National Aquarium, Baltimore

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Aquarium Preceptorship
This veterinary preceptorship/externship opportunity is specifically designed for students with an interest in aquatic and zoo animal medicine. Students spend six to eight weeks working in the Animal Health Department and are exposed to the multi-faceted nature of veterinary practice in a large public aquarium with over 15,000 animals. Preceptors are exposed to preventative and clinical medicine. The majority of the case load consists of reptiles, birds, and fish and amphibians. The aquarium also has a large dolphin group and some marmosets, tamarins, bats and sloths. While veterinary staff try to provide students with as much clinical practice as possible, with the birds and marine mammals in particular much of the students' participation is observational. Hands-on experience is provided wherever possible but is dependent on the experience of the student and comfort level of the staff. Preceptors are also asked to attend clinical rounds, present at informal journal rounds, and work on a quiz and presentation. Preceptors are shown routine clinical laboratory tests and necropsy protocols and are expected to then carry out these as necessary.


An applicant for the Veterinary Preceptorship Program must be a student in good standing enrolled in an AVMA-accredited school of veterinary medicine and must have completed the first two years of basic courses. Preceptors will be selected on the basis of interest in the field, quality of their course work in veterinary school, and the strength of their recommendations. Each student will be assigned a specific 6-8 week time block and overlap between students will be minimized. Applicants are accepted all year and are considered as they arrive.

This is a non-funded program. No funds are available for remuneration of the student. Students must also arrange for their own housing, and their own insurance needs (through their school or personal insurance coverage).


Please contact Dr. Ben Rossi (brossi [at] aqua [dot] org) regarding applications.
Animal Health Department has endoscopy, ultrasound, digital radiology, inhalant anesthesia, standard anesthesia monitoring devices (ECG, SpO2, ETCO2, etc).
Library, online search databases
see description above
Dr. Leigh Clayton, Dr. Kat Hadfield, Dr. Lizzy Arnett
Typical schedule is full days Mon-Fri, half day Sat. Typcial day is 7:45 to 6PM.
National Aquarium, Baltimore
501 East Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21146
410 576 3853
410 576 1080
brossi [at] aqua [dot] org
Dr. Leigh Clayton
Updated: 01/27/12