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Application process for veterinary preceptor internship

Applicants should apply 1 year prior to their clinical year (third year for most).

Please include the following in your application:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • One letter of recommendation from veterinary school faculty sent directly to [email protected] from your recommender.
  • Answers to the following questions (300 words max each):
    1. How would this opportunity support your career goals and aspirations?
    2. Have you had opportunities to explore the field of zoological/aquatic animal medicine? Have you encountered a lack of access or barriers when pursuing these opportunities?
  • Three sets of 4-week blocks for the next academic year in order of preference. Six-week blocks may be approved on a case-by-case basis. 

Please note email applications are preferred.

Where to mail applications

John G. Shedd Aquarium
Veterinary Preceptorship Program
Attn: Bridget Thornton
Volunteer Services
1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605


Veterinary preceptor internship duties and responsibilities

  • Participate in daily morning meetings to review and revise plans for each day.
  • Accompany staff on weekly rounds to discuss the medical management of active cases.
  • Veterinary Preceptors will also observe and participate in:
    • Quarterly morbidity and mortality rounds with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine’s Zoological Pathology Program, if onsite.
    • Diagnostic and treatment plans and activities under guidance as appropriate.
  • Shadow various animal care teams to observe and understand routine husbandry practices.
  • Observe and assist Environmental Quality Laboratory staff with comprehensive environmental quality surveillance measures.
  • Review mock cases and study materials as assigned.
  • Complete a project to present at the end of the internship on a subject of the supervisor’s and student’s choosing.
  • Other projects as assigned.
  • Applications deadline is November 1st of each year.

Qualifications and requirements for veterinary preceptor internship

  • Fourth-year veterinary student at time of the preceptorship.
  • Student responsible for obtaining approval from their academic institution.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Ability to work well independently and with a team.
  • Ability to communicate openly and professionally.
  • Willingness to ask questions and to collaborate toward solutions.
  • Ability to lift objects of up to 40 pounds as well as bend, crouch, squat and carry equipment.

This is an unpaid internship. Interns are responsible for securing their own housing accommodations and transport. Shedd Aquarium is accessible via public transit.

We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, Veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply.

Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team.

If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know.