Clinical veterinary internships


Ratification Date: 02 Dec 2016

Adapted from AVMA veterinary internships guidelines


An internship should prepare a veterinarian for a membership, residency, advanced specialty training or high-quality clinical practice. It should be a mutually beneficial arrangement that provides both an educational program for the intern and a service benefit to the hospital.

A specialist veterinarian should be assigned as the primary mentor to assist the intern throughout the program.


Veterinary internships are valuable as they help develop and enhance veterinarians’ skills; with the individual veterinarian, practices, pet owners, patients and the veterinary profession ultimately benefiting.

Traditionally, internships were offered via veterinary schools, but increasingly, places are available at larger referral practices. There are now many universities, private practices and hospitals that offer aspiring veterinarians the opportunity to further their skills and practical experience through veterinary internships.

An internship should be a mutually beneficial arrangement that provides a sound educational program for the intern as well as a service benefit to the hospital. The program should be designed to prepare veterinarians for high-quality service in practice or advanced specialty training.

AVA supports continuous improvement in internship programs. For an internship to be successful there needs to be a clear, mutual understanding of what is being provided and what is expected in return. The AVA Clinical Internship Guidelines are intended to establish reasonable expectations for internship providers as well as participants, and inform them of their obligations.


  1. AVMA Veterinary Internships Guidelines. https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Veterinary-Internships-Guidelines.aspx

Related Documents

AVA Clinical Internship Guidelines