AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich is joined by Dr. Pippa Gibbons, chair of the AABP Food Animal Educators Task Force, and Dr. Arn Anderson, AABP Board of Directors representative for District 8. Our topic is discussing the importance of externships for veterinary students and how this can impact retention and recruitment in bovine or mixed animal practice. It is important for practices to have a well-defined program and to ask students what their goals are for the externship experience. Anderson suggests having an externship coordinator in your practice who will manage the program. Practice liability is always a concern when hosting student externs. The AVMA PLIT has developed resources for practices and students. Suggestions include safety training, ensuring appropriate oversight of students, purchase the appropriate insurance, and develop liability waivers for students to sign when visiting your practice. AABP members should list their externship opportunities on the AABP website so students can find your externship and you can meet potential associates. Go to this link to list your practice or view externship opportunities. Practice owners should also consider the barriers that students have in attending externship experiences. These can include housing, financial burdens, and concerns with lack of experience. Try to remove or mitigate these barriers so that we can demonstrate the opportunities we have in bovine practice as a professional career. AABP provides externship grants to students to assist with the financial impacts of attending externship experiences. For more information and to apply for a grant, visit this page.
Gibbons, P. M., Wells, J. K., Watson, K. R., Weale, J. J., & Roberson, J. R. (2022). A mixed-method pilot study investigating challenges experienced by mixed animal veterinarians in practice and their private practice experiences prior to graduation. The Bovine Practitioner, 56(1), 18–28. https://doi.org/10.21423/bovine-vol56no1p18-28
Thomson, D. U., Thomson, J. U., Lubbers, B. V., Apley, M. D., Cull, C. A., Lechtenberg, K. F., McCoy, E. J., & Schwandt, E. F. (2017). A Survey of veterinary student exposure to and performance of clinical skills necessary for success in beef cattle veterinary practice and the relationship to the supply, demand, and value of proper training as beef cattle veterinarians. The Bovine Practitioner, 51(2), 215–228. https://doi.org/10.21423/bovine-vol51no2p215-228