Practice-Based Small Animal Clerkship

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Practice-Based Small Animal Clerkship (PBSAC) was developed to provide our students with real world experience in quality small animal practices.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with in-clinic primary care experience treating small animals (dogs, cats, and small exotics if treated by the practice), emphasizing physical examination, diagnosis, treatment, routine surgery and practice management.

Students will be assigned to a participating veterinarian for a two-week clerkship in the enrolled veterinarian’s small animal practice. The student will be expected to be present in the practice Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm or whenever the practitioner’s day is completed. It is expected that students may participate in emergency calls received out of regular business hours, (i.e., nights and weekends) if applicable.

The participating veterinarian is expected to:

1. Involve students in as many diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as possible;

2. Discuss diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic considerations with students;

3. Take time to discuss practice management techniques, current disease problems, and application of disease techniques wherever possible.

To the extent possible, as limited by the case load, this educational experience will include: clinical examination (physical exam and history taking), proper handling techniques, diagnosis, administration of medications, regulatory medicine, anesthesia techniques, reproductive management, vaccination programs, parasite control, dispensing medication, billing clients, practice management, laceration repair, bandaging, veterinary ethics, client communications, elective surgery and emergency procedures. Students will receive as much hands-on experience as feasible within the constraints of normal practice activity.

It is expected that students will spend approximately 10% of their time learning about the business management procedures used in the practice. The goal of this aspect of the clerkship is to expose students to the basics of veterinary practice management, including personnel management, inventory control, ordering procedures, client billing and finances. Students should be given time to discuss these issues with the responsible persons in the practice. The supervising veterinarian is expected to explain to the student the basis of client fees and how fees are reviewed.

Student Expectations

  1. Students will review all provided orientation material (see Canvas and emails) at least 1 – 2 weeks prior to the start of their clerkship.
  2. Students are required to keep a daily case log in Curriculum Map of each individual animal’s health or management problem encountered during the clerkship.
  3. Students are required to complete a written assignment to evaluate the clinical practice and the business management in the practice, including personnel management, staffing, inventory, billing procedures, etc.
  4. Students are required to complete an Evaluation of Practice and Practitioners.
  5. Students must indicate on the electronic/paper template which of the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) were completed and have them initialed by the practitioner before emailing them to the PBSAC Program Assistant by the first Monday after the rotation. The SLOs must also be entered individually into Curriculum Map for approval.
  6. Students will email the Program Assistant a debrief about their experience by submitting their Post-Clerkship Survey.

Meet the Team

Dr. Wendy Mandese, Coordinator

Christi Sproule
Christi Sproule, Program Assistant