 days a week I worked, we were there 12-18 hours (and rarely more) but the two “weekend” days were our own…we didn’t have to come and SOAP patients or call owners. I pretty much spent one of those days sleeping +/- something fun and one doing life things like grocery shopping and laundry and reading for rounds. It made things a lot more bearable to have those two days to catch up on life a little.
Thanks so much for your input! In your opinion, would the contact person listed for a given internship on the VIRMP website be likely to respond kindly to inquiries like this, or, alternatively, are they sometimes willing to put a prospective applicant in touch with former interns?
 

JaynaAli

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Thanks so much for your input! In your opinion, would the contact person listed for a given internship on the VIRMP website be likely to respond kindly to inquiries like this, or, alternatively, are they sometimes willing to put a prospective applicant in touch with former interns?
If they won’t give you contact info for former or current interns that’s generally a red flag. Most will have that info and happily give it out if you ask…that’s extremely common. I’d ask the current or former interns that question but if you were interviewed it could be appropriate to ask then also. I probably wouldn’t just email the internship director that because you don’t want them to think you’re lazy or whatever in one of your very first interactions (absolutely not saying you are for prioritizing QOL, but I wouldn’t want to risk that an old timer might see it that way if that makes sense?).
 
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rpd27

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If they won’t give you contact info for former or current interns that’s generally a red flag. Most will have that info and happily give it out if you ask…that’s extremely common. I’d ask the current or former interns that question but if you were interviewed it could be appropriate to ask then also. I probably wouldn’t just email the internship director that because you don’t want them to think you’re lazy or whatever in one of your very first interactions (absolutely not saying you are for prioritizing QOL, but I wouldn’t want to risk that an old timer might see it that way if that makes sense?).
Definitely.. that had been my thought, that it could read less like "I'm being proactive about my mental health" and more "how hard is this gonna be?" Its so good to know that its not asking too much to get in contact with former interns!
 

JaynaAli

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Yep. I would hope they would be understanding but there’s still an undercurrent of “I suffered so you have to too, it’s a right if passage” amongst some people. Hopefully less and less over time but it’s still essentially a job interview (with way above average competition) so best to be careful until you know more about the people.
 
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