Internship Programs

The matching program was created solely to centralize announcements for available training positions and to provide a centralized matching system that is equitable for applicants and institutions/private practices. Participation in the matching program has always been on a voluntary basis. The AAVC is an association dedicated to promoting postgraduate clinical education, and does not regulate or certify internship and residency programs that are included in the VIRMP.

In 2011, the AVMA Internship Task Force created an Internship Program Disclosure Form intended to provide standardized, detailed information about programs. The AAVC reviewed the form and implemented many of the Task Force recommendations for 2012. The AAVC encourages applicants carefully consider the information provided on the Internship Disclosure Form and to research programs thoroughly prior to applyng.

This information is included in the description of internships listed on the VIRMP and is divided into several categories.

Internship Program Disclosure Form

Outcome Assessment

  1. Average number of interns who started the program per year for the past 5 years
  2. Average number of interns who completed the program per year for the past 5 years
  3. Number of interns from the program who applied for a residency in the past 5 years
  4. Number of interns from this program who accepted a residency in the past 5 years

Clinical Experience and Responsibilities

  1. Does the intern have primary case care responsibility for first-opinion and emergency/critical care cases?
  2. Is the intern the primary surgeon on a broad range of elective and entry-level procedures?
  3. Does the intern have primary case care responsibility for complex cases with supervision by a boarded specialist?
  4. Are patient rounds held daily with a boarded specialist in attendance?
  5. What is the percentage of time the intern will be directly supervised?

Didactic Training

  1. Are teaching rounds held weekly?
  2. Does the intern deliver a professional presentation or seminar to senior clinicians and peers?
  3. Does the intern have an opportunity to attend a professional meeting?
  4. Is financial support provided to attend a professional meeting?
  5. Is the intern required to complete/submit a publication?


  1. Does the intern have access to current medical textbooks?
  2. Is a computer with internet access provided?
  3. Does the intern have access to search engines for scientific literature and online journals?
  4. Does the primary hospital have an intensive care unit?
  5. Does the intern have access to the following equipment/technology, either on-site or outsourced?
    • Blood Pressure Monitoring
    • Bone Plating Equipment
    • CT Scan
    • Digital Radiography
    • Echocardiography
    • Electrocardiography
    • Endoscopy
    • MRI
    • Ultrasound
    • Laparoscopy
    • Arthroscopy
    • Basic clinical laboratory equipment
    • Nuclear Medicine
    • Blood Gas Analysis
    • Diagnostic Laboratory
    • Physical Therapy Equipment


  1. Percentage of program intern is assigned to daytime primary emergency.
  2. Percentage of program intern is assigned to overnight primary emergency
  3. Percentage of program intern is assigned to first opinion (primary care) clinics
  4. Percentage of program intern is provided elective time
  5. Percentage of program intern is required to work at a secondary (satellite) clinic


  1. Is a formal orientation program required?
  2. Does the intern have a mentor who is a veterinarian in the practice?
  3. Are written performance evaluations provided?
  4. Is an internship orientation manual provided?

While most internships are rotating and offer instruction in several disciplines, some internships only offer training in a single discipline. Applicants should be aware that some internships listed may be single discipline.


An internship should prepare a veterinarian for high-quality service in practice or for advanced specialty training. It is primarily an educational program for the intern rather than a service benefit to the hospital.

Direct Support and Direct Supervision
The supervising veterinarian is in the building and available to the intern.

Patient Rounds
An in-depth discussion about the mechanisms of disease and a thorough review of case management plans for each patient being managed by the intern and by the service. Typically occur on a daily or twice daily basis.

Teaching Rounds
Journal clubs, seminars, lectures, morbidity/mortality rounds, clinicopathologic conference, etc. Typically occur on a weekly basis.

Internship Orientation Manual
A summary of hospital policies, protocols and procedures, performance expectations and minimum post-internship competencies as determined by the program director.

First Opinion (Primary Care)
First opinion (primary care) refers to patients that are presented to the veterinarian without referral. These patients have not been seen by another veterinarian for the presenting problem or service. A referral-only specialty hospital typically does not see first opinion (primary care) patients. Patients seen by an emergency service for the first time for the presenting problem are considered first opinion (primary care) patients. By way of example, if an internship program in a referral-only specialty hospital with an associated primary emergency service includes the equivalent of 50% time on service with specialists in the specialty hospital and 50% time on service in the emergency service, the percentage of time the intern is assigned to first opinion (primary care) clinics is 50%. In this context, the term "primary care" should not be confused with the situation in which an intern is allowed to be the primary doctor on a referred case with direct supervision by a specialist.