Small-Animal Rotating Internship

The Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine offers 15 competitive small-animal rotating internship positions. This rotating internship provides the strong clinical experience and didactic training necessary for future success as residents and independent veterinarians. This internship consists of rotations through internal medicine, emergency and critical care, surgery, exotics, and primary care, and subspecialty elective rotations. The latter are somewhat tailored to intern interest, with options including neurology, cardiology, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, anesthesiology, radiology, critical care, clinical pathology, exotics, and wildlife. Interns are required to be present on Day 1 of the program and during the entire orientation period.

The objectives of Cummings School’s internship program are to enhance interns' clinical, diagnostic, problem-solving, communication, and technical skills and to prepare individuals to advance to a residency program. Interns participate in primary patient care, daily rounds, and instruction of fourth- year veterinary students. Attendance and participation at regularly scheduled lectures, seminars, journal clubs, and clinical rounds are required and an integral part of the internship program. The school’s library resources also provide interns with access to current literature. Each intern is expected to prepare and present one formal seminar. A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of program participation.

The Foster Hospital for Small Animals is located in North Grafton, Massachusetts, about 40 miles west of Boston and provides inpatient and outpatient care for more than 34,146 cases per year. It has one of the strongest and largest training programs in emergency/critical care in the country. This allows the hospital to provide around-the-clock care of critically ill cases. Interns acquire part of their emergency training while working under the supervision of ECC faculty and residents. The ICU is equipped and able to provide care to patients at the highest level, including positive pressure ventilation, dialysis, and other advanced life-support techniques. Prior interns have successfully obtained residencies in internal medicine, neurology, surgery, radiology, cardiology, emergency and critical care, anesthesiology, clinical pathology, oncology, and ophthalmology.

Candidates must possess a DVM/VMD degree or equivalent. Due to the large number of applicants, our program is not able to offer interviews (personal, phone, virtual). The informal full-day visit option is temporarily suspended this year due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. Tufts University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Employer.

For more information and to apply, visit the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program website.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Interns spend roughly 20 to 22 weeks on emergency, roughly 14 weeks on internal medicine, and the remaining roughly 14 weeks divided between surgery and subspecialty rotations, the latter of which is in part tailored to intern interest and openings for the number of weeks requested in a specialty service. Interns spend 1 week at our primary care clinic for the low-income community. Emergency rotations consist of both daytime and nighttime rotation weeks. When on overnights, interns are never the sole doctor in the hospital. For part of their shift, they overlap with another receiving ER doctor. The entire night there is also a highly skilled critical care resident in the hospital overseeing all hospitalized cases. This person is a great overnight resource for interns on their incoming ER cases. Faculty are also accessible to consult by phone during overnight shifts.

    1. Anesthesia
    2. Behavior
    3. Clinical pathology
    4. Critical care
    5. Cardiology
    6. Dermatology
    7. Dentistry at a nearby outside dental specialty practice (see #18 below re pandemic)
    8. Lerner Spay Clinic (community practice/+/- shelter patients)
    9. Oncology
    10. Ophthalmology
    11. Neurology
    12. Radiology
    13. Surgery—Soft Tissue
    14. Surgery—Orthopedics
    15. Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic
    16. Tufts Wildlife Clinic
    17. Zoological companion animal medicine (aka exotics service)
    18. Out-rotations at other universities or another specialty center when rotations are not available at our hospital (veterinary hospital travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19 may impact the availability of this during the pandemic)
  • Tufts interns have a lot of primary case management opportunities during their intern year. Through this, interns gain strength in case management, clinical reasoning, client communication, and student teaching among other things. The majority of primary case responsibility is obtained on the internal medicine and emergency services. We are very proud with the strength in clinical skills we impart on our interns during their training year.

  • Interns are able to attend CE rounds 3 to 5 days a week, depending on their rotation. Cummings School has a longstanding and well-developed intern/resident CE program. CE opportunities are available on every rotation, and many of the CE rounds are now recorded and archived so anyone not able to attend can still access them later. Interns attend intern topic rounds once weekly, wellness rounds monthly, and a variety of service and hospital CE each week. The latter includes opportunities such as ECC topics, Internal Medicine Journal Club, specialty rounds, pathophysiology rounds, clinical pathology rounds, pathology rounds, research rounds, academic development rounds, and service-specific journal clubs for each service. Intern topic rounds span topics from many specialties across the hospital and even include subjects such as EKG review, calculating CRIs, AFAST/TFAST, among many other topics. See a partial listing of some of the rounds from this year below.

