Zoological Internship

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 in the zoological medicine service 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 zoological medicine and surgery internship as described by the Internship Committee and as written in this document.
  • To attend periodic evaluation on or about September 1, November 1, February 1, and June 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 b e 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 zoological medicine and surgery program for a 12-month period beginning on or about July 1 each year. The program is an internship based primarily in the zoological medicine and surgical service to provide a base of advanced zoological medicine and surgery clinical training. There are opportunities for interns to pursue areas of special interest in addition to other clinical rotations. Individuals completing the internship program should have a sound background of zoological medicine 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, predominantly based out of the zoological medicine and surgery service. The assignments of interns may vary with the needs of the Zoological Medicine Service, The Small Animal Clinical Sciences Department and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Interns can expect to spend roughly three quarters of the blocks assigned to the Zoological Medicine and Surgery Service.

  • Services the zoological medicine and surgery intern MAY elect to rotate through include: oncology; cardiology; dermatology; dentistry; neurology; ophthalmology; soft tissue surgery; orthopedic surgery
  • Services each zoological medicine and surgery intern WILL rotate through include: anesthesiology; general surgery; daytime emergency/critical care; elective time.
  • In addition, the zoological medicine and surgery intern will spend at least two out rotations: option for this rotation include Houston Zoo, Gulf Coast Exotic Medicine, Research Time and San Antonio Zoo.
  • 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 zoological medicine and surgery intern as directed by the Zoological Medicine and Surgery Service Clinician on Duty.

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.

Zoological Medicine Schubot Journal Club is held Tuesday mornings from 8-9 am and is MANDATORY for Zoo Medicine Interns.

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, February 1, and June 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 Intern rotation assignment schedule will be provided by the Senior Clinicians of the Zoological Medicine Service.

Changes in the block schedule:

  • Any and all changes in the block schedule of the zoological medicine and surgery intern must be approved in advance by the clinicians involved, the coordinator of the block schedule and the Zoological Medicine and Surgery Service chief. .
  • No changes in the assignments of the zoological medicine and surgery intern should be made without informing the coordinator of the block schedule, the section chief(s), the zoological medicine and surgery service chief, 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).