VAW Global Health Alliances develops community health systems while providing interns the opportunity to work alongside experienced local healthcare professionals. VAW Global Veterinary Interns work closely with community partners to implement veterinary clinics, as well as provide assistance to existing animal shelters, across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Through the Veterinary Outreach program, interns learn about healthcare in a global context and assist with veterinary procedures, treatment courses, and clinic operations through shadowing, measuring vital signs, giving vaccines and deworming animals — all under the direct supervision of experienced local veterinarians and staff.
Interns will prepare for their trip throughout the year by attending team training sessions, participating in local community service projects, and developing team building activities, led by their Team Leader or Faculty Team Leader. Interns are required to attend trainings and workshops prior to their trip, so that they are well prepared upon arrival in country.
This is an intensive internship — valuable to future veterinarians, veterinary assistants, veterinary technicians, as well as other future healthcare providers, global practitioners, and anyone interested in gaining skills in public health while supporting healthcare systems around the world.
While on-site, interns will be required to attend several orientations and workshops focused on professional development and cultural sensitivity, which will reinforce the trainings they did leading up to their trip. Additionally, interns will be required to demonstrate proficiency in clinical skills, such as how to properly restrain animals, taking temperature, and measuring pulse, among other skills — approved by a local healthcare provider — before being allowed to assist in those stations during clinics.
Throughout their time in-country, and especially while in clinic, it is of utmost importance that interns portray health care realities and burden of disease accurately, show professionalism, and respect patients privacy and integrity at all times. During clinics, interns will rotate throughout the following stations:
Intake & Vitals
Interns will greet patients and their owners as they come into clinic, collect their personal and medical history, and record their current symptoms. They will work with local community leaders, VAW Global staff, and, in some countries, translators. Interns will measure patients’ vital signs, including temperature, pulse, and respiration rate. Interns must have tested out of training in order to participate in this station. They will record all of the information for the veterinarian’s review.
Interns will have the opportunity to learn about disease diagnosis and treatment courses by shadowing locally licensed veterinarians. Interns will have the opportunity to shadow and assist with the consultation as the veterinarian does an exam, provides a diagnoses, prescribes treatment (if necessary), and does any vaccines and/or deworming (if needed). This station really provides interns who are engaged and interested with an incredible opportunity to learn healthcare in a global context.
Professional Development Activity
On the two week trip, interns have the opportunity to collaborate with partners to gain knowledge about about local species and learn their daily routines and habits, including assisting with alimentation, habitat care and keeping, vaccines and enrichment activities.
Based on each school’s needs, our teams work with community teachers to develop different health promotion projects throughout the year in collaboration with local partners.
VAW Global Veterinary Outreach offers two trip lengths: two weeks (15 days) or one week (7 days). On the two week trip, there will be six clinic and professional development days; on the one week trip, there will be three clinic days. Each country varies slightly in how the schedule is arranged and what opportunities are available.
All interns are responsible for covering their program fees, medication and supply fund fee, plane tickets, spending money, and any additional expenses.
VAW Global Health Alliances constantly strives to provide the best quality patient care for local communities and the best professional development opportunities for the interns. We follow the guidelines outlined by leading organizations, such as the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (APVMA). Please feel free to visit the APVMA website directly here.