  • Cummings School does not have a research project requirement for this internship program. However, a large portion of our intern class each year participates in research projects with faculty. Some interns each year even present their data at specialty conferences.

  • The internship consists of 2 semesters, and interns get 1 weeklong vacation per semester. Like most other programs, these weeks are taken as full weeks, and vacation days cannot be split randomly over the year. While on rotations, interns typically have 1 to 2 days off per week. Many rotations are 2 days off.

  • No. ER rotations are separate from other hospital rotations. On any rotation, an intern is never scheduled for a 24-hour shift. They are scheduled either for a daytime shift or an evening or night shift.

  • Interns help teach students while students are working alongside cases with them. They also participate in teaching labs (e.g. spay lab, clinical skills labs, etc.) and the community veterinary medicine clinic.

  • Interns have both a primary faculty mentor, as well as a professional advice faculty mentor. One of these is typically someone in their area of interest. They also receive supervision and mentorship from the 3 internship directors. Anyone facing significant struggles is provided additional one-on-one coaching to help the individual achieve successful growth during the program.

    Upon matching for the internship, interns are first matched with one of our current interns during their transition process from school to internship. Once they arrive, they are matched for the year with a resident “Big Sib,” often in their area of specialty interest. This person provides advice along the way, including during the residency application process. Shortly after arrival, interns are also matched with their faculty mentors for the year.

  • To qualify for application for the internship, applicants must be one of the following:

    1. U.S. citizen
    2. U.S. permanent resident with authorization to work in the U.S. (i.e. green card)
    3. Citizen of Canada or Mexico, which qualifies them for a TN visa

    The school currently does not accept any other visas for the internship programs

  • During non-COVID times, interns usually schedule conference travel to occur during their vacations. Occasionally, if an intern is asked to present their research project at a conference but did not have this time off prearranged, schedule adjustments may be considered to allow the intern to travel to attend.

  • Yes. This is a crucial period for interns to learn about the hospital policies, how the clinic works, shadow services, and also receive some introductory intern lectures.

  • We seek highly motivated, hard-working, proactive individuals who are excited to learn, passionate about teamwork and client service, highly committed to their own continual growth, and dedicated to giving each patient their very best. We strongly value personal qualities such as ability to work well with others, being open to input on cases, working in the best interest of the team, and caring about your co-workers, which also includes the technicians/staff.

  • Factors that significantly influence ability of a successful match into a residency or specialty internship:

    • The number of programs applied to. Applying to just 1 or 2 programs is very risky regardless of where you are an intern.
    • Dedication and work toward constant development and demonstrating consistent growth throughout the internship.
    • Giving their teams, their patients, and their clients their very best.
    • Being very open and responsive to direction/guidance/feedback.
    • Constantly working on improving communications skills.
    • For some programs, prior completion of a research project and/or completion of a specialty internship. in the U.S., it is becoming increasingly common for some residencies/specialties to require prior completion of a specialty internship.
  • 15 interns/class
    2020-2021: 92% match rate (1 of 12 did not match)

    2019-20: 100% match rate (12 applied)
    2018-19: 92% match rate (1 of 13 did not match)
    2017-18: 100% match rate (13 applied)

    8 total interns/class
    2015-16: 100% match rate (7 applied)
    2014-15: 83% match rate (1 of 6 did not match)


  • Below is just a partial sample of some of the CE rounds that have taken place in the past year that were open to our interns. During the initial orientation period, interns also attend introductory lectures on AFAST/TFAST, CPR, CRIs, wounds/bandages, client communication, how to handle euthanasia, student teaching, among numerous other topics.

