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Veterinary Externship

Veterinary Externship

Externship Summary

This specialized externship is designed to provide valuable hands-on experience in the care of specific animals and habitats at an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited, world-class facility.

Students will work with veterinary staff to gain clinical experience working within the diverse collection of species in The Florida Aquarium’s managed- care collection, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, teleosts, elasmobranchs and marine invertebrates – and an ever-growing sea turtle rescue/rehabilitation program. Depending on seasonality, significant emphasis may be placed on rescue and rehabilitation of stranded sea turtles.

Expectations and Responsibilities:

Under the direction of the veterinary staff, students will: 

  • Participate in all aspects of zoological medicine, including medical and surgical treatment, preventative medicine, quarantine protocols, pathology and daily case rounds.
  • Review medical records and anesthetic protocols, monitor anesthesia, complete physical examinations, collect and interpret diagnostics, and develop treatment plans for cases in which they participate.
  • Assist the veterinarians and veterinary technicians with all medical procedures during their rotation.
  • Complete a project in alignment with ongoing clinical research or explore a clinical topic during the course of the program. A 20–30-minute presentation will be given by the student at the conclusion of the program. 


  • Must be either a third- or fourth-year veterinary student
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Ability to work well independently and with a team
  • Ability to communicate openly and professionally
  • Ability to lift objects of up to 40 pounds as well as bend, crouch, squat and carry equipment
  • Must provide proof of medical insurance
  • Must provide proof of rabies vaccine/titer, tetanus vaccine and a recent TB test prior to starting the program

Time Commitment:

  • Externships are a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of eight weeks.  
  • Work days are primarily Monday-Friday, with possibility of after-hours and weekend on-call shifts for potential emergencies or rescue and recovery of stranded sea turtles.

Allied Institutions:

If time allows, rotations may be available at ZooTampa, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium for those who are interested.

This is an unpaid internship. Interns must make their own accommodation and transportation arrangements.
Please Note: Travel will be required to the various Aquarium locations.

How to Apply:

We accept externship applications continuously through the year, but we highly recommend submitting one year in advance of your expected rotation due to heavy demand. Only completed applications are evaluated.  Applications are evaluated on a quarterly schedule.

Required Application Materials:  

  • Letter of intent
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Veterinary Externship: Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Veterinary Internship: One (1) letter of recommendation
  • A current veterinary school transcript (electronic is acceptable)
  • Three (3) sets of available dates

Submit applications materials to the Animal Care Department atvetappointment@flaquarium.org.

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