The Wilds

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Veterinary Preceptorship at the Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio.
The Wilds is situated on nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed surface-mined land in southeastern Ohio. We are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support conservation through innovative education, breeding and research programs that emphasize the protection and intensive management of our wildlife resources.

Veterinary preceptorship positions are available at the Wilds on a competitive basis to senior veterinary students within the United States as well as internationally.
Seven–Eight 4-week rotations are available from March to mid-December of each year. The program is only open to fourth year veterinary students. Applicants should demonstrate a genuine desire to continue their professional career in the zoo or wildlife veterinary field and will be required to spend a four week period with the Conservation Medicine Department at the Wilds. The preceptorship program is designed to provide veterinary students with exposure to the fields of wildlife, exotic animal, and conservation medicine. This experience will help students to make further career and educational decisions.

The animal programs division at the Wilds is composed of the Department of Conservation Medicine and the Department of Animal Management. Facilities include 2 separate veterinary hospitals with laboratory, surgery treatment, necropsy, and research laboratory areas. Hoofstock and mid-size carnivore handling facilities are also present.
Associate Veterinarians and special expertise available
• Dr. Don Neiffer, Director Of Conservation Medicine; Masters’ Student in MHS-One Health program administered through University of Florida, Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine
• Dr. Julie Ter Beest, Veterinary Resident (ACZM accredited residency); Masters’ degree in wildlife
• Dr. Barbara Wolfe, Chief Science Officer at the Wilds and The Columbus Zoo, Preventative Medicine/ One Health Faculty at OSU; PhD in reproductive physiology, Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine
• texts
• journals and reprints
Students are encouraged to become actively involved in procedures ranging from basic animal management to field immobilization procedures and associated laboratory techniques. The preceptor will assist in the daily management of all animals, including the evaluation and treatment of any clinical cases. This participation involves assisting with chemical and physical restraint procedures, becoming familiar with drug usage and dosages, maintaining records (both written and MedArks), becoming familiar with equipment and drug delivery systems, and performing post-mortem examinations. Students develop proficiency in current in-house laboratory procedures such as parasite diagnostic techniques and are expected to assist with various routine duties such as the upkeep of instruments, equipment, and the clinic area.

"Down time" should be used for required reading which consists of technical and research literature, and for using available resources to research relevant topics. A short oral PowerPoint presentation (topic and/or research project to be decided by end of first week) is required prior to completion of the preceptorship. Participation in current research projects is possible; independent projects will be considered on a case by case basis.

There are certain constraints that students should be aware of prior to the submission of a formal application. The Wilds has a remote location and is approximately 20 miles from Zanesville, the nearest city. As a non-profit organization, the Wilds is presently unable to offer a stipend or other expenses for visiting students. Students chosen for this program must also provide proof of medical insurance.
Evaluations will be sent to students and/or institutions at the request of the student following completion of the program. Preceptors are required to complete an evaluation of their experience at the Wilds so that we may continue to improve our program for future students.

Students should submit an application packet containing the following: curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation, an essay of 300 words or less stating their reasons why they wish to participate in the program, preferred time period they wish to attend the program and a letter endorsed by the Dean’s office of their veterinary school stating that the student has at least a 3.0 grade point average and will have at least 2 months of clinical experience prior to beginning the program. The application deadline is November 15th of each year (Applications should not be submitted before start of third year).Please include appropriate contact information so that we may easily reach you.
  • Students must provide their own health and driving insurance.
  • Students are responsible for all expenses.
  • Students will need to show proof of negative TB test, Hepatitis B vaccination, and current protective rabies titer or proof of recent booster.
Students should be prepared to work between 45 and 60 hours per week. This generally will include weekend duties; however night duties will be limited to the occasional emergency. All work is supervised.
On-site shared housing is available for $75/week, and students are required to stay onsite unless otherwise approved
the Wilds
14000 International Road
Cumberland, OH 43732
(740) 638-5030
(740)638 2059
dneiffer [at] thewilds [dot] org
Donald L. Neiffer, VMD, CVA, Dipl. ACZM
Posted: 04/16/14