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    National Wildlife CentrePO Box 192, Caledon East, ON L7C 3L9

    Student Veterinarian Final Year Rotation

    Rotation Description

    The NWC final year student veterinary rotation is designed to help students learn more about the handling, diagnosing, and treating of sick and injured wildlife. The externship program is designed to provide veterinary students with hands-on experience in wildlife medicine, surgery and rehabilitation. 

    Throughout the rotation, s/he will gain experience in native wildlife regarding: assessment, physical examination, stabilization, laboratory analysis options, radiography, chemical immobilization, anesthesia, common surgical procedures, orthopedics, current therapy (including analgesics & antibiotics used in wildlife), and necropsy examinations where appropriate. The extern will be exposed to all aspect of wildlife rehabilitation, including the legal and ethical obligations of treating and rehabilitating wildlife, including understanding resistance and choices for antimicrobial use in wildlife.

    The veterinary student will gain knowledge in the handling and physical restraint of wildlife species, animal husbandry and nutrition, and conditioning and release considerations. Depending on the caseload, multiple rehabilitation centres may be visited. The accredited mobile wildlife hospital has equipment and supplies to treat animals at the rehabilitator’s location. The student veterinarian will gain experience in other areas of rehabilitation, including the neonatal programs and considerations for permitted sanctuary (non-releasable) animals. The student is expected to participate with the rehabilitation team as part of a HealthCare team approach to working with wildlife.

    Currently, we have positions in Ontario and Nova Scotia. The veterinary extern will be trained by the National Wildlife Centre’s medical team and work closely and collaboratively with the staff and leadership at the wildlife rehabilitation centre 


    In Ontario, the student must have their own means of transportation. Bus service is neither available nor practical to the centres that we commonly travel to. In Nova Scotia, accommodation may be available onsite or within walking distance. Please contact us for more information.

    A minimum of 12 weeks is required as we only accept very few externships right now. It is encouraged you book well in advance.

    The extern will be expected to:

    • Have some wildlife handling experience prior to commencing placement. 
    • Work cooperatively and enthusiastically within the rehabilitators & healthcare team 
    • Complete a 56 day workweek (4060 hours) with flexibility in the schedule based on need & caseload. This includes some evenings, weekends, and oncall. This includes days working independently at rehabilitators locations as well as a minimum of 28 hours per week working directly with the supervising veterinarian. The schedule will be provided to you at the beginning of each week 
    • Be respectful of the wildlife patients, working to minimize patient stress 
    • Be familiar with avian and reptile anatomy, physiology and clinical pathology 
    • Research and review literature relevant to current cases 
    • Pursue a special interest case study or relevant research project. This can be discussed at your first meeting with your supervisor 
    • Be prepared every morning to discuss cases in a systematic way (signalment, presenting complaint, ddx, further dx ideal versus required, treatment plan 
    • Be professional, punctual, and dress appropriately (scrubs or scrub top and pants that can get dirty) 
    • Bring your stethoscope 
    • Have a positive attitude and a good work ethic 
    • Keep excellent medical records and follow protocols of NWC 
    • Have an open mind to multiple ways to approach wildlife cases based on limited resources by the rehabilitator 
    • Assist with fundraising initiatives and efforts with the wildlife team. This is a critical part of working in a wildlife rehabilitation centre – and a requirement for all positions within the organization. 

    Please note, taking pictures and/or video is not permitted unless authorized by your supervisor. No pictures should be placed on social media without approval.

    Application Process

    Please include the following with your application:

    • Current Résumé 
    • Cover letter explaining your interest and/or experience in wildlife medicine as well as your career goals 
    • Three references, including contact information 
    • Current proof of protective rabies titre

    Please send your package to: Dr. Sherri Cox,  info@nationalwildlifecentre.ca