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Veterinary Student Externship

Veterinary Student Externship in Marine Mammal Medicine

The Marine Mammal Center Veterinary Externship Program provides veterinary students in their final/clinical year the opportunity to gain exposure to marine mammal medicine, rehabilitation, husbandry and necropsy. Shared housing MAY be available for a fee at a TMMC Guest House located within the Marin Headlands within walking distance of TMMC, however housing is the students’ responsibility and may not be available during part or all of the students’ rotation. Transportation is the externs’ responsibility; there is no public transportation to TMMC. Priority for preferred externship dates is determined according to rank during the selection process. Ranking is based on the above criteria, AND a demonstrated interest in marine mammal medicine.

Founded in 1975, The Marine Mammal Center is an internationally renowned and state-of-the art marine mammal hospital that advances global conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. Each year The Center treats 600 – 800 sick, injured and orphaned marine mammals with the goal of rehabilitation and release. The Center collaborates with over 30 different scientific, educational, federal, state and non-profit organizations from around the world. We are a corps of dedicated volunteers and an engaged community, and are proud to be an equal opportunity, non-profit employer.

Location of Externship

Main Hospital in Sausalito, CA with potential opportunities to work at our satellite facilities.

Program Description

The student extern will work under the direct supervision of veterinary staff and volunteers, and students will participate in animal husbandry, veterinary examination and diagnostic procedures, surgical and anesthetic procedures, recordkeeping, daily clinical rounds and necropsies. The student will also complete a project during the externship and present the results to staff and volunteers during the last week of their rotation. The externship is open to US and International students.

Extern Qualifications

  • The veterinary externship is an unpaid position, and is ONLY OPEN TO STUDENTS WHO WILL BE IN THEIR FINAL/CLINICAL YEAR OF VETERINARY SCHOOL at the time of their rotation at TMMC.
  • Applicants must provide a letter of intent/cover letter, INCLUDING 3 blocks of 4-week long preferred dates (if the student schedule is completely open for several months, please indicate that as well)
  • Applicants must provide two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic and/or clinical performance. Please upload references as 'additional documents' with the application
  • Applicants must provide a current curriculum vitae (upload under resume).
  • Applicants must provide proof of medical insurance
  • Applicants should be able to demonstrate maturity and professional conduct at all times.
  • Applicants must demonstrate excellent skills in communication, multi-tasking, be able to deal with ambiguity, and maintain composure under pressure.
  • Applicants must be able to accept long hours and unpredictable schedules, including weekends.
  • Applicants should possess practical computer knowledge with programs such as MS Word, Access, and Excel.
  • The center is a teaching hospital, accommodating large numbers of students each year. Applicants must be able to work well in a team setting with people of different backgrounds and nationalities. While we stride to provide each student with as much learning opportunities as possible, individual experience will depend on case load and how many students we have on site.
  • This externship position involves a fair amount of physical activity, such as: lifting, restraining and moving animals. Must be able to lift 50 pounds, be on your feet long hours and handle being outdoors in varying weather conditions. 
  • Applicants are required to pass a background check and a motor vehicle report prior to acceptance into the externship.
  • Please note, that we reserve the right to terminate the externship at any time if needed.

Extern Schedule

The position is for a four-week term.

Work schedule must be flexible and may include evening shifts, weekends, and holidays.

Once accepted into the program you will receive a more detailed schedule

Additional Opportunities

Additional opportunities may include traveling down to our satellite facilities, Monterey Bay Operations in Moss Landing and San Luis Obispo Operations in Morro Bay. Externs may have the opportunity to work at both of our facilities as part of a 2-4 day trip. (This opportunity would be set up based upon extern’s interest and ability to travel to these locations.) If interested, there is also the opportunity to work or shadow in our education department.

How To Apply

The application period is currently closed. Applications will be accepted in October 2020. Please check back for instructions on how to apply.


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