Internships and residency programs


Internship–An internship shall be a one-year clinical training program that emphasizes mentorship, direct supervision, and didactic experiences including rounds, seminars, and formal presentations. It provides practical experience in applying knowledge gained during the professional curriculum and an opportunity to obtain additional training in the clinical sciences.

An internship should prepare a veterinarian for high-quality service in practice or for advanced specialty training. It is primarily an educational program for the intern rather than a service benefit to the hospital.

Residency–A residency shall be advanced training in a specialty in veterinary medicine that is intended to lead to specialty certification in an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization.

Veterinary specialty organizations establish guidelines for those residencies that will be approved as appropriate training for candidates for specialty certification. An approved residency program is conducted under the supervision of a board-certified specialist. A residency is usually narrowly confined to a specific discipline. A residency may in some instances be related to an advanced degree program.

Residency requirements

Specialty organizations requiring residency training for certification eligibility are requested to develop residency program criteria in sufficient detail and according to a standard format to enable a candidate, with the assistance of the training institution, to meet the requirements for diplomate certification in that specialty.

A candidate should follow the guidelines of the particular specialty organization with which he or she is concerned to develop a program that will fulfill the requirements for certification in that specialty. The residency program should be approved in advance by the specialty organization before the candidate embarks on it.

Program criteria

The program criteria format for internship and residency programs will be as follows:

  1. Brief description of the program.
  2. Detailed educational objectives of the program.
  3. Anticipated total time requirements.
  4. Facilities and equipment. The minimum facility, equipment, and diagnostic laboratory required.
  5. Patient care. A synopsis of the patients will be required and the emphasis and anticipated (or required) depth of study for each patient.
  6. Supervision. A synopsis of the level and frequency of interaction between the candidate and board-certified member(s) and others deemed necessary for the program.
  7. Description of assessment methods.