Clinical Experience for Pre-Veterinary students

Most veterinary schools require a minimum number of clinical shadowing hours prior to a student applying for admission to veterinary school. The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine reports that competitive applicants to their school have at least 100-300 hours of experience shadowing a veterinarian. Other veterinary schools might require a higher number of veterinary-shadowing hours. Admission requirements vary per school and it is a student’s responsibility to be knowledgeable about the nuances of each veterinary school to which they plan on applying. Please refer to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) website which provides links to all of the veterinary schools and their admission requirements.

It is imperative for pre-veterinary students to demonstrate volunteer hours and in turn, to garner a letter of recommendation from a practicing veterinarian.

How to Document Clinical-related Hours
Documenting shadowing or other types of clinical-related experiences is very informal.  There is no official paperwork to complete, nor is there official paperwork to obtain from the clinic or hospital.  Students should track their clinical/shadowing hours in a personal notebook.  For each experience, it is suggested that students log the date, number of hours spent observing, the name of the professional(s) they shadowed, the name of the hospital or clinic where the experience took place, and what they learned and observed (in general, what procedures or surgeries did the student observe, what career advice was given by the professional, patient-doctor/dentist relationship observations, unusual diagnoses or patients, etc.)

The following sites may be helpful to find veterinarians to shadow and/or internship opportunities:
Maryland Veterinary Medical Association’s Find a Veterinarian tool

UMBC students have gained vet-related experience in the past from the local/regional locations listed below:
Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic (Annapolis, MD)
Brenner Animal Hospital (Laurel, MD)
Days End Farm Horse Rescue Internship and Volunteer Program (Woodbine, MD)
Eastern Animal Hospital (Baltimore, MD)
Falls Road Animal Hospital (Baltimore, MD)
Maryland Zoo (Baltimore, MD)
National Aquarium (Baltimore, MD)
Paradise Animal Hospital (Catonsville, MD)
Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary Internship and Volunteer Information (Poolesville, MD)
Route 140 Veterinary Hospital (Finksburg, MD)
Severna Park Veterinary Hospital (Severna Park, MD)
Smithsonian National Zoological Park/National Zoo Internships (Washington, DC)
Towson Veterinary Hospital (Towson, MD)
VCA Columbia Animal Hospital at Hickory Ridge (Columbia, MD)
Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group (Annapolis Junction, MD)

In addition, pre-veterinary students may apply to the following national programs:
Association of Zoos and Aquariums Job and Internship Search Site
Chicago Zoological Society Brookfield Zoo Summer Internship Program
Dolphins Plus Internship Program
New England Wildlife Center Summer Internship Program
Pelican Harbor Seabird Station Internship
Southwest National Primate Research Center Summer Internship Program
Tufts University’s Adventures in Veterinary Medicine Program

Summer Opportunities for Pre-Health Students
Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)
Summer Enrichment and Pipeline Programs
National Science Foundation

The UMBC PreMedical & PreDental Advising Office does not officially promote, sponsor or recommend any company or organization.  Information is gathered for students and made available to them.

NOTE: During the COVID-19 Pandemic, clinical opportunities may be severely restricted or non-existent. We encourage students to use this time to connect with Health Professionals in their area of interest through virtual career fairs, informational interviews, or service opportunities.
Students may also wish to use this uncertain time to strengthen other areas that are critical to their Health Profession preparation. For recommended activities, read through the rest of this Holistic Preparation section as well as the Activities and Opportunties during the COVID-19 Pandemic section!