Wildlife Veterinary Medicine & Conservation Externship
Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife
Location: Sanibel, Florida
4 Year Degree
General Program Description
CROW is a nonprofit wildlife hospital and rehabilitation center providing care for native and migratory wildlife on the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida.
CROW’s fully equipped wildlife hospital admits over 6,000 patients per year including more than 200 different species of birds, mammals and reptiles.
The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to return sick, injured or orphaned wild animals back to the wild. The Student Program is designed to augment the educational pursuits of natural science, veterinary, and veterinary technician students.
Students are supervised and assisted by a full-time veterinarian, veterinary interns, Certified Veterinary Technicians, wildlife rehabilitators, and other staff and volunteers.
Emphasis is placed on the student gaining an understanding of the entire rehabilitation process from admittance to release, evidence-based wildlife and conservation medicine, as well as the One World, One Health concept.
General Program Overview
The Veterinary Medicine Externship is an unpaid externship where a student’s daily activities include providing medical treatments to patients, caring for neonatal wildlife (including assisted alimentation), assisting in surgery and monitoring anesthesia, venipuncture, administering medications, administering fluids, triage, interpreting radiographs and cytology slides, husbandry, grazing tortoises, diet preparation, daily hospital cleaning, daily outdoor enclosure cleaning, attending hospital rounds and teaching rounds, rescuing/releasing wildlife (as needed).
Program Work Schedule
Following an initial training period, externs will work a 5-day work week schedule that would rotate to 1 day assisting veterinary staff with all patient rechecks, assisting with surgery, assisting in ICU, and assisting with patient triage, and 4 days working in the ICU.
Externs will assist in the various baby rooms on a daily basis from 7-7:30/7:45 AM prior to ICU shifts. Externs will assist in baby rooms as needed during the day and in the evening when ICU is completed to complete all neonatal treatments and feeds. Please understand this schedule may vary depending on patient load and number of students on-site at a given time, to ensure coverage in all areas of the hospital.
Early morning or late evening infant care/feeding will be required on a regular basis. Externs will be rotating with other students for these designated care/feeding shifts.
Work days start at 7:00 AM and end when all patients are cared for and the clinic is cleaned. This may vary between 45-65+ hours weekly.
The required number of hours worked daily will vary depending on patient volume and number of students working during accepted program dates.
Externs will have 2 days off weekly, either two consecutive days or two days throughout the week, which will be determined based on individual preference. Individual program dates may have varied weekend days in order to achieve a minimum of 20 working days for program requirements.
Externs are required to complete a patient case study to receive program completion credit and present to veterinarians. Hospital staff and other students may also be present for your case study presentation.
Attendance to hospital case rounds and student teaching rounds held periodically during the week, may be encouraged or required depending on the rounds discussion.
CROW operates on a 12.5-acre campus on Sanibel Island, Florida. CROW is located adjacent to J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Beaches and local restaurants are a short distance from campus.
The mainland of Fort Myers, past the Sanibel Causeway, is 15 minutes away from CROW.
Applicants must be over 18 years of age.
Applicant’s availability must range from 4 to 12 weeks or a minimum of 20 working days.
Applicants must be currently enrolled or recently graduated from an accredited veterinary medical school.
A minimum of 1-2 years of animal care experience is required. Preference will be given to applicants with previous wildlife clinic background as well as third and fourth year veterinary medical students.
All accepted applicants must agree to and sign rules and regulations and liability waivers upon acceptance.
A large percentage of the work at a rehabilitation facility involves cleaning and feeding patients and is labor intensive. Applicants are to be able-bodied individuals with the ability to lift up to 50 pounds, bend, kneel, and sit / stand for prolonged periods of time.
Program Fees and Vaccination Requirements (once accepted)
$125.00 non-refundable CROW student program fee
$75.00 per week on-site housing fee (if requesting to stay in on-site housing). Housing fees are non-refundable unless CROW cancels your program prior to your accepted start date.
Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination
Proof of current Tetanus Vaccination
Proof of Rabies Pre-Exposure Series OR recent Rabies Titer (+/- Rabies Booster)
How To Apply
Visit our Student Programs and Internships page on our website at www.crowclinic.org to download and return a completed application
All application materials can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to PO Box 150, Sanibel, FL 33957.
For questions not answered on the website or in the application packet, please email email@example.com
THERE IS NO DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS. Applications are accepted year round and are processed as they are received
The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), is a non-profit wildlife teaching hospital and visitor education center dedicated to saving Florida native and migratory wildlife on the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida through state-of-the-art veterinary care, research, education, evidence-based wildlife conservation medicine, and working under the One World One Health concept. The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to return sick, injured or orphaned wild animals back to the wild. CROW’s fully equipped wildlife hospital admits approximately 6,000 patients per year including more than 200 different species of birds, mammals and reptiles. CROW operates on a 12.5-acre campus on Sanibel Island, Florida with the organization's hospital and visitor education center located adjacent to the waterways and mangroves of the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.