Preparing DVM students for success in general practice

Spectrum of Care Externship Program

If you are interested in pursuing a career in Small Animal General Practice, the Spectrum of Care Summer Externship program offers an exciting opportunity to augment your veterinary education! The program combines intensive educational training with real-world clinical practice experience serving diverse and underserved populations.

The Spectrum of Care Summer Externship is a ten-week program for students between their first and second years of the DVM program at Ohio State. Up to 28 students are accepted on a competitive basis. Students will shadow GP veterinarians in busy, Ohio-based small animal general practices with a broad socioeconomic clientele.

New in 2024: Shelter Medicine Summer Externship Program

We are pleased to offer a trial program, the Shelter Medicine Summer Externship Program,  that mirrors the Spectrum of Care Summer Externship Program. This program will be offered for the first time in summer 2024, and we will be selecting 2 students on a competitive basis to participate and work with Gigi's.

Program Highlights

  • Emphasizes the traditional role of the general practitioner
  • Prepares students to work with clients and pets at various socioeconomic levels, including underserved populations of companion canines and other small animals in need of care
  • Develops skills required for success in the real world with a focus on developing practice-ready GPs

Program Format

  • 1 day of orientation
  • 7 weeks of shadowing at one of the seven participating practices
  • 2 weeks of intensive hands-on training at Ohio State
  • 1 week dedicated to documentation of the experience

Participation is voluntary and there is no letter grade attached to the program. Students are required to keep a case log and prepare a case presentation as part of their final report.

Selection Criteria

  • We prefer Small Animal General Practice students with cultural background experiences, motivation, excellent communications skills and familiarity working with low-income populations. The amount of previous clinical experience is not a factor.
  • Students must be members of SAVMA and carry AVMA Professional Liability Insurance for the time frame of the program (free to SAVMA members).
  • You must be able to commit 40 hours/week during the session, including:
    • Orientation: May 1
    • Hands-on-training: May 6-July 12


Compensation includes travel and lodging (if placed outside of Columbus) and a ten-week stipend.

Application Process

Application deadline is January 12, 2024

2024 participants will be announced on February 9, 2024.