Veterinary Externship

The Department of Comparative Medicine offers a 4-6 week externship to senior veterinary students interested in laboratory animal medicine.  

The Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM) manages all animal facilities at Stanford. The Research Animal Facility (RAF) at Stanford University School of Medicine is part of a centralized system for laboratory animal care. The RAF complies with federal, state, and local guidelines for laboratory animal care and is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International. The RAF has 110,000 net square feet and an average daily census of 200,000 animals, including a wide variety of species. It contains a surgical suite consisting of five operating rooms and an Intensive Care/Recovery suite for postoperative care, staffed by veterinary technicians. The RAF also contains fully equipped and staffed clinical pathology and microbiology laboratories and an animal necropsy laboratory. These facilities support both the clinical requirements of the department and animal research projects outside the department.

Externs will participate, under supervision, in the medical and surgical care of research animals, in diagnostic pathology and in the full service diagnostic laboratory.

Externs will gain experience in laboratory animal medicine and comparative pathology in a major research facility.  Externs will receive informal one-on-one sessions with the faculty and staff on a variety of topics related to laboratory animal medicine and comparative pathology. Externs will also be expected to attend seminars sponsored by the DCM and other relevant seminars at the University. Opportunities to participate in basic research may be available. A short presentation by the extern to the faculty on a particular case or area of interest is highly recommended at the end of their externship. Evaluations will be provided to the extern by the DCM faculty.



  • To develop a perspective of biomedical research.
  • To understand some basic biology of laboratory rodents.
  • To develop an appreciation of anesthesia and post-operative analgesia for laboratory animals.
  • To develop an appreciation of the control of infectious diseases in rodents.
  • To understand the goals and applications of quarantine procedures.
  • To develop a perspective on basic animal facility management: barrier and containment corridor concepts, cost issues, etc.
  • To become familiar with basic laboratory tests utilized for laboratory animals: serology, microbiology, etc.
  • To become familiar with techniques of laboratory animal necropsy.
  • To achieve some familiarity with regulatory aspects of laboratory animal medicine.
  • To achieve some familiarity with purpose and responsibilities of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Externship Faculty


Candidates interested in our externships, please fill out this form.


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