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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Externship Curriculum

A typical student day runs from 0700 to 1530-1600 Monday to Friday. Students are expected to be flexible in terms of availability as exam times sometimes take place outside of scheduled hours. 

Students will work alongside 3 clinical veterinarians and 1 veterinary pathologist providing medical and surgical treatment to a collection of 1200+ exotic animals. They will participate in morning rounds to discuss the cases for the day. Students will observe veterinarians during both field procedures and hospital procedures. They will also observe veterinarians and technicians administering treatment to hospitalized cases. They will learn how to formulate diagnostic and treatment plans for animals in the collection.

Time permitting and based on student interest, students have the opportunity to observe the veterinary pathologist perform gross necropsies and learn comparative anatomy, as well as recognition of gross lesions, and sample collection procedures for histopathology and ancillary testing. The pathologist also provides services for SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove thus giving students some possible exposure to marine mammal and fish disease.

Students will learn about the importance of a preventative medicine program for a zoological collection and be exposed to various aspects of it. There will also be opportunities to observe the veterinary technicians in the clinical lab.

During down time in the clinics, students may have the opportunity to work alongside animal care specialists who care for animals in the collection. This will expose them to proper husbandry techniques, exhibit maintenance and behavioral conditioning. They will also be able to spend time in the Nutrition Center learning what it takes to feed our collection on a daily basis and about the nutritional aspects of animal health from our Nutrition Manager.

Students are encouraged to participate in discussion of cases and ask questions. Veterinarians 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