Veterinary Externship

Internship Summary

Students will work with veterinary staff to gain clinical experience working with animals under managed care at the aquarium. The student will gain exposure to a wide variety of animals: mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, teleosts, elasmobranchs, and marine invertebrates. Depending in seasonality, significant emphasis may be placed on rescue and rehabilitation of stranded sea turtles.

Tasks & Expectations

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. Students are expected to 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. Students will assist the veterinarians and veterinary technicians with all medical procedures during their rotation.

Students are expected to 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.

Students can expect a 5-day work week (M-F), with possibility of on-call for potential emergencies or rescue and recovery of stranded sea turtles.

Who: Veterinary students in their third and fourth years of training.

Time length: 
4-8 weeks

Allied Institutions: 
Depending on time and interest, rotations to The Lowry Park Zoo, Mote Marine Aquarium, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium may be available.

Compensation: Unpaid

Housing: No housing is provided.

Transportation: Public transportation is not readily available and roadways are not pedestrian friendly. Recommend students have their own personal vehicle. Free parking is available at the aquarium.

Insurance: Students must provide their own medical insurance.


Application Materials: Please submit a CV and letter of intent, 3 letters of recommendation, a current veterinary school transcript (electronic is acceptable), and up to 3 sets of available dates, to Dr. Ari Fustukjian at afustukjian@flaquarium.org.

Prior to starting the program, candidates must be able to provide proof of current tetanus and rabies vaccination/viable titer, as well as a negative TB test within the past year.

Application deadline: We accept applications continuously, but highly recommend submitting 1 year in advance of your expected rotation.

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THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM, INC. IS A 501(C)(3) NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION AND ALL GIFTS MADE TO THE AQUARIUM ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE TO THE EXTENT PROVIDED BY LAW. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR BY VISITING www.FreshFromFlorida.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. REGISTRATION NUMBER CH1985.

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