Explore career options with public policy externship

Published on September 18, 2017

[caption id="attachment_17207" align="alignright" width="250"]Ted Yoho and externs 2017 externs Margaret Chu and Patricia Crystal with Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)[/caption]

Washington’s Capitol Hill may seem a long way from veterinary school, but it offers a unique opportunity for veterinary students interested in making a difference in the lives of both animals and veterinarians.

For veterinary students considering post-graduation career options, the AVMA offers a public policy externship unlike any other. Participants in the AVMA Governmental Relations Student Externship Program learn how to use their veterinary education to impact public policy, and advance the veterinary profession and veterinary medicine.

Applications for 2018 externships are open now, and we encourage all students to consider taking advantage of this program. Student participants spend four weeks in Washington working with the AVMA’s advocacy team, meeting with members of Congress and learning about policies that impact the veterinary profession. The program also offers opportunities for students to mingle with Washington-area veterinary leaders – such as veterinarians employed by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and more.

During Patricia Crystal’s tenure as an extern this past spring, she met U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), watched the confirmation of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and toured the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare at the National Institutes of Health. These were just a few highlights of what she describes as a wonderful learning opportunity.

"The AVMA GRD provided me with insight into the vast opportunities available for veterinarians and the broad impact this profession has. It has empowered me to continue pursuing my interest in public health and policy,” said Crystal. “I highly recommend the experience and think every veterinary student can learn immensely from the program."

Other externs have had the opportunity to tour the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Many of the externs write about their experiences on the Externs on the Hill blog, and we encourage you to read their first-hand accounts there.

As exciting and rewarding as these Capitol Hill externships are, the program also offers ample opportunity to explore the sights of our nation’s capital. Whether enjoying the National Mall, meeting with members of Congress or learning about important legislation from the AVMA’s policy team, the program offers experiences that can’t be replicated elsewhere.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit the program web page and download an application form. Applications are due Oct. 13, so we encourage applicants to move quickly!