Being a veterinary intern is an important step to ultimately becoming a veterinarian. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, an internship that offers a clear path for advancement can be an asset to your education and career. Ask these four questions before accepting your veterinary internships opportunity to help ensure you can successfully complete the program.
What Are the Primary Responsibilities of Interns?
The veterinarian's answer to this question will offer insights into what you will be expected to focus your energies on throughout the internship. Listen carefully and ask any follow-up questions that come up. Assess whether the work you'll be expected to do will help improve your current skills and empower you to learn new ones.
As part of this line of questioning, ask about whether you will have primary case responsibility. If so, let the veterinarian know what support you would need to take this on. You must be comfortable with the level of responsibilities that you would have as an intern.
How Is the Performance of Each Intern Evaluated?
Each veterinarian may assess the success of an intern in different ways. Ask for specific information about how your work as an intern will be evaluated. As a follow-up to this question, you may ask whether there are warnings when an intern is doing something that the office doesn't like before something will show up as a negative point on an evaluation.
When Can You Come for a Visit?
Never accept an internship based on how terrific a veterinarian's website or reputation is. Even if a visit to the offices isn't required by the veterinarian, politely explain that you would like to spend some time there before making your decision.
Also, ask to speak to a couple of staff members while you are there and prepare questions for them. That's the best way to get a well-informed idea of the company culture you can expect at the veterinarian. This will help ensure that you have the experience you'll need to best serve your future clients.
How Are Teaching Rounds Conducted?
Teaching rounds can be an important aspect of your internship. They will allow you to gain firsthand knowledge and ask crucial questions that can inform your future work. How each veterinarian approaches this may vary, so find out how it will work on a daily basis while you're an intern.
Finally, a veterinary internship can set you on the path for a great career. However, it's essential to find the right fit so that you can enjoy a happy work experience and also optimally contribute to the practice where you'll intern. When you ask these questions, you can get a better idea of whether the veterinary office is the right fit for your goals and needs.