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Sea World


The program is designed for fourth-year veterinary students. They will be given a full range of opportunities in aquatic animal husbandry and medicine which includes whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, walrus, marine and freshwater fishes, penguins, and many other species of birds and reptiles. In addition, polar bears and manatees are residents at SeaWorld of Florida and SeaWorld of California. The SeaWorld Externship is three weeks with the option of a fourth week.


Associate Veterinarians and special expertise available

  • Scott Gearhart, DVM
  • Lara Croft, DVM
  • Michelle Davis, DVM, DACZM
  • Stacy DiRocco, DVM

    Educational Resources

    • Comprehensive literary resources
    • Photo and radiograph databases
    • (NOTE:Internet access is not readily available to students...up to discretion of supervising veterinarians and on a limited basis).


    Students must first apply online by November of the proceeding school year at the website:

    Students will be expected to have a basic general knowledge of veterinary medicine and surgery as well as a sincere willingness to actively participate in medical procedures. Previous experience with exotics will prove to be beneficial, but is not required. Under supervision, the student will be allowed to perform diagnostic testing and administer treatments on a variety of marine and terrestrial species.

    He or she may assist in necropsies, surgeries, and formulate treatment plans for wildlife rehabilitation cases brought to the park (usually shorebirds, freshwater turtles, etc.). The student is expected to give a 15-20 minute presentation on an aquatic medicine topic to veterinary services staff.

    Student Supervision

    With some exceptions, the student will spend 9-10 hours daily with the veterinarians, 5 days a week. If there are no cases scheduled we will attempt to make arrangements for students to shadow husbandry staff.


    There is a list of staff members who are willing to host students during their stay. It is possible that a small amount of "rent" would be required by some individuals.

    Practice Information

    Sea World, Florida
    7007 Sea World Drive
    Orlando, FL 32821



    Updated: 12/18/12
    Signature on file: Lara Croft, DVM

    Orlando FL
    Elective categories: