AVMA government relations student externships

Apply now

Applications for 2022 externships are due October 8, 2021.

Get started

Applications for 2022 are due October 8, 2021

The AVMA extern program pairs talented veterinary students together with the AVMA Government Relations Division for a four-week program that introduces the breadth of public policy issues facing the profession and provides hands-on lobbying experience with Capitol Hill legislators and staff.

Externs discover the scope of veterinary medicine in the various branches of government while expanding their understanding of the legislative process and the veterinarian's role in that process.

It's an opportunity to learn a facet of the profession that you won't find in school – and make a difference in shaping the profession.

AVMA provides a $1200 stipend for each student selected as an AVMA government relations extern.

What do AVMA government relations externs do?

Externs learn about federal legislative and regulatory processes and are actively involved in advancing the AVMA's legislative agenda in Washington, working with members of Congress and their staff.

As an extern, you’ll work firsthand on issues that affect the veterinary profession, such as the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, animal welfare, funding for veterinary education, and small business and tax issues.

Why be an extern?

Externs gain valuable knowledge about the issues facing the veterinary profession while developing new skills and building their resumes. Externs are asked to problem solve, collaborate, adapt to daily changes in priorities, and influence others – all skills of immense value in every area of veterinary medicine.

What's more, there's no other place where you'll be able to use your unique knowledge and skills to make a difference in legislation that literally impacts thousands of people daily. It's a chance to take your learning from veterinary school and apply it outside of a clinical setting – and have a great time doing it.

2022 externship dates

  • February 7 – March 4, 2022
  • March 7 – April 1, 2022
  • April 25 – May 20, 2022
  • May 30 – June 24, 2022
  • June 27 – July 22, 2022
  • September 6-30, 2022

Application deadline: October 8, 2021

Do I qualify?

  • Are a member of SAVMA
  • Have completed two years of a professional program at a college of veterinary medicine before beginning the externship
  • Are interested in public policy
  • Want to help advance the AVMA legislative and regulatory agenda
  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • Think clearly and stay focused under pressure
  • Be results-oriented, with a high drive to meet goals
  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Relate well to people from diverse backgrounds in varied social settings

How do I apply?

Fill out the application form, and submit it with all other required materials no later than October 8, 2021. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

The application package must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Personal statement (strictly limited to 300 words) explaining your motivations to apply to the AVMA GRD Externship program and what you would like to gain from the experience
  • Completed case study (strictly limited to 500 words)
  • 2-page resume (CVs will not be accepted)
  • One letter of recommendation* from a veterinarian (professor, mentor, or supervisor) familiar with the student’s academic record – Recommendation letters must be submitted in an envelope sealed by the recommender or emailed to the AVMA GRD directly from the recommender.

*Note: If multiple letters are received for one applicant, only the first letter received will be considered.

Mail or email completed application materials by October 8, 2021 to:

AVMA Government Relations Externship Program
American Veterinary Medical Association
1910 Sunderland Place, NW
Washington, DC 20036
externshipatavma [dot] org


Email externshipatavma [dot] org or contact AVMA's government relations team at 800-321-1473.