    Topics in Specialty Medicine Dialysis Rounds, A Case of AKI Lily intoxication
    I/M Literature Review Accuracy of A Flash Glucose Monitoring System in Dogs with Diabetic Ketoacidosis
    Sa Resident/Intern Clinical Pathology Rounds Hematology and Cytology Clinical Cases
    Topics in Specialty Medicine The Scoop on Poop Therapy: Fecal Transplants in Dogs and Cats
    I/M Literature Review Clinical Characteristics of Dogs with Food-Responsive Protein-Losing Enteropathy
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars A Beginner's Guide to Contrast Enhanced Ultrasonography
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Ultrasound Wonders
    I/M Literature Review Prescription Rebellion: Reduction of Antibiotic Use By Small-Animal Veterinarians
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Role of Coagulation in The Management of Hepatobiliary Disease – A Sneak Peek at ACVIM On Demand
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars The Effects of Perioperative Ketamine on C-Reactive Protein (Crp) and
    High Mobility Group Box 1 (Hmgb1) in Dogs with Gdv
    Topics in Specialty Medicine KB: How to Diagnose HCS? & MP: Coagulation in Dogs with Gallbladder Mucoceles
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Lymphoma: Advancing Diagnostics and Treatment
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Congestive Heart Failure and Acute Kidney injury
    Topics in Specialty Medicine ACVIM Forum 2020: GI and Liver Posters
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Review of ACVIM On Demand Abstracts
    I/M Literature Review Hyperthyroidism Is Not A Risk Factor for Subclinical Bacteriuria in Cats: A Prospect Cohort Study
    Topics in Specialty Medicine ACVIM On Demand Nephrology Abstracts
    I/M Literature Review Effect of Amoxicillin-Clavulanic Acid on Clinical Scores, Intestinal Microbiome, and Amoxicillin-Resistant Escherichia Coli in Dogs with Uncomplicated Acute Diarrhea
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Nasal Depigmentation - What Can Be a Cause?
    I/M Literature Review Next Generation Sequencing for the Identification of Canine Pathogens
    Intern Topic Rounds Advanced Renal Therapies Offered at Tufts
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Management of Severe Degenerative Joint Disease of the Distal Carpal and Tarsal Joints in the Equine Athlete
    Intern Topic Rounds Fluid Therapy
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Dialysis Rounds
    Reveal Rounds Critical Review of a Journal Article
    Research Forum Update on Research in the Clinics & Upcoming Funding Opportunities
    Introduction to New Digital Scanning Technology and Its Clinical and Research Applications
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Bone "Edema" on MRI
    (Magnet Resonance Imaging of The Equine Deep Digital Flexor Tendon: Distal Limb)
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Pulmonary Hypertension
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Drug-induced Liver Disease (DILI) with Review of Article on Ketoconazole-induced Liver Injury
    I/M Literature Review Long-Term Effects of Canine Parvovirus infection in Dogs
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars interrogating The Role of Β-Dystroglycan in DMD-Mutant Osteosarcoma
    Cardiopulmonary Arrest and Resuscitation in Hospitalized Birds: 41 Cases (2006-2019)
    Intern Topic Rounds Achieving Success During Your internship
    Topics in Specialty Medicine The Red Wolf on the Skin
    I/M Literature Review Acute on Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats: Etiology, Clinical and Clinicopathologic Findings, Prognostic Markers, and Outcome
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Novel Therapy Combining KPT-9274 with Doxorubicin in Dogs with Naïve B Cell Lymphoma
    Reveal Stats 101
    Research Forum How To Write A Competitive CAHF Grant
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Cardiotoxicity in Canine Cancer Patients
    Topics in Specialty Medicine CT Evaluation of the Acute Abdomen
    I/M Literature Review Comparative Analysis of the Effect of IV-Administered Acid Suppressants on Gastric Ph in Dogs
    Well-Being Program (interns) Imposter Syndrome
    I/M Literature Review Incidence of Postoperative Complications and Outcome of 48 Dogs Undergoing Surgical Management of Insulinoma
    intern Topic Rounds Residency/interview Advice
    Topics in Specialty Medicine EHBDO with Pancreatitis: Medical or Surgical Management
    I/M Literature Review Evaluation of Novel Serological Markers and Autoantibodies in Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Doi: 10.1111/Jvim. 15761
    Topics in Pathophysiology CBD
