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SeaWorld Orlando Externship Curriculum

Students will work alongside SeaWorld Orlando’s clinical veterinarians and veterinary technicians for a duration of 3-6 weeks assisting with active medical cases and preventative medicine. The student is expected to work at least five days a week (M-F) with a typical day starting at 0730 and ending around 1630. However, students are expected to be flexible in terms of availability as exam times sometimes take place outside of scheduled hours.

While on rotation with us, the student will have the opportunity to observe and assist in various aquatic animal medical procedures and learn the importance of a preventative medicine and animal welfare program at a zoological facility. Due to the specialization of skills required to work on our unique collection safely, our externship program primarily involves job shadowing with the purpose of introducing the student to the concepts of aquatic animal medicine. Hands-on experience and the opportunity for a student to directly manage an animal case may be obtained opportunistically as certain wildlife cases are presented to us (ie. injured birds and reptiles), but it cannot be guaranteed.

Students may also have the opportunity to shadow our laboratory (ie. microbiology, hematology, water quality) and/or our husbandry teams (ie. marine mammal, avian, aquarium) who care for animals managed at the park. This will expose the student to proper husbandry techniques, exhibit maintenance, and behavioral conditioning.  Students may also be given the opportunity to assist the rescue team with medical treatments or accompany the rescue team when rehabilitated sea turtles and manatees are returned to the wild.

Each student will be expected to give a presentation on a select topic at the end of their rotation. Oftentimes the topic is inspired by procedures or cases that are observed during the first couple of weeks on the rotation. Additionally, the student will be asked to write at least two medical SOAPS on two complicated or challenging cases that they shadowed or assisted with during their clinical rotation. When not directly involved with a case, procedure, or research, the student will be expected to assist the veterinary technicians with their daily tasks and cleaning.

Students are encouraged to participate in discussion of cases and ask questions. Veterinarians and technicians will be challenging students to apply the knowledge and skills that they have worked so hard to develop in the course of their veterinary education.