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Clinical rotations are the part of vet school when you begin to make the transition from student to doctor. As a student experiencing clinical rotations, you see patients and start learning procedures. You will work side-by-side with a licensed clinician to examine, diagnose, and treat patients. The pace of work speeds up and includes large caseloads, patient emergencies, and weekends and nights working on-call. It may be the busiest, most intense period of your vet school experience.
CLINICAL SCHOOL SELECTION PROCESS
Your clinical placement is a significant milestone, and one that is considered carefully by Ross Vet. During semesters four and five, our Clinical Affairs team will begin to prepare you about what to expect during your clinical year. During your 6th semester, the team will work with you one-on-one to better understand your interests and career goals. You will choose your list of preferred schools during the first week of your 7th semester. Your clinical placement is determined by a variety of factors and we cannot guarantee placement at the affiliate of your choice
Your placement is revealed at our Clinical Placement Ceremony, a unique opportunity to celebrate the next step in your veterinary education.
Ross Vet Clinical Affiliates
Ross Vet is affiliated with 29 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited schools in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland. This extensive network of affiliations makes it possible for you to strengthen your professional interests while completing your clinical training. Our roster of affiliated institutions includes many of the top veterinary schools in the world.
Auburn University - Auburn, AL
Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO
Cornell University - Ithaca, NY
Iowa State University - Ames, IA
Kansas State University - Manhattan, KS
Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine - Harrogate, TN
Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, LA
Massey University - Palmerston North, New Zealand
Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI
North Carolina State University - Raleigh, NC
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK
Oregon State University - Corvallis, OR
Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN
Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Edinburgh - Roslin, United Kingdom
Royal Veterinary College - London, United Kingdom
Texas A & M University - College Station, TX
The Ohio State University - Columbus, OH
Tufts University - North Grafton, MA
University College Dublin -Dublin, Ireland
University of California at Davis - Davis, CA
University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, IL
University of Minnesota - St. Paul, MN
University of Missouri - Columbia, MO
University of Montreal - Montreal, QC, Canada
University of Saskatchewan – Saskatoon, SK, Canada
University of Tennessee- Knoxville, TN
University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine - Blacksburg, VA
This list was last updated June 2021 and is subject to change.
You will spend 20 weeks participating in required core clinical rotations. Each clinical rotation lasts 6 to 8 weeks, and each student rotates through the different services. The core services every vet student must complete include:
- Small-Animal Medicine: Includes preventive health maintenance/community practice (minimum of 4 weeks)
- Small-Animal Surgery: (minimum of 4 weeks)
- Medical Services: Includes anesthesiology and diagnostic imaging (minimum of 4 weeks)
- Diagnostic Pathology: Includes clinical pathology, parasitology, microbiology, and necropsy services (minimum of 4 weeks)
- Large-Animal Medicine: A minimum of 4 weeks in one of the following:
- Food Animal Medicine and/or Surgery: Includes ambulatory services, theriogenology, and/or food-animal production medicine where offered
- Equine Medicine and/or Surgery: Includes ambulatory services where offered
Electives are evaluated rotations that allow you to focus on a veterinary specialty to further your learning beyond the core curriculum. Typically, students will receive a grade (associated with a course number) after completion of an elective rotation.
Externships provide you with an experiential learning opportunity to actively explore your veterinary medical interests (i.e., exotic animal medicine or lab animal medicine) under qualified DVM or PhD. It provides time to strengthen an area of weakness or begin to pursue employment opportunities. Externships may be conducted anywhere in the world, as long as they are approved by the clinical affiliate. An externship is an off campus, supervised and evaluated learning experience and students typically receive a pass/fail grade after completion.
Your externships must meet the following criteria:
- Must be directly supervised and evaluated by a fully qualified, practicing DVM or PhD
- State licensed veterinarian (if a veterinary practitioner)
- Must be in a veterinary or veterinary-related field
- Must be approved by your affiliate school (except for Cornell, Tennessee & Kansas State University*)
Throughout your externship experience you will work with a preceptor(s) of your choice who may be involved in one of the following areas:
- Private or specialty practice
- Diagnostic laboratories
- Zoo, exotic, or lab animal medicine
- Alternative medicine
- Federal or state service
- Other pre-approved are
Before accepting an externship, you should seek approval from your clinical affiliate.
Externship Time Commitment:
Ross Vet requires that students spend a minimum of 35 hours per week in their chosen externships (your requirement for graduation is based upon weeks and not hours). Externships are for 2 or 3 weeks, depending on your number of weeks for your rotations at your clinical affiliate. One week is the equivalent of one credit hour
Compensation for Externships:
Students may not accept payment from the externship site, if compensation is offered. All compensation including scholarship, stipends, or reimbursement for other expenses (e.g. travel, food, and lodging) should be reported to the Student Finance office. Accepting compensation in any form may affect your financial aid. For more information contact Student Finance.
In order to apply towards clinical credit to graduate, all externships must have an evaluation completed by your externship supervisor (veterinarian or PhD). Evaluators will use the evaluation form of the affiliate school that you attend except for Kansas State University (KSU), University of Tennessee (UT), and Cornell University*.
In addition, students may be asked by their affiliate school to submit an evaluation of the externship experience for the benefit of future students.
All students are responsible for confirming that the evaluation of their externship has been returned to the appropriate person at their affiliate school or OSU if attending KSU, UT, or Cornell University. The externship supervisor must submit an evaluation of your performance for you to receive academic credit. Students that do not receive an acceptable (passing) evaluation will be required to repeat the externship prior to graduation.
*OSU manages externships for students at KSU, UT, and Cornell University
Student Professional Veterinary Medical Liability Insurance
Your affiliate school, and most locations where you might complete an externship, will require malpractice insurance. This insurance has been provided for your clinical year by Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine through Essex Insurance Company. This Policy can be found in the RUSVM Portal under Clinical Affairs.
YOUR FINAL STEPS
Passing the NAVLE is your next step and a requirement to practice veterinary medicine in the US and Canada. It is a computer-based, multiple choice examination administered by the International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA). The exam is offered throughout North America and at certain overseas sites at designated computer testing centers. The NAVLE is typically available during a four-week testing window in November-December, and a two-week window in April.
Information on this essential licensing examination is available on the ICVA website.
You’ve graduated. You’ve passed the NAVLE. Now it’s time to apply for your license. It is important to look up the application requirements for the jurisdiction where you wish to be licensed, as it is important to understand that each state and province has different laws and requirements.
The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) is an association whose membership is comprised of 57 veterinary licensing boards including the United States, four Canadian provinces, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. AAVSB serves the veterinary regulatory agencies by providing quality, relevant programs and services that these Boards can rely on to carry out their statutory responsibilities in the interest of public protection.
Additional information is available at AAVSB.