Veterinary Externship

We are now accepting applications for 2024 - 2025.

The Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM) offers three externship opportunities to 3rd and 4th year veterinary students:

  • Comparative Pathology (Comp Path):  2 weeks
  • Laboratory Animal Medicine (LAM):  2 or 4 weeks
  • Joint Comp Path and LAM: 4 Weeks (2 weeks for each rotation)

An emphasis on anesthesia and analgesia may be incorporated into the Laboratory Animal Medicine (LAM) externship. Interested applicants may apply to one of these tracks.

About the externships with the Department of Comparative Medicine

As part of the DCM, the Veterinary Service Center (VSC) oversees all animal facilities at Stanford. The VSC is managed by faculty veterinarians with primary appointments in the DCM.  The VSC complies with federal, state, and local guidelines for laboratory animal care and is accredited by the AAALAC International. The VSC houses fully equipped and staffed veterinary hospital and clinical service areas, a diagnostic laboratory, and an animal necropsy service. These facilities support campus-wide research programs.

Under the supervision of board-certified specialists, externs gain experience in laboratory animal medicine and comparative pathology in a premier research institution. Externs receive informal one-on-one training with the faculty and staff in a variety of veterinary specialty areas, including comparative pathology, surgery and anesthesia, disease surveillance, animal behavior, internal medicine, epidemiology and biostatistics. Externs are 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 scholarly presentation by the extern to the faculty on a particular case or area of interest is highly recommended at the end of their externship.

Feedback is provided to the extern by the DCM faculty and written evaluations are provided if required by the extern’s home institution.


Laboratory Animal Medicine

  • To develop an experiential perspective of biomedical research
  • To understand basic biology of laboratory animals
  • To develop an appreciation of medicine, anesthesia & analgesia, and surgery for laboratory animals
  • To develop an appreciation of the control of infectious diseases
  • 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, hematology, serum biochemistry, blood gas analysis, etc.

Comparative Pathology

  • To become familiar with proper laboratory animal necropsy techniques
  • To discern post-mortem artifacts from pre-mortem lesions
  • To understand and recognize common diseases of laboratory animal species
  • To select appropriate ancillary diagnostics (i.e. PCR, microbiology, special stains, etc.) for clinical case work-up
  • To become familiar with basic histopathology and explore pathologic changes
  • To understand the role of a veterinary pathologist in a biomedical research setting

Only applicants from American Veterinary Medical Association accredited schools in North America and/or U.S. citizens will be accepted.  Acceptance is contingent upon availability of an open position during the dates requested and documentation from the applicant's veterinary school that they are enrolled and in good academic standing.

How to Apply

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