Every year, approximately 20-30 veterinary students have the privilege of gaining hands-on experience in wildlife medicine and rehabilitation through summer internships and 4th-year externships at WRC.
We are very excited that this fall, we co-taught a new 4th-year veterinary student elective course through the University of Minnesota (UMN). The 2-week rotation, titled “Exotic Medicine,” is targeted toward the student who wants to go into private practice (usually small animal), but may see some exotics or a wildlife case here or there. Therefore, they would like to be prepared and have basic knowledge of species recognition, husbandry, first aid/triage and patient stabilization.
Students spend three days a week in the classroom attending lectures and going over cases, and two days a week on field trips, where they spend the day at either WRC, Como Zoo, The Minnesota Zoo, or Minnesota Sealife Aquarium.
While at their rotations, the students gain hands-on exposure to common exotic and wildlife species. Based on feedback from the students, the first year of this rotation was very successful! We will continue to work collaboratively on this course each fall.
Below is a picture of Vet Renee and I with students Erika and Chad, as they examine a Western Painted Turtle.