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Host an Extern: Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Students

Lauren Edwards, Class of 2010 Maddie's ExternPay it Forward!

Mentor veterinarians help students meet shelter medicine and spay/neuter objectives.

Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program offers the highest quality training and education in shelter medicine. In addition to providing a series of lecture courses in shelter medicine topics, we count on our shelter partners to assist us in providing high quality practical training in both Shelter Medicine and Spay/Neuter externships.

Shelters participating in the student externship program adhere to the ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters.

If you’re interested in hosting an extern at your organization, please contact us!

Shelter Medicine Externship

Christine Glenn, Class of 2011 Maddie's Extern

  • Understand the issues of animal homelessness, risk factors for relinquishment, and pet reunification
  • Understand and apply the concepts of population management in shelters
  • Apply concepts of quality of life and environmental enrichment in shelters
  • Understand the principles of infection control, including surveillance, isolation, vaccination, cleaning and disinfection
  • Develop skills in animal handling and examination
  • Participate in shelter preventive health care protocols
  • Perform medical and behavioral assessments
  • Participate in cruelty and abuse evaluations as appropriate

Preview the 2011 Shelter Medicine Externship Partner Form. (PDF)

Carrie Coffey, Class of 2011 Maddie's Extern

Spay/Neuter Externship

  •  Increase efficiency and skill in performing spay/neuter surgery
  • Understand safe and effective anesthetic and analgesic protocols
  • Implement techniques to improve efficiency in a high quality, high volume setting (i.e. smaller incisions, pedicle ties, Miller’s knots, flank spays, etc.)
  • Learn safe and efficient techniques for pediatric sterilization
  • Learn safe and effective techniques for feral cat sterilization, if available
  • Enhance technical skills such as intravenous catheter placement, tracheal intubation, and surgical preparation

Preview the 2011 Spay-Neuter Externship Partner Form. (PDF)


How it Works

Cultivate Enthusiasm in the Field of Shelter Medicine

You can help cultivate student interest and enthusiasm in our field.  If your shelter’s externship program is a good match for our students, we hope you’ll accept some future Gator vets! If we can count your shelter in for the coming year, we’ll send you a Externship Program description form. Don’t have an externship set up yet?  No problem.  We’re glad to help you develop a program that will maximize each student’s experience at your shelter.

Lauren Edwards, Class of 2010 Maddie's Extern

“The veterinarians I worked with were amazing – they are very patient and really treated me as a peer (but were always available when I wanted to confirm a treatment plan or encountered a difficulty during surgery).”

Most of the student’s externship time will be spent working with a veterinarian in the shelter, but some time may be spent with technicians, kennel staff, animal control officers, and front office staff to gain a full appreciation of the wide range of shelter activities. The student should participate in daily rounds with a veterinarian on most days.

After the externship visit, both the student and the externship mentor will complete written evaluations to be submitted to Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program. We would also love to hear from you any time you have an idea regarding the program.
You’ll Make a Difference

Nothing bonds a veterinary student to shelter work like spending meaningful time in an animal shelter with a mentor who cares about saving and improving animals’ lives.  You can be that mentor!  Host a student extern and help train the shelter vets of tomorrow.


Contact Us to Get Started

If you’re interested in hosting an extern at your organization, please contact us!