Veterinary Student Extern Responsibilities

We want every extern to interact, observe and understand the flow of a busy mixed animal practice. We want you to have experience with as many of the services that we provide as possible. We hope that this will give you a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of what a mixed animal practice can be like. Through this experience, hopefully you will be able to decide if a mixed animal practice is the best path for you.

During your externship with us you may take part in any of the following:

Laboratory

  • Drawing blood from the jugular, cephalic and saphenous veins
  • Placing IV Catheters
  • Running Chem, CBC, Thyroid, HWT, Triple Tests, CPL, Urinalysis, etc
  • Performing in-house cytology: ear swabs, vaginal swabs, skin scrapes, mass and lymph node aspirates, etc
  • Interpreting these lab work results and those that we send off in cooperation with the DVM on the case to come up with diagnoses and treatment plan.

Radiology

  • Assisting with taking digital radiographs
  • Interpreting radiographs with the DVM

Ultrasonography

Assisting the DVM in performing and interpreting:

  • Echocardiograms
  • Abdominal Ultrasound
  • Thoracic Ultrasound
  • Small Animal Pregnancy Ultrasound
  • Large Animal Pregnancy Ultrasound

Surgery

Scrubbing in and assisting with surgical cases and routine surgeries including:

  • Spay/neuter
  • Large and small animal c-section
  • Orthopedic: ACL, Patella, amputation, IM Pins, etc
  • Mass Removal
  • Exploratory Surgery
  • Soft tissue surgery (e.g. cystotomy)

Large Animal

  • Routine vaccinations
  • Castration/banding
  • Dehorning
  • Equine dental
  • Examining, diagnosing and treating sick patients
  • Breeding soundness exams

Client Communications

  • Gathering a comprehensive patient history
  • Going over treatment plans
  • Covering discharges and medications with clients
  • Answering questions and giving updates over the phone

Annual Exams

  • Completing physical exams on patients
  • Administering vaccines
  • Discussing the importance of vaccines and prevention with clients
  • Discussing senior pet wellness care

You be the Doctor

  • Taking in cases, performing an exam and presenting the information to the DVM
  • Selecting lab work to perform and other diagnostics
  • Present approved estimates to clients
  • Going over test results with owners
  • Coming up with a treatment plan for your patient
    • Always come up with multiple options for clients – in case of financial reasons
  • Writing medical notes for patients

 

Please keep in mind:

If you ever find yourself in a situation that you feel uncomfortable with or if you feel that you have not been adequately trained to manage the situation, please notify the DVM on the case immediately. Part of being a good doctor is knowing your limitations. Experience varies greatly student to student, and we rely on you to tell us what you feel comfortable doing. Do not put yourself or a patient at risk because you feel embarrassed to admit your limitations. We are here to help you learn and will not criticize you for not being able to answer a question or perform a procedure.