What Will My Responsibilities Be As A Veterinary Intern?

A veterinary internship is a great way to practically apply the things you learned in veterinary college and be taught additionally in a hands-on manner. Internship programs are typically one year long. You will study under a team of veterinary technicians, general practitioners, and board-certified specialists. Here is a brief overview of some of the broad responsibilities you will have as an intern.


When starting any new job, there is a period of job training. You will be taught about the veterinary facility and its protocols, procedures, and evaluation rubric. Though you will work under many seniors, one vet will likely be assigned to you as a mentor. 

As an internship is primarily a learning experience and not a way for you to showcase expertise you have yet to develop, it's likely that early on in your internship, most of your time will be spent observing. Through observation, you learn things such as individual animals' daily needs, how to care for animals with different medical illnesses and injuries, how to administer medications, and how to do surgical procedures.


Presenting is the first way that you will demonstrate to your superiors that you are learning. The most common form of presenting will be doing daily rounds. Rounds are where you will go over an animal's case, thoroughly present their medical problems, and suggest and discuss the treatment plan with the veterinary specialist. Rounds are a great place to showcase your knowledge and temporarily take the lead on a case. 

You will also reasonably be expected to prepare professional presentations on the things you have learned and present them to your superiors or at a seminar.


Though not as exciting as other tasks, you will be responsible for a lot of up-keep jobs around the facility. Grunt work such as cleaning animal kennels, refilling food dishes, sanitizing workstations and equipment, laundering, observing animal behavior, recording notes, and filing paperwork will be some of your duties that will keep a facility running smoothly. 


As you progress in your internship, most of your time will be spent assisting with clinical services. You will work your way up and gain responsibility as you go. After observing, you will assist, and then you will likely perform tasks such as taking an animal's vital signs and administering medications.

During your time as an intern, you will assist with everything from outpatient to inpatient care, surgeries, and emergencies. Being a veterinary intern, you must be able to maintain decorum with professionals and the public, be able to work fast on your feet, and be ready for any job assigned to you. Contact a veterinary practice to learn more about their specific veterinary internship opportunities and see if they are a good fit for you.