Veterinary Student Extern Program

Veterinary Specialty Center (VSC) offers a Veterinary Student Externship Program for third and fourth-year veterinary students. Externships typically last anywhere from one to four weeks to fulfill either elective or private practice curriculum requirements.

VSC practices the highest quality medicine through our exceptional team and cutting-edge equipment. Our boarded specialists, emergency clinicians, residents, and interns all take part in the learning experience for our visiting students. We strongly believe that each student is responsible for their learning and encourage them to ask questions and get involved as much as possible while under the direct supervision of a clinician.

Our externship specialties include:

  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Surgery
  • Anesthesia and Pain Management
  • Medical Oncology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Radiology
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Neurology

What we look for in veterinary student externs:

  • Punctual and attentive during our morning rounds to discuss our hospitalized patients
  • Engagement with your assigned clinician and team
  • Passion to be involved, but respectful to ask for permission
  • Currently enrolled in an AVMA-accredited university veterinary degree program.
  • Looking for experience in a high caseload specialty/referral practice
  • Come ready to learn and ask informed questions
  • Respectful of our staff, clients, and patients
  • Make a good impression should you decide to pursue an internship/residency with us in the future

Externship Orientation and Attire

Prior to your arrival, you must complete an electronic onboarding packet that we will email to you. This will include a map of our building, parking instructions, expectations, and more. Scrubs should be worn during the externship, but must not be green, blue or gray. You will also receive a VSC badge to wear for the duration of your externship.

Additional Information for Potential Externs


VSC does not require nor do we provide professional liability (malpractice) insurance, health insurance, or worker’s compensation for externs. If an extern’s university mandates that insurance coverage be obtained, it is the responsibility of the extern to arrange such coverage. We are happy to provide a letter confirming your acceptance if this is required.


VSC does not charge visiting students for participation in our externship program, nor do we provide any compensation/payment to externs.


We are not able to provide or assist in the arrangement of housing accommodations for visiting students. Many externs stay with relatives or acquaintances in the Chicagoland/Buffalo Grove area. Other options include Extended Stay HotelHampton Inn and Suites, or Airbnb.

International Students

VSC accepts applications from students attending AVMA-accredited universities abroad. However, because the externship program is designed to provide university credit for the senior year curriculum, students of AVMA-accredited universities in the U.S. and Canada are given priority when scheduling rotations.


Please feel free to e-mail us at if you have questions.

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