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AAZV Working Education Definitions

AAZV Working Definitions of Educational Programs in Zoological Medicine

Externship: A supplemental, non-structured program for instructing a professional veterinary student in a veterinary program for a zoological institution. The students is under the direct supervision of one or more veterinarians. The program is governed by an agreement mutually acceptable to the preceptor and his/her mentor. The veterinary college is only peripherally involved in the arrangement.

Preceptorship: A formal, structured program which serves as a means of instructing a professional veterinary student in veterinary programs of zoological medicine and surgery. The student is under the direct supervision of one or more veterinarians. The site of the program is approved by the veterinary college in consultation with the student. The purpose of the preceptorship is to expose the student to areas of zoological medicine more appropriately taught outside the veterinary college.

Internship: A short term (typically one year) post DVM training program to provide a broad, well balanced exposure to zoological medicine and surgery under the supervision of the veterinary staff. The primary purpose of the internship is to allow the intern to apply knowledge and skills acquired in veterinary school to health programs and case management in a clinical zoological environment.

Fellowship: A post-DVM program to provide training in a specific area of zoological medicine. The purpose of the fellowship is for the veterinarian to acquire knowledge and expertise in a sub-specialty of zoological medicine (e.g. aquatic, free-ranging wildlife, or avian medicine). Fellowship programs are typically short term (1-2 years) and often involve a scholarship or grant awarded to a graduate DVM.

Residency: A structured post-DVM program of at least two years duration to develop clinical competency with a variety of animal classes. The resident will work closely with the veterinary staff and will have regular contact with members of zoological medicine and professional surgery teams, as well as other faculty at the training institution. Certain residency programs comply with the criteria for American College of Zoological Medicine board approved residency programs and these must be nationally advertised as such. Contact the ACZM for details on these criteria.


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