Guidelines for Food Animal Externship Opportunities

Large Animal Program Reimbursement Form

We are committed to the growth and development of skills that will allow for our graduates to become exceptional veterinarians. We recognize that students with genuine interest in food animal practice may need to travel elsewhere during veterinary school for experiences to enhance their veterinary education. This document provides guidance for students pursuing externship opportunities who wish to apply for supplemental travel funding for such off-campus experiences. Currently, the College of Veterinary Medicine offers the following avenues for acquiring additional clinical experience in food animal:

  • VMS 6700 – Food Animal Medicine and Surgery Elective (generally off campus),
  • VMS 6750 – Theriogenology (off campus)
  • VMS 6010 – External Evaluated Preceptorship (off campus),
  • VMS 6751 – External Food Animal Service and Theriogenology Teaching Program (EFAST; off campus),
  • Externships or preceptorships completed without credit* (off campus), and
  • VMS 6830 – The Food Animal Production Medicine Elective (elective clinical rotation)  

*Note: Externships and preceptorships not taken for course credit can be arranged by the student and completed during free block time.  These experiences are unregulated by the College.

Each fall, prior to schedule selection, the Academic Affairs office will hold a food animal externship information session.  Attendance at this meeting is mandatory to enroll in food animal elective opportunities at the College.  The course directors of each elective course will be present to discuss the opportunities associated with their course.  

The External Food Animal Service and Theriogenology Teaching Program (VMS 6751), and the Food Animal Production Medicine Elective (VMS 6830) are all requested and scheduled during the standard scheduling process.  There are limited numbers of available spaces for each clinical rotation.  Students are advised to consider their scheduling needs ahead of time to maximize their ability to enroll in these opportunities. External Evaluated Preceptorship (VMS 6010) are scheduled during an off campus block and are arranged with the help of the Academic Affairs office.

All externship opportunities for credit through the Food Animal Medicine and Surgery Elective (VMS 6700) need to be approved by the Course Director (Dr. Schultz or Dr. Hinds).  Students are responsible for finding a potentially suitable experience and making contact with the facility to determine feasibility within their available schedule.  The Student Services Coordinator will maintain a portfolio of experience assessments provided by previous attendees.  Students will need to provide the practice/experience name and proposed dates of attendance to the course director for approval.  Additional information may be requested by the Course Director depending on previous experience with the proposed facility. Once approved, the student will need to submit the online off campus elective/graded preceptorship form.

Qualities of the Experience

All externships for credit through the Food Animal Medicine and Surgery Elective (VMS 6700) must be completed at a facility that has an affiliation agreement in place with the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine. The Academic Affairs office will make sure this agreement is in place prior to adding an experience to your schedule. Experiences at practices or alternative settings will be reviewed by the Course Director for approval.  Approval will be granted for experiences that cannot be provided at the University of Missouri or by other elective programs currently in place.  The facilitators of the experience must agree to provide an evaluation of the student (grade).  If there is no grading mechanism in place, a grade sheet adapted for the food animal core rotation VMS 6400 will be used.  The student must complete an assessment of the experience before the assigned grade is logged into the myZou system.  If necessary, an incomplete will be assigned until the assessment is turned in.

Financial Support

Financial support may be available as a travel grant (donor dependent) to help subsidize off campus experiences.  Funds will be set aside for each year, when available.  Once the allotted amount is used there will be no additional funds until the following year.  For this reason, we encourage students to apply for money as soon as the elective is confirmed.  Money may be used to offset travel and lodging expenses as well as enrollment costs for programs that have an associated attendance fee.  Enrollment costs will be paid directly to the sponsoring organization. Travel and lodging expenses will be reimbursed once appropriate receipts are provided.  Maximum available subsidies will be $2500.00 per student.  Students are eligible to receive funds for more than one experience if funding is available.  However, first time applicants may receive priority if funding is limited.  Students will need to complete an application for funding including a narrative on how the experience will enhance their career and a detailed budget of anticipated expenses.  Funding will be awarded based on committee review of the applicant’s travel grant proposal.

Student Application Process for Funding

Students should obtain and complete an application for funding as soon as an externship is finalized.  An application form can be obtained from the link above. Applications will be reviewed by a committee designated by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and will consist of at least two people, one representing the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs office and one faculty member in the Food Animal Medicine and Surgery section. Applications will be reviewed and money granted on a rolling basis until funding for the year is expended.