Small Animal Internship
Your internship is one of the most important, most formative
years of your professional life. You want to learn, be challenged,
explore career possibilities, and have the very best chance to be
accepted into a residency program. You want your internship to be
at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences.
At Texas A&M, you will be exposed to numerous specialties
and work side-by-side with experts in their field. Unlike some
teaching hospitals, our senior faculty will be present on the
clinic floor seeing cases -- and you will be with them. You will be
challenged daily by these experts and guided appropriately in your
Texas A&M has made a commitment to education and to
providing time for rounds for our interns. Interns are encouraged,
and in some cases required, to attend morning rounds and journal
clubs. Intern-specific rounds are held once weekly and you will
present and discuss recent cases in intimate detail. All interns
will present a seminar at the end of the year. For many, this also
results in a publication.
Over two-thirds of our interns who choose to pursue residency or
specialized internships do so successfully. We will place you
on key services of interest when you arrive. This will allow
you to garner the critical letters of recommendation you will need
to be competitive for a residency program.
Our caseload and number of faculty allow the Teaching Hospital
to be subdivided into numerous specialties. The Internal
Medicine Service is divided into separate canine and feline
services. Oncology, Cardiology and Dermatology are also
dedicated services. Surgery is divided into Soft Tissue,
Orthopedic, Neurology, and Elective Surgery. All interns
rotate through the Elective Surgery Service, giving you the
opportunity to enhance your surgical skills without being “in line”
behind a clinician and resident. In addition to rotating
through many of the services, you will also have elective time to
spend on any service or area of the hospital in which you wish to
gain more experience.
You will spend about 25% of your time on our busy Emergency
Service. This is an excellent opportunity to be the
key-decision maker. But, rest assured, you will always have
helpful back-up to contact when you just aren’t sure what to do
You are about to embark on an intensive year of training and are
going to make many sacrifices doing it. You should gain all that
you can from the experience. At Texas A&M, we want you to
become the best boarded-specialist you can be. We are dedicated to
providing a successful year that allows this to happen.
Please feel free to contact Dr. Mark J. Stickney, Chair
of the Internship Selection Committee for more information.
“I am a million times the doctor I would
have been!” Dr. Luis Rivas, intern 2013-2014
Objectives of the Internship Program
Interns hold faculty appointments in VSCS. They provide patient
care and teaching assistance in the Veterinary Medical Teaching
Hospital. While the main objective is to provide in-depth
postgraduate training and preparation, a practical outlook must be
maintained. Senior faculty will make extensive efforts to provide
an outstanding program, but the intern is expected to take the
initiative in the learning process throughout the one-year
Individual Intern Advisor
Each intern shall select a senior faculty member as an advisor
within 6 weeks of the start of his/her program.
Responsibilities of Advisors
- To provide advice and guidance toward the fulfillment of the
rotating internship as described by the Internship Committee and as
written in this document.
- To attend periodic evaluation on or about September 1, November
1, and February 1 following the employment date. This evaluation
process will be directed by the Chair of the Internship Committee
and its members. The written evaluation will be kept on file by the
chairperson of the Internship Committee.
- To assist the intern in starting a research project and
preparing a seminar to be presented in June following the
Responsibilities of the Head of Department
and Section Chiefs
To make the intern aware of the teaching responsibilities (i.e.,
laboratory instruction, block didactic material, etc.).
The Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences offers
internships in its clinical program for a 12-month period beginning
on or about July 1 each year. The program is a rotating internship
through the medical and surgical areas of the clinic to provide a
broad base of advanced clinical training. There are opportunities
for interns to pursue areas of special interest in addition to
regular clinical rotations. Individuals completing the internship
program should have a sound background to enter a residency,
private practice, academic clinical science, or allied medical
Twelve 4-week blocks will be devoted to small animal medicine
and surgery. The assignments of interns may
vary with the needs of the department and the Veterinary Medical
Teaching Hospital. Interns can expect to spend roughly half
of the blocks on internal medicine services and half on surgery
- Services the intern MAY rotate through include: canine internal
medicine; feline internal medicine; oncology; cardiology;
dermatology; dentistry; neurology; ophthalmology; soft tissue
surgery; orthopedic surgery
- Services each intern WILL rotate through include:
anesthesiology; general surgery; community practice; daytime
emergency/critical care; night-time emergency/critical care;
An intern may repeat a block on a given service as an elective
or choose a service not previously assigned. The availability of
any given service will be dependent on the number of house officers
already assigned to that service.
Emergency and on-call services will be provided by the interns
as directed by the rotating emergency schedules that are prepared
by the Head Resident. The frequency of emergency duty will vary
from year to year and will be determined by the Head Resident and
the Internship-Residency Advisory Council.
One seminar presentation will be required.
Each intern is strongly encouraged to submit a manuscript for
publication to their advisor for review on March 1 after the
employment date. The seminar will be presented in
conjunction with the intern-resident seminar series. The seminar
must be presented before a certificate for the internship will be
House officer rounds are held Thursday mornings from 8-9 am and
are MANDATORY. The format of rounds
will vary occasionally, but all interns should expect to present
cases for discussion. Sometimes guest speakers may present a topic.
Interns may also attend Resident rounds and journal clubs on other
days of the week, as long as attendance does
not interfere with clinical responsibilities.
Interns may be assigned to assist in various clinical and
laboratory courses as deemed necessary by the Department Head.
Under no circumstances shall an intern have sole responsibility
for, have the major teaching responsibility in, or direct any
required or elective course.
The intern shall be evaluated formally on or about September 1,
November 1, and February 1. The evaluation process will consist of
a review of the evaluations of the faculty for each block that the
intern has completed with input from the intern's faculty advisor.
This evaluation will be coordinated by the Chair of Internship
Committee. The results will be reported in writing to the
Department Head and the Associate Department Head in a timely manner.
An exit interview will be held on or about June 15.
Guidelines for Block Schedules for Interns
- Faculty members are usually assigned house officers during
their blocks on service.
- Block assignments of residents are made first. Then, interns
will be preferentially placed into assignments where they will be
the sole house officer.
- Every effort will be made to have no more than 2 house officers
on a service, but circumstances may require the scheduling of 3
house officers at times.
- The chair of the Internship Committee will determine by
telephone, at the time that an intern accepts a position, the
intern's preferences for scheduling in the first few blocks of the
year. This is intended to assist the intern in preparing to seek
residency positions, but is not a guarantee of specific block
Changes in the block schedule:
- Any and all changes in the block schedule must be approved in
advance by the clinicians involved and the coordinator of the block
- No changes in the assignments of interns or residents should be
made without informing the coordinator of the block schedule, the
section chief(s), and the associate department head.
- ALL CHANGES MUST BE MANAGED THROUGH THE COORDINATOR OF THE
BLOCK SCHEDULE. The coordinator of the block schedule will inform
the chair of the Internship Committee about any changes in the
schedule for interns (to assure proper evaluations).
- No changes in the block schedule requested by the intern will
be allowed unless there is 1 full block between the time of the
change and the time of implementation of the change (e.g., a change
initiated in Block III cannot affect Block IV).