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Monday, October 28, 2013

Veterinary Internships Part 2- The Selection Process

Finally, one my biggest projects for my website and blog has been completed. I hope this will be a great information source for 3rd and 4th year veterinary students considering an internship. Since the post is long, I will post it in 10 separate weekly blog entries.  If you need any advice sooner, please contact me or post a comment. Without further aideu, I bring you:

How to Choose the Right Internship Program- Step One:

So you have reviewed Part One and decided that you do want to pursue a veterinary internship. Fantastic! So how do you go about selecting one from the large pool of internships? Here is my top 10 item list that should help you select the program that is right for you.

1.  Decide VIRMP vs. a program not included in VIRMP  match program.

  • VIRMP aka Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program aka the match is the formal program for internships and residencies. It does have requirements in order for hospitals to be listed in the program, including specialist rotations, educational rounds, etc. The organization, however, does not rank the programs or conduct inspections of the programs to my knowledge. They do have good descriptions of past programs and a checklist of a variety of program components, such as case load, # surgeons, etc.
  • Get familiar with this site asap. http://virmp.org/
  • There are programs, some very reputable, that are not in the match system. Some clinics have had bad luck with how the ranking system works and have chosen to have internships, outside of the match. Make sure you either know someone who completed the program, or have a chance to visit, since there are no minimum requirements for these internships. 
  • Note: If you are doing an internship to obtain a residency I would stay within the VIRMP.
An aside: How does "the match" aspect of VIRMP work?

Some will say it is voodoo and luck. Others, like myself, believe in the system. Basically you rank the programs you like in order of most liked to least liked (see below- never rank where you don't want to go!) .  The program then also ranks candidates from best fit to worst fit and the computer system matches the candidate to program using that information. I was one of the lucky ones that was matched at my first choice. This means that my first choice also ranked me as a top choice.