Practical Shelter Medicine Training

“I learned so much about how a good shelter is run, and my hands-on experience here is irreplaceable.”

—Sylvia Berns, Maddie’s® Class of 2016

Extern at Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando

Christine Glenn, Class of 2011 Maddie's® Extern

Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program provides students with 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 practical training during student externships.

Student externships described here are only available to students enrolled at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Non-UF DVM students are welcome to contact the shelters directly to inquire about externship opportunities.

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

How it Works

Externships (available ONLY to UF CVM students) generally last two weeks, and may be longer depending on the agency.  During a Shelter Medicine externship, most of a 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 will participate in daily rounds with a veterinarian on most days. During a Spay/Neuter externship, students will spend the majority of their time developing their surgical proficiency while also exploring the facets of successful high-quality-high-volume Spay/Neuter programs.

  • In conjunction with full-time attendance at each shelter for a minimum of two weeks, participating students must complete a Report/Activity Log in order to receive shelter medicine credit. The Report should be an overview of what the student did each day, what they learned, and how their overall experience was. This must include photos.

Please refer to official UF College of Veterinary Medicine policies to ensure that your externship meets requirements for college credit.

More details about these requirements can be found on eLearning upon your externship enrollment. You can also contact the Maddie’s Student Services Coordinators regarding questions about externship requirements at 352-294-4509.

“Externs are trained in the best, fastest surgical techniques to minimize time under anesthesia, use small, minimally invasive and minimally painful incisions and have essentially become specialists at their craft.”

—Brittany Lucchetti, Maddie’s® Class of 2016

Extern at Humane Alliance

Externship Locations

We have compiled a listing of approved externships in Shelter Medicine and Spay/Neuter. Externship programs must be approved by MSMP to count for Certificate or award credit. If an agency you’d like to work with is not listed, please have them email us with any questions about developing an externship.

Externship Awards

Thanks to the support of Maddie’s Fund® and a generous donor, a number of awards are available to recognize commitment to excellence in shelter medicine practice among junior and senior veterinary students.

For Shelters and Veterinarians

Are you interested in partnering with us to hosting a Shelter Medicine or Spay/Neuter extern? Learn more about how to sign up.