Practice-Based Equine Clerkship

The purpose of this course is to provide students with on-farm, primary care experience with horses in physical examinations, diagnosis, treatment, herd health, routine surgery and practice management.

Students will be assigned to a participating veterinary practice and spend the majority of their time with the supervising veterinarian(s) on farm calls or performing laboratory or office duties directly related to those calls. The student will be expected to participate on farm calls Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm or whenever the practitioner’s day is completed.  It is expected that students may participate in emergency calls received out of regular business hours, i.e., nights and weekends.  During such activities, the participating veterinarian is expected to:

1) Involve students in as many diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as possible;

2) Discuss diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic considerations with students;

3) Take time in the practice vehicle to discuss and assess farm management, current disease problems, and application of disease prevention techniques wherever possible.

Learning in the Field

To the extent possible, as limited by the case load, this equine educational experience will include: clinical examination (physical exam and history taking), restraint, diagnosis, administration of medications, regulatory medicine, anesthesia techniques, reproductive management, vaccination programs, parasite control, dispensing medication, writing bills, practice management, laceration repair, bandaging, veterinary ethics, client communications, elective surgery and emergency procedures. Students will receive as much hands-on experience as feasible within the constraints of normal practice activity.

Learning about the Business

It is expected that students will spend approximately 10% of their time learning about the business management procedures used in the practice. The goal of this aspect of the clerkship is to expose students to the basics of veterinary practice management, including personnel management, inventory control, ordering procedures, client billing and finances.  Students should be given time to discuss these issues with the responsible persons in the practice.   The supervising veterinarian is expected to explain to the student the basis of client fees and how fees are reviewed.