Menu UF Health Home Menu

Internship Program

Multi-cat housing

Are you ready to make a difference for shelter pets?

Applications for Maddie’s® Internship Program open October 15 through VIRMP.

Why an Internship?

The Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Internship at the University of Florida provides a breadth and depth of training not commonly available for shelter practitioners.  Veterinarians who complete Maddie’s® Internship will be skilled practitioners, well-equipped for practice in an animal shelter and competitively positioned should they choose to pursue a residency program in shelter medicine.

Keeping homeless animals in shelters healthy is paramount to their placement in homes. There is a critical shortage of veterinarians with special expertise in the multi-faceted discipline of shelter medicine focused on protection of the health and welfare of animals in shelters.

To help address this training need, the Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Internship offers a one-year shelter medicine internship program consisting of intensive hands-on training within a mentored environment in several critical facets of shelter medicine.

Objectives of the Internship Program

  • To advance clinical knowledge and skills in veterinary medicine disciplines commonly required for practicing in shelters.
  • To provide advanced training in the multi-faceted subjects unique to shelter medicine.
  • To provide advanced training in surgical techniques utilized for pediatric spay/neuter and high-quality/high-volume spay/neuter programs.
  • To support development of strong teaching and communication skills.
  • To provide exposure to scholarly activities, including scientific writing.

Shelter Medicine Expertise

Sampling for infectious disease

Shelter medicine differs from traditional small animal private practice in that it blends individual patient care with population health management. In addition to a solid foundation in clinical veterinary practice, the shelter medicine practitioner must have expertise in:

  • Strategies for protection of physical and behavioral health
  • Principles of population medicine
  • Infectious disease recognition and response
  • Animal husbandry (appropriate housing, nutrition, sanitation)
  • Population management
  • Surgery
  • Forensic techniques for investigation of animal cruelty and abuse

Maddie’s® Internship Training

Examining a suspected cruelty victim with faculty and veterinary students

The intern will provide care of patients during clinical rotations in the teaching hospital, in the shelter medicine clinical clerkship, and in animal shelters.

Interns will receive advanced training in spay/neuter techniques, specifically those supporting high-quality/high volume programs and pediatric spay/neuter.

The intern will participate in teaching veterinary students during clinical rotations in the teaching hospital, in the shelter medicine clinical clerkship, during shelter assessments, and in large-scale field responses.

Additional training opportunities include:

  • Didactic courses with workshops in physical and behavioral health of shelter animals
  • Shelter consultations
  • Diagnosis and management of disease outbreaks in shelters
  • Veterinary forensics
  • Large-scale field responses to disasters involving animals, including mass seizures of abused or neglected animals

Observing cats in a shelter

Participation in the teaching hospital seminar series, shelter medicine journal club, behavior journal club, national shelter rounds, and consultations with shelters will provide development in areas key to successful shelter medicine practice and internship training:

  • Clinical knowledge
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills

The intern is expected to complete a scholarly case report or a special project on a relevant shelter medicine topic.

Faculty in Direct Support of the Program

Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD, Internship Coordinator
Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Residency Coordinator
Terry Spencer, DVM, MEd, Director of Distance Learning
Natalie Isaza, DVM
Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP
Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM
Jason Byrd, PhD, DABFE
Rachel Touroo, DVM

Learn More & Apply

Visit the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program or contact us with questions.

Application deadline for the 2013-2014 academic year is December 3, 2012.