We are happy to provide internships, externships, and VM4 rotations for veterinary students and veterinary technician students. Students who work at our clinic for more than two weeks and receive a salary will be considered interns. Students who work with us for two weeks or less or do not receive a salary will be considered externs. VM4 students are welcome for rotations of varying lengths.
About the clinic:
Lee County Veterinary Care is a mixed-animal practice located near West Point in southeast Iowa. We currently have one doctor and four technicians. We do about 50% cow/calf work and 40% mixed small animal, equine, and small ruminant. We do a small amount of feedlot/stocker, dairy, and swine work. Some of our specialty services are bovine embryo flushing, transfer, and cryopreservation; ultrasound pregnancy testing for cattle and horses; AI for cattle and horses; Caesarian sections and surgical AIs in dogs; and laser therapy for all species.
Our goals are to get the student hands-on experience, teach the student new skills, and expose the student to day-to-day operations in a busy mixed practice. We are looking for students who are motivated, self-starters who will look for ways to learn and to help out.
Some of our specialty equipment includes a class IV therapy laser, x-ray machine, ultrasound, in-house VetScan VS2 and VSpro blood machines, Doppler blood pressure meter, portable chute, in-house cattle working facilities, equine stocks, cattle boarding pastures, and embryo cryopreservation. We use Idexx Cornerstone as our practice management software. We also sell VitaFirm feed additives.
Students will be expected to work during at least our normal business hours Monday through Friday. Expect some early mornings and some late evenings, depending on the schedule. Weekend/after-hours emergency calls and Saturday morning business hours are optional but encouraged. Housing and laundry will be provided. Students will be expected to provide their own food the majority of the time. Students should come prepared with work clothes, coveralls, and boots. We have some extra coveralls at the clinic that can be used by students if necessary. Scrub tops and jeans are our normal work attire. We like to encourage students to be actively involved in all of the opportunities that are presented during their time here. It is a good idea for students to come with their own goals and ideas of specific things they want to learn or practice. We encourage students to get the student liability insurance coverage through AVMA PLIT.
The composition of the casework seen varies by the time of year. Small animal work is consistent year-round, with general health appointments, routine surgeries, Caesarian sections, and surgical AIs. In January through April, students can expect large animal work to include a lot of cow obstetrics (calf pulling, Caesarian sections, neonatal calf care, etc.), preparation for breeding season, equine breeding, the start of embryo work, and semen checking bulls. May through July, large animal work usually includes equine reproduction, vaccinating cows and calves, breeding cows, semen checking bulls, pregnancy checking cows, and embryo work. August through October, we typically do a lot of calf castrations and preconditioning programs, pregnancy checking, routine equine work, and some embryo work. In the winter, we see the start of calving season, pregnancy checking, and some embryo work.
Students will be expected to help prepare for and clean up after jobs. Interns will be expected to help with answering phones and reception once they are acclimated. Externs and VM4 students are also encouraged to answer phones and help with reception if they feel comfortable doing so. Some examples of what students may be allowed to do, based on education level, are listed below. Students may be allowed to do more than expected for their education level, depending on the case/job and their amount of prior experience with the species and the task.
Undergrad – Help push cattle through chute, palpate cows, observe veterinary work, and help set up for jobs
Vet student – Help push cattle through chute, palpate, give injections, aid in flushing for embryos, observe veterinary work, learn to move and grade embryos
VM4 – Help push cattle through chute, palpate, castrate, give injections, dehorn, aid in flushing for embryos, learn to move and grade embryos
Undergrad – Observe procedures
Vet student – Observe procedures
VM4 – Draw blood, give vaccinations, take vitals
Undergrad – Observe appointments and surgeries, aid in technician appointments
Vet student – Observe appointments and surgeries, aid in technician appointments, and take vitals
VM4 – Help work up medical appointments, take vitals on animals, aid in surgeries
If you are interested in doing an internship, externship, or rotation, please send a resume and brief cover letter to Dr. Tara Wellman Gerdes at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!