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Small Animal Internship

Dr. Brad Case, Intern

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.

Dr. Tony Cappa, Intern

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 case management.

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.

Small animal dental suite

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.

Interventional cardiovascular catheterization suite

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 next.

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

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 program.

Individual Intern Advisor

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 employment date.

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.).

Internship Program

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 fields.

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.

  • 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; elective time

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 issued.

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.

Teaching 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.

Evaluation Process

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 assignments.

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 schedule.
  • 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).