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Fracture Trauma Modeling Using Research Animals
    Research Forum ACVIM Resident Research Grant Applications & Revitalization of the Coagulation Sig Post COVID
    Dialysis Rounds Regional Anticoagulation
    Reveal Rounds Stats Workshop
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Snapshots from Four PK/PD Studies:
    1) Meloxicam/Phenylbutazone in Horses 2) Meloxicam/Devil’s Claw in Dogs
    3) Cannabidiol/Phenobarbital in Dogs 4) Flumazenil/Midazolam in Rabbits
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Study of Coagulation
    I/M Literature Review The Cytologic Features of Biliary Diseases: A Retrospective Study
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Nocita Versus the Norm:
    Comparison of an infiltrative Block with Liposomal Bupivacaine
    To A Bupivacaine Splash Block For incisional Analgesia in Canine Ovariohysterectomy in a Teaching Laboratory
    ECC Topic Rounds Wound Management: Surgical Techniques, Wound Dressings, and Vac Management
    I/M Literature Review Effects of Oral Administration of 5 Immunosuppressive Agents on Activated T-Cell Cytokine Expression in Healthy Dogs
    Topics in Pathophysiology Basic Immunology
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Pituitary MRI
    ECC Topic Rounds Surgical Management of Gall Bladder Mucoceles and Liver Masses
    I/M Literature Review Risk Factors Associated with Progressive Increases in Serum Creatinine Concentrations in Cats with Cancer Receiving Doxorubicin
    Topics in Pathophysiology Hepatic Encephalopathy: Genesis and Therapy
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Feline infectious Peritonitis (FIP): What's New?
    Intern Topic Rounds Managing Aggressive Small-Animal Patients
    ECC Topic Rounds Cardiovascular Physiology 1 Lange Series Ch. 1,2,3 6
    Reveal Rounds Beginner Grant Writing
    Research Forum CAHF Pre-Proposal Review
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Monitoring Cyclosporine Use in Dogs: Pharmacokinetics Vs. Pharmacodynamics
    Resident/Intern Clinical Pathology Rounds  
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars The Effect of Clinician Experience Level
    On Client Decision Making in the ER
    Companion Animal Health Fund Pre-Proposal:
    Hyperammonemia in Azotemic Cats
    Intern Topic Rounds Management of The New Diabetic
    ECC Topic Rounds Cardiac: Echocardiography and Echo Lab
    I/M Literature Review Decreased Serum Zinc Concentration in Dogs with Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Enteritis, and Its Associations with Disease Severity and Prognosis
    Topics in Pathophysiology Gastrointestinal Ulceration: Pathophysiology and Treatment
    Intern Topic Rounds Aki Diagnosis/Management
    Topics in Specialty Medicine CAHF Pre-Proposal Presentations
    I/M Literature Review Biochemical, Functional, and Histopathologic Characterization of Lomustine-induced Liver injury in Dogs
    ECC Topic Rounds Waveforms and Diagrams
    Dialysis Rounds ASN Kidney Week 2020 Highlights
    Research Forum Research Updates & Registries
    I/M Literature Review Short-Term Outcome of Adrenalectomy in Dogs with Adrenal Gland Tumors That Did Not Receive Pre-Operative Medical Management
    Intern Topic Rounds Status Epileptius and Cluster Seizures
    I/M Literature Review Laboratory Assessment of Trilostane Treatment in Dogs with Pituitary-Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Complications Associated with a Flash Glucose Monitoring System in Diabetic Cats
    Intern Topic Rounds Approach to the Trauma Patient
    Topics in Specialty Medicine Controversies in The Management of Hepatobiliary Disease in Dogs and Cats:
    ECC Topic Rounds Interventional Cardiology and Pacemakers
    Intern Topic Rounds EKGs
    Dialysis Rounds The Joys of CRRT
    Reveal Rounds Clinical Teaching in The Time of COVID
    Research Forum Bio-Sketch Development with Dr. Vicky Yang
    Morris Small Animal Research Proposal with Dr. Liz Rozanski
    Varis Scholarship & Innovation Seminars Controversies in The Management of Congenital Portosystemic Shunts in Dogs and Cats
    Intern Topic Rounds The Back Dog
    ECC Topic Rounds Arrhythmias (Mechanisms and Etiologies) + Treatment (Drug Therapy and Moa)
    Topics in Specialty Medicine What Is New in Respiratory Medicine
    I/M Literature Review Serum Immunoglobulin E Responses to Aeroallergens in Cats with Naturally Occurring Airway Eosinophilia Compared to Unaffected Control Cats
    Resident/Intern Board Prep Cytology
    Clinical Pathology Rounds  
    ECC Resident Rounds Cardiac: PCE, Endocarditis, Myocarditis
  • To contact current Tufts interns, and current Tufts residents who completed their internship with us, please contact