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U.S. Sheep Experiment Station

U.S. Sheep Experiment Station

The USSES Veterinary Student Externship is a collaborative program
between the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station and the University of Idaho
(UI).  All of the animals on the facility
are currently involved in active research projects.  The objective of this externship is to:

1. Allow veterinary students to gain experience in the diagnosis and
treatment of periparturient disease/problems and perinatal disease/problems of

2. Expose students to research in ruminant nutrition, range management,
reproductive physiology, genetics and production systems

This externship is a 2 week intensive, hands-on experience.  The student will work as part of a team to
provide the best yet most practical medical care in a timely fashion, using a
herd health approach.  At the same time
the student must take into consideration the research being done when making
treatment decisions.

The student will
work 7 days a week and be on call 24 hours a day.  The pace is fast and can be physically
demanding with the majority of the day spent outside. The weather is usually
cold with snow, rain, mud, and wind however; the sun does shine at times! 

Although the student may be challenged physically and endure long, atypical
working hours, the consensus of past students is that this is one of the best,
most practical hands-on experiences they received in Veterinary School.  This experience gave them an opportunity to
think on their own and practice multiple medical procedures as one might see in
practice after graduation regardless of the species they choose to work with.

The USSES has
approximately 3000 sheep, 15 horses, and 20 dogs.  About 2800 mixed age breeding ewes which are
lambed in the traditional shed lambing system. 
The externship only allows room for 13 students each
year.  The 13 students will be spread out
from the 2nd week in March – 1st week in May.  The student numbers may vary from 1-4 per
week during the rotation.  A student may
request specific dates, but will not be guaranteed those dates.  Students who do not originally place in a
slot will be put on a waiting list.  Once
a student is approved and commits to doing the externship the student is
expected to follow-through.  Not doing so
will result in negative feedback to the students’ academic advisor and makes it
very difficult on the staff in trying to fill the slot and cover the students’

The working students play a key role in the lambing process and are
counted upon daily for the job they do. 
If there are extenuating circumstances once a student has accepted the
externship, the student needs to contact the USSES/UI Veterinary Student
Externship Administrator IMMEDIATELY.  If
for any reason a student arrives yet fails to complete the 2 week externship,
the student will be financially responsible for their early departure.  

Evaluation of the student is based on the
veterinarian’s view of their knowledge, skills, work habits, attitude, and
ability to work with people.  There are
no formal examinations.  Students will
have some opportunity to discuss ongoing research at the station with
scientists whose disciplines including physiology, genetics, nutrition, and
range science.  One afternoon during the
rotation will be designated to allow for this.

** Due to Zoonotic Diseases, you
are not allowed to come for an externship if you are pregnant!



Practice Information

University of Idaho
U.S. Sheep Experiment Station
Veterinary Student Externship Administrator
19 Office Loop
Dubois, ID 83423-5032

ph: 208-374-5364
fax: 208-374-5582


Signature on file: Annette Eddins, Operations Supervisor
Updated on: 08/03/2012

Dubois, ID
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