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San Diego Zoo Safari Park Veterinary Services/Harter Veterinary Medical Center

Four- to six-week clinical veterinary medicine externship rotation. This is an unpaid, credit only experience.

The Safari Park Clinical Medicine rotation will be an observational
experience. Students will have the opportunity to participate in
procedures on a limited basis but the degree of participation will vary.

• Students will gain experience in conducting physical examinations
on a variety of non-domestic species particularly hoofstock.

• Students will be able to observe the anesthesia of captive
wildlife under various conditions as well as a variety of capture and
restraint methods.

• Students will be exposed to the Daninject and Telinject remote delivery systems including dart and field procedure safety.

• Students will gain experience in monitoring anesthesia.

• Students may have the opportunity to collect blood samples and
perform minor procedures such as endotracheal intubation and catheter
placement.

• Students are encouraged to take notes, keep a daily activity log, and ask questions.

• Students should assist the RVTs as needed.

• Students should make good use of non-clinical time and are
expected to read related materials and work on their project or case
report when not involved with procedures.

• A reading list will be provided.

• Students should review medical records on cases before animal
procedures or treatment modifications are performed if time allows.

• Students should become familiar with field immobilization protocols and safety.

• Students will be responsible for completing a project or case
report and giving a presentation to the staff prior to successfully
completing the externship. All topics must be approved in advance.

• Each student will be assigned a primary mentor during their
externship but will likely have the opportunity to work with all the
clinical veterinarians. The resident will serve as the primary mentor
unless otherwise specified.

• Students should ask questions and initiate discussion when an unfamiliar disease, procedure, or species is encountered.
The
San Diego Zoo Safari Park hospital clinic employs six staff
veterinarians, three of whom are DACZMs; five registered veterinary
technicians; three nutritionists - two PhD and one MS, and a wide
variety other animal care experts. All specialize in zoo and exotic
animal health care.
• Office space, a library, Internet access and a computer will be made available.

• Students will receive a tour of the hospital, and orientation.

• Students will gain experience in conducting physical examinations
on a variety of non-domestic species particularly hoofstock.

• Students will be able to observe the anesthesia of captive
wildlife under various conditions as well as a variety of capture and
restraint methods.

• Students will be exposed to the Daninject and Telinject remote delivery systems including dart and field procedure safety.

• Students will gain experience in monitoring anesthesia.

• Students may have the opportunity to collect blood samples and
perform minor procedures such as endotracheal intubation and catheter
placement.

• A reading list will be provided.

• Use of the hospital library and medical records will be explained
during the first week, so students can take advantage of all available
reference and clinical material.
Basic Information

• Students will visit the Safari Park Human Resources office during
their first week to obtain a temporary San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG) /
Safari Park ID card.

• A staff list with office phone numbers will be provided.

• Students should bring a lunch, drinks, and snacks each day.

• Students should bring their own stethoscope.

• Shoes should be worn that can be left at the hospital for the duration of student rotations.

• A locker will be provided, but students must bring their own locks.

• Wear comfortable, but neat clothing (khakis, scrub top, collared shirt, etc.).

• Please dress as a professional:

o No tank tops.

o No jeans or denim pants – khaki pants or scrubs are acceptable.

o Pants should be high enough and/or shirts long enough to cover the midriff.

o Tattoos should be covered and not visible.

o With the exception of ear piercings, other visible body piercings will not be permitted.

• Personal clothing worn while performing animal care at the clinic
or in the field will need to stay at the hospital during your rotation,
but you will have access to laundry facilities.

• Students must supply their own scrubs and pants.

• Students will be asked to complete a small project during their
externship with topics approved in advance (a list of suggested topics
is available). Alternatively, students can prepare a case report based
on their clinical experience at the Park.

• Students must give a PowerPoint presentation of their chosen
project or case report to hospital staff during the fourth week. A copy
of the presentation must be provided to the Program Administrator prior
to departure.

• Students are expected to work Monday-Friday, 6:30AM - 4:00PM. Weekends are optional.

• Bring a camera, and binoculars (if available).

• A photo of the students’ choosing will be posted in our .

Students’ responsibilities

• The Safari Park Clinical Medicine rotation will be an
observational experience. Students will have the opportunity to
participate in procedures on a limited basis but the degree of
participation will vary.

• Students are encouraged to take notes, keep a daily activity log, and ask questions.

• Students should assist the RVTs as needed.

• Students should make good use of non-clinical time and are
expected to read related materials and work on their project or case
report when not involved with procedures.

• Students should review medical records on cases before animal
procedures or treatment modifications are performed if time allows.

• Students should become familiar with field immobilization protocols and safety.

• Students will be responsible for completing a project or case
report and giving a presentation to the staff prior to successfully
completing the externship. All topics must be approved in advance.

• Students should ask questions and initiate discussion when an unfamiliar disease, procedure, or species is encountered.


Each student will be assigned a primary mentor during their
externship but will likely have the opportunity to work with all the
clinical veterinarians throughout their rotation. The resident will
serve as the primary mentor unless otherwise specified.

• There might be the opportunity to spend one day with veterinarians
at the San Diego Zoo, in the SDZG Pathology Department, or with the
SDZG Nutritionists.

• The resident will be expected to share an office with the student(s).

• The resident will assist with student orientation and mentoring.

• The resident will ensure student participation in journal club and will provide them with the necessary reading material.

• The resident will have primary responsibility for completing medical records.

• The duty veterinarian will present available cases for student
participation on a daily basis. The clinician responsible for each case
will mentor the student and will also determine the extent of student
involvement in each case.
None. Students must arrange their own housing.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park Veterinary Services - Harter Veterinary Medical Center
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road

Escondido, CA 92027
760 291 5400
760 747 3168
Nadine Lamberski, DVM, DACZM
Updated: 01/26/12
Location: 
San Diego, CA
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