Zoo Veterinary Medical and Surgical Internship

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206
United States
412-365-2562 (V)
412-365-2564 (F)

1 Position
0 Positions Open

Program Categories

Authorized Administrative Official: Alicia Hahn, DVM, DACZM
Contact Email Address: vethsp@pittsburghzoo.org

Inclusive Dates of Program: 7/15/2019 to 6/26/2021

Employment Information

Salary: 30,000/year

Benefits: Health, dental and vision insurance; CE money and paid time off to attend AAZV or similar conference

Vacation: 12 paid holidays, + 5 vacation days in the first year, 10 vacation days in the second year, and 5 additional days in the second year to interview at potential job sites/additional post-doc programs

Is a contract required? No

Is a non-compete clause required? No

Is a State license required? Yes   If yes, what is the licensure fee? $360/2 years

Is a DEA license required? No

Is USDA accreditation required? No


The following information represents the average of cases in direct support of this program

Total No. Annual Cases Average Daily No. Cases Presented to Hospital Average No. Cases Treated Daily as Outpatients Average No. of Inpatients Each Day Average No. Daily Surgeries Performed Average No. of Emergency Cases Seen Daily
5,000 5 10 3 1 2

Number of Faculty/Clinicians in Direct Support of Program: 2
Number of Residents in Direct Support of Program: 0

Diplomates in Direct Support of Internship

Full Time Part Time/Consultant Full Time Part Time/Consultant

Registered/Licensed/Certified Veterinary Technicians

In Direct Support of Program Assigned to the Emergency Service per shift Assigned to the Intensive Care Unit per shift
3 0 0

Other Personnel of Note

Full-time administrative assistant, part-time hospital keeper

Outcomes Assessment

Average number of interns who started this program per year for the past 5 years:  0

Average number of interns who completed this program per year for the past 5 years:  0

Number of interns from this program who applied for a residency in the past 5 years:  0

Number of interns from this program who accepted a residency in the past 5 years:  0

Prerequisites other than being a Graduate of a College of Veterinary Medicine

- Graduation from an AVMA accredited veterinary school or eligibility to apply for a veterinary license in the United States.
- One year of post-graduate internship experience in either a small or large animal clinic setting is required.

Requirements for Application

  1. Standard VIRMP Application Packet
    • VIRMP Application
    • Veterinary School Official Transcript from University Registrar
    • Personal Statement
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • 3 - 4 Standardized Letters of Reference
  2. Additional Requirements from the Program
    Applicants should have a serious interest in pursuing zoological medicine and wildlife conservation. Must provide proof of rabies vaccination (or protective titers if vaccinated within 5 years) and negative TB skin test prior to start date. Must possess a valid driver's license; strong work ethic; and positive, team-focused attitude. Must provide own housing accommodations and transportation during their stay in Pittsburgh. This is a 2-year program, with the second year dependent on a positive first year evaluation.

Additional information for graduates of universities outside of the United States and Canada

This position requires graduation from an AVMA accredited veterinary school or eligibility to apply for a veterinary license in the United States. One year of post-graduate internship experience in either a small or large animal clinic setting is required.

Visa Sponsorship

If you will require visa sponsoring or are unsure about your work status, please review the Information for Foreign Applicants page and contact this program prior to applying. Please be aware that some programs listed in the VIRMP accept applications ONLY from citizens of the United States (or Canada if a Canadian program) or from applicants who possess permanent residency status at the time of application.

Clinical Experience and Responsibilities

  1.  Yes  No
    Does the intern have primary case care responsibility for first-opinion and emergency/critical care cases?
  2.  Yes  No
    Is the intern the primary surgeon on a broad range of elective and entry-level procedures?
  3.  Yes  No
    Does the intern have primary case care responsibility for complex cases with supervision by a boarded specialist?
  4.  Yes  No
    Are patient rounds held daily with a boarded specialist in attendance?
  5. 80%
    What is the percentage of time the intern will be directly supervised?

Didactic Training

  1.  Yes  No
    Are teaching rounds held weekly?
  2.  Yes  No
    Does the intern deliver a professional presentation or seminar to senior clinicians and peers?
  3.  Yes  No
    Does the intern have an opportunity to attend a professional meeting?
  4.  Yes  No
    Is financial support provided to attend a professional meeting?
  5.  Yes  No
    Is the intern required to complete/submit a publication?


  1.  Yes  No
    Does the intern have access to current medical textbooks?
  2.  Yes  No
    Is a computer with internet access provided?
  3.  Yes  No
    Does the intern have access to search engines for scientific literature and online journals?
  4.  Yes  No
    Does the primary hospital have an intensive care unit?


  1. Do interns have access to the following equipment/technology, either on-site or outsourced?
    •  Arthroscopy
    •  Basic clinical laboratory equipment
    •  Blood Gas Analysis
    •  Blood Pressure Monitoring
    •  Bone Plating Equipment
    •  CT Scan
    •  Diagnostic Laboratory
    •  Digital Radiography
    •  Echocardiography
    •  Electrocardiography
    •  Endoscopy
    •  Laparoscopy
    •  MRI
    •  Nuclear Medicine
    •  Physical Therapy Equipment
    •  Ultrasound


These percentages may not be cumulative

  1. 50%
    Percentage of program intern is assigned to daytime primary emergency
  2. 1%
    Percentage of program intern is assigned to overnight primary emergency
  3. 50%
    Percentage of program intern is assigned to first opinion (primary care) clinics
  4. 5%
    Percentage of program intern is provided elective time
  5. 0%
    Percentage of program intern is required to work at a secondary (satellite) clinic


  1.  Yes  No
    Is a formal orientation program required?
  2.  Yes  No
    Does the intern have a mentor who is a veterinarian in the practice?
  3.  Yes  No
    Are written performance evaluations provided?
  4.  Yes  No
    Is an internship orientation manual provided?

Additional Information about Program

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is currently seeking applicants for a new two-year internship program for graduate veterinary students. The Pittsburgh Zoo is one of only six facilities in the country to have both zoological and aquatic collections at the same institution. The collection consists of over 7,800 animals representing approximately 550 species. Veterinary staff also provide medical care for elephants at the International Conservation Center in Somerset County, PA. The full-time staff of the Animal Health Department consists of two veterinarians, three licensed veterinary technicians, one administrative assistant and a part-time hospital assistant. Our team works out of a recently built 13,000 square foot hospital with a full complement of diagnostic imaging modalities such as digital radiography, ultrasound, endoscopy equipment, and an in-house laboratory for clinical pathology.

The selected applicant will provide daily clinical care to the entire animal collection alongside two full-time veterinarians. This will include daily rounds in the hospital and monthly department rounds on grounds, anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, surgery, preventative exams, necropsies, laboratory diagnostics, and clinical pharmacology. Our practice is approximately 75% preventative medicine, and the intern will assist in planning preventative care for the collection. The intern will also assist with husbandry of in-house and quarantine patients, communicate across zoo departments to coordinate treatment plans, utilize ZIMS for medical records, and assist in the treatment of cold stunned Sea turtles prior to releasing back to the ocean.

Our goal for this intern is to be prepared, upon graduation, to manage the veterinary care for one of the many small to medium zoological facilities in North America, or to go onto a Zoological residency program. With this in mind, additional information such as nutrition, staff management, media training, and clinical research, as well as teaching rounds will be provided.
The selected applicant will be strongly encouraged to submit at least one paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and apply to present at a national conference. The second year will be contingent upon performance during the first year.