FOURTH YEAR VETERINARY STUDENT EXTERNSHIP 2011-2012
The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pennsylvania SPCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals and enforcing laws for their protection and welfare in Pennsylvania.
We are pleased to offer the following opportunity to veterinary students from AVMA accredited veterinary schools.
Overview of Externship:
The PSPCA offers a fourth year student veterinary externship. This is an exciting opportunity to experience caring for the abused and neglected animals both medically and behaviorally, working in our front clinic with Philadelphia residents, performing spays and neuters on our shelter population, and learning as much as possible about shelter medicine. If interested, there is also the possibility of working alongside our Humane Law Enforcement Officers.
Our primary mission is to provide advocacy for animals that lack a caregiver. We do what we can to give them the best care possible and students are an integral part of helping us to do that.
Requirements for Externship:
· Letter of intent from student
· An interest in shelter medicine and high volume/high quality spay neuter programs
· Externship forms as required by your university
· Rabies Vaccination Status
· Proof of Health Insurance
· Proof of Liability Insurance
· If your home institution has approved you for academic credit, we will provide a grade for your externship
· Contact Angela Messer, Director of Veterinary Services, firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-426-6300 X 230 if interested in the externship
Pennsylvania SPCA overview:
· Number of veterinarians: 10
· Annual shelter Intake at all six Pennsylvania SPCA facilities: 40,000 animals
· Annual number of appointments: 20,000 animals
· Annual number of vaccine appointments: 12,000
· Annual number of surgeries performed: 20,000
· Annual number of necropsies performed: 200
This externship is an excellent opportunity for learning both veterinary medicine and surgery. We welcome veterinary students and expect a mutual exchange of information. Your time at the PSPCA will enhance your skills as a veterinarian and provide an appreciation for what it is like to work in a busy municipal shelter. Whether in surgery or in the outpatient clinic, licensed veterinarians will be at your disposal for consultation and support.
During the externship, you will spend time in our Shelter Hospital. The population of animals in our shelter hospital includes mainly the cruelty and neglect cases brought in by our Humane Law Enforcement Officers from across the state of Pennsylvania. Animals are brought in at all hours of the day and night for emaciation, dog fighting injuries and cruelty (bullets, physical abuse, negligence of veterinary care). Our veterinarians are trained to address these emergencies and you will be an integral part of working up these cases and bringing them back to health. Our shelter nursing staff is highly skilled and can assist you with animal restraint and any diagnostics you feel are necessary to heal these neglected animals. Many of these cases are associated with owners who will be tried in a courtroom for their abuse, and excellent veterinary care is critical. Externs may also participate in forensic necropsies performed by our shelter veterinarians. In addition, externs will be assigned shelter animals to work with both medically and behaviorally.
The externship also offers training in behavior medicine. Students will learn first hand how to assess an animal for adoptability, and how to work with an animal for behavior enrichment and modification. Our behaviorists work closely with our externs so they can independently evaluate dogs and cats and gain deeper understanding of how sheltering affects our patients and how to minimize the stress they experience by being in a shelter.
The Pennsylvania SPCA has a low-cost clinic for the public where dogs and cats are seen by our veterinarians. The caseload is enormous and the scope of incoming problems is wide and interesting. Many of our clients have never been to a veterinarian, which allows for exposure to a variety of issues ranging from fleas to fractures to infectious diseases. Our diagnostic capabilities include radiography (digital), bloodwork, fecals and basic cytology. We do much of our diagnostics in house with our supportive technical team, but sending out bloodwork and urine are also frequently performed. We see a diverse range of incomes in our clinic and we try to help as many people that we can by not charging top dollar for our services.
Under the guidance of one of our front clinic doctors, students will start appointments and SOAP these patients so that a discussion can take place as the best plan for the animal. This is a good opportunity to practice client communication and to test clinical skills in a fast paced, busy setting. Many of our veterinarians are graduates from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and direct supervision of the extern is paramount. While we strive to provide a learning environment, we also strive to make sure our patients get the best care.
We also offers low cost vaccine clinics throughout Philadelphia, in which students will have the opportunity to participate.
The externship also entails participation in surgery. We practice high volume and high quality spays and neuters on over 20,000 animals yearly. This is an excellent opportunity to refine your surgical skills under the direct supervision of our veterinarians. We practice and enforce standard surgical techniques taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to surgical procedures, you will participate in pre-surgical examinations, induction, intubation, anesthesia monitoring and recovery.
As an organization, we strive to provide the highest quality care for our patients. The animals in our shelter belong to us and we treat them as if they are our own. We welcome you to help us heal these precious friends until they find their forever home.
Please see the following list as a summary of what you will experience in the externship:
· SOAP patients and present to the attending doctor
· Assist with emergencies
· Assist with treatments
· Interpret radiographs with doctor
· Perform blood sampling and catheter placement
· Perform necropsies
· Work with our foster families and the animals in their care
· Work with the staff to maintain the health of our shelter population
· Participate in forensic examinations and necropsies
· Observe and participate in behavior assessments
· Participate in behavior modification on animals as designated by the Director of Animal Behavior and Training
· Execute animal enrichment plan as designated by the Director of Animal Behavior and Training
· Observe callbacks to owners of adopted animals to discuss solutions for behavior issues with their animals
· Perform spays and castrations
· Perform presurgical examinations
· Induce anesthesia
· Intubate and prepare patients for surgical procedures
· Monitor anesthesia
· Assist with recovery
· Communicate with clients and perform physical examinations
· Create and execute plan for cases
· Administer vaccines
· Become familiar with various flea/tick/HW/parasite protection products and discuss them with clients
· Perform blood sampling and laboratory procedures (blood panels, fecals, ear cytology, radiographs)
· Assist with emergencies
Vaccine Clinic Days (Wednesdays and Saturdays)
· Administer vaccines for walk-in appointments
· Practice client communication skills
· Educate clients on Parasite prevention