Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo




This is a six- to eight-week (eight weeks preferred) appointment for fourth year (or equivalent) veterinary students. Students will attend rounds and participate in the diagnosis and treatment of species in a zoological setting.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Students will participate in all facets of the medical program at the National Zoo’s facility
  • Students are expected to review medical records in preparation for procedures, complete reading as assigned by clinicians, perform physical examinations on a variety of zoological species, and participate in procedures on a supervised basis dependent on the medical situation as well as preceptor knowledge and competency
  • Students will be involved in developing anesthetic protocols as well as monitoring and recording anesthetic procedures
  • Students will also gain exposure to the Daniject remote delivery system
  • Attendance is expected five days a week (7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday) and some weekends/holidays


  • This preceptorship is available to veterinary students in their 4th year (or equivalent) of the curriculum
  • International students are welcome to apply
  • All applicants are expected to have a serious interest in zoological/wildlife/conservation medicine
  • Also required is a negative tuberculin skin test within 6months of rotation and up to date rabies prophylaxis
  • Influenza vaccine strongly encouraged


This is an unpaid internship. College credit is offered if desired; intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.


Rock Creek, Washington D.C.


The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements in the Washington, D.C. area.

Term of Appointment

Positions are available from September to April; limited variations on this time period may be considered based on applicant’s need, availability and qualifications. A mentored project (research, teaching module, case presentation, etc) is to be completed during the externship. Research opportunities exist and may be available pending student interests, time constraints, and funding availability.

Application Deadlines

  • Applications must be submitted by October 15
  • Applicants will be notified of acceptance by December 1 of the application year


To apply, go to: https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/SOLAAHome.html”. Select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here" and complete the information as prompted. For the veterinary preceptorship, please select the following from the drop down list:

  • Type of appointment: “Internship”
  • Unit of interest: “National Zoological Park”
  • Program: “National Zoological Park Internship Program”
  • Project: “Rock Creek-Veterinary Preceptorship”

Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit” and when your references have been received (your SOLAA submitted application and references must be received by the deadlines as noted above).

Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic information
  • Cover letter explaining your interest in zoological/wildlife/conservation medicine. The statement should mention relevant experience, career goals, your reasons for wanting this internship, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Your statement is very important during application evaluations.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of reference
  • Available dates (if known)
  • Veterinary college official transcript

For additional information

Questions about this internship should be sent to siegalwillotj@si.edu. Send general internship questions to Athena Mylonas.


October 15 of 3rd year (or equivalent). Students will be notified of acceptance by November 15 of application year