Third-year veterinary students at Penn are expected to contact practices to schedule externships for our fourth-year, sometimes over a year in advance. It can be a really stressful process to try and figure out places where you might want to do an internship after graduation when at the exact moment all you can really focus on is your next exam. If you are at all considering doing an internship after graduation, it is important to visit a variety of practices, because most require you to spend at least some time at the hospital prior to applying for their internship.
It seems that most equine majors tend to do internships after graduation. Therefore, when I sought out my externships for my fourth year, I really only thought about two main things. I wanted the practice to be in the tri-state area (NJ, PA, NY), and I wanted it to be focused on equine sports medicine. All of the practices that I am visiting are private practices, and I would be extremely satisfied with completing my internship at any one of them. The interesting part about being an equine major is that the private practices offer internships sometimes as early as October of our fourth year, as opposed to the academic institutions and small animal internships, which all are done through the match.
It is an unfortunate circumstance to have to worry about applying to these internships relatively early during my fourth year, but there are positives to it as well. If I am lucky enough to be offered an internship at one of the practices I’m visiting in the spring, a major weight will be lifted off my shoulders knowing that I have post-graduation plans lined up over half a year in advance. That is a very big “IF”, however!