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Clinical Clerkships

Shelter Practice Clerkship

Veterinary Students Taking a Sample for Disease Diagnostics

Veterinary students in Maddie’s® Shelter Practice Clerkship sample for infectious disease diagnostics under the supervision of Dr. Julie Levy (right).

Students in the Shelter Practice Clerkship will play a leading role in providing the life-saving care needed to prepare animals in the local shelter for new homes. At the same time, they will learn to balance the needs of individual animals with the overall health of the population.

Students will participate in all aspects of shelter medicine, using their skills in preventive medicine, diagnostic procedures, behavior modification, medical treatment, dentistry, and surgery to prevent disease in healthy pets and to rehabilitate animals with health and behavior issues so they can be adopted. Students will also contribute to cruelty case examinations, recordkeeping, nutrition, housing, and biosecurity.

On a population level, students will participate in rounds, shelter data analysis, zoonotic and species-specific infectious disease control, animal welfare assessment, disease outbreak management, facilities management, and public health and safety.

Students will practice their communication skills during face-to-face interactions with culturally diverse faculty, house officers, shelter staff, volunteers, pet owners, potential adopters, and animal rescue agencies and by keeping accurate electronic and paper medical records, developing standard operating procedures, preparing budget estimates, and creating checklists, signage, and hand-outs appropriate for the shelter audience.

Dr. Natalie Isaza and Veterinary Students

Dr. Natalie Isaza (center) heads the Veterinary Community Outreach Program in UF’s SACS department.


Veterinary Community Outreach

The Veterinary Community Outreach Program operates a two-week elective clinical rotation for junior and senior veterinary students at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

Under the direction of Dr. Natalie Isaza (Service Chief) and Dr. Brian DiGangi in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, the clinical service seeks to assist veterinary students in developing their basic surgical skills through service learning and community outreach.

This elective clinical rotation is designed to introduce students to the challenges of veterinary practice in both community and shelter environments, and to give experience in spay and neuter techniques of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens.