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Surgical Externship

Externship Opportunities at Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital

Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital is a privately owned general practice, which serves 35,000 families and their pets in a beautiful semi-rural community in the Capital District of Upstate New York. With 9 doctors and over 60 staff, we strive to provide the highest-level diagnostics and therapeutics available in a general small animal practice setting. We currently offer ultrasound, endoscopy, dentistry, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, physical therapy, chemotherapy, regenerative stem cell and PRP treatments, acupuncture, and chiropractic services. We are AAHA certified and all of our doctors are Fear Free certified. We pride ourselves on staying up to date on advances in the field and encourage our doctors to develop areas of special interest and pursue advanced training in those areas.

Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital is a busy practice. We see around 130 cases a day and average 12-15 anesthetic procedures daily. It's important that our externs are ready to jump in and speak up. We want to know what you already know and what you would like to learn. Asking questions and actively participating in daily rounds and clinics are essential to having a great externship.

Our weekdays are broken into three shifts. Externs are expected to work at least 10 shifts a week, although many choose to stay for more. We will work with you to plan the best shifts to achieve a well-rounded experience that meets your educational goals. You are also welcome, but not required, to work weekend shifts. Our doctors are happy to include students in their office calls, special procedures, and surgeries. You will not only observe but actively participate in numerous exams and procedures. This is a hands-on experience, so be prepared to jump in and scrub in!

During your free time, there is much to enjoy in the Capital Region. Outdoor activities are abundant with great rivers, lakes, parks, trails, and mountains all within a close drive. Saratoga Springs is a 15-minute drive away and offers a vibrant downtown and many excellent restaurants. New York City and Boston are reachable by train for weekend trips.

We have been hosting externs for decades and our staff loves to teach. Kelly Rousseas, an experienced LVT with a master's degree in education, leads our dedicated mentorship team. Kelly, along with our owner's Drs. Falls and Duemler, will work with you to ensure you have a wonderful externship experience that leaves you feeling excited about your future. We love doing what we do and would love for you to join us!

Interested applicants should send a resume to: [email protected]. Please include desired dates as we try not to schedule more than two students at a time.

Onsite housing is often available.

Typical Day as a Surgical Extern:

7:10 AM - Evaluate and treat hospitalized patients

7:40 AM - Examine, admit and develop anesthetic and surgical plans for 10-15 patients daily

8:40 AM - Doctor's rounds. Discuss hospitalized patients, review diagnostics from difficult cases, share ideas for treatments and discuss new medical research.

9:00 AM - Fix Humpty Dumpty! Assist our surgeon or dentist of the day.

2:00 PM - Staff rounds. Participate as our staff discusses each patient in the hospital and learn about each patient's progress throughout the day.

3:00 PM -  Surgeries are typically completed by now. Post-op evaluation of each patient is performed to aid in evaluating patient recovery and developing their treatment or discharge plan. Students will gain an understanding of required post-operative care, recovery expectations, and possible complications for numerous procedures.

4:00 PM - Assist in creating individualized discharge orders and communications.

5:00 PM - Review the surgery schedule for the following day. Evaluate pre-operative lab work and begin to prepare for the following day.

Surgical Procedures Commonly Performed ­­  Diagnostics/Treatments Commonly Performed
Spays and neuters Radiography
Mass removals   Stem Cell and PRP Treatments
Splenectomy       Endoscopy
Wound repairs and skin flaps     Chemotherapy
Intestinal surgery       

        - Enterotomy, R&A Endoscopy
        - Gastrotomy Biopsies      

         - Abdominal, Thoracic and Soft Tissue 
         - Ultrasound Guided Biopsies
Thyroidectomy  Echocardiograms
Cystotomy   Cytology
Orthopedic surgery
MPL Repair, CCLR repair
Fracture repairs and amputations
Dental extractions

You will also work with our experienced LVTs to ensure you can confidently place IV catheters, collect blood samples, intubate patients and administer and monitor anesthesia.

Externs will scrub into surgery or participate in dental procedures daily. Externs are expected to review surgical procedures and relevant anatomy the night prior. The anatomy and procedural steps will then be reviewed during the surgery. Externs are also expected to know common suture patterns and knot techniques and will have ample opportunity to perfect their suturing.

Externs will learn how to perform many procedures throughout their externship.  Each procedure will be broken down into steps and externs will perform individual steps on individual patients.  This will allow the opportunity to learn every step necessary to complete a procedure without significantly altering the patients care do to extended anesthesia times.

Pain management training.  Throughout these cases instruction will be directed at providing local and systemic pain control customized to each patients’ specific needs.  Mylissa Fitzpatrick, a licensed veterinary technician specialist and certified veterinary pain practitioner will challenge your understanding and utilization of multi-modal pain control to provide the best surgical outcome for each patient.       

Business and Financial Mentorship

If you have an interest in ownership, time can be allocated to learn about operating a veterinary hospital from our Financial Director, Pharmacy Manager, Human Resource Director, and owners. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this mentorship opportunity even if you are not planning on owning a hospital.

10 reasons we are not your typical General Practice externship!

We pride ourselves on being able to provide advanced care for our patients and advanced training for our staff and interns. Here are a few special interests and certifications that create a unique opportunity to advance your career at the Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital.

  1. Regenerative Medicine

- Drs. Duemler and Clement have been certified to provide Stem Cell and Platelet-rich plasma treatments to our canine patients

- Dr. Clement was a pioneer in the research and validation of stem cell treatments with VET-STEM therapies. He continues advancing the knowledge of stem cell therapy through various research activities as well as educational lectures to the veterinary community

2. Cruciate Surgery and other advanced orthopedics

- Drs Clement and Duemler have received advanced training and are certified to repair CCLR by utilizing a Tightrope Procedure. We perform 2 to 3 repairs weekly.


3. Chiropractic Treatment

• Dr. Clement is trained with chiropractic manipulation. 
• Paring this training with common medical therapies can help relieve chronic pain and increase mobility and quality of life.

4. Preventative Medicine and Human Health advocate on staff

• Dr. Chico became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 2010. He splits his time between our hospital and working as a NY State Veterinarian.

5. Ultrasound Experience

• Trained by Sound Eklin, Drs Duemler and Clement perform ultrasonic exams daily.

6. Endoscopy Experience

• After advanced endoscopic training through Storz, Dr. Falls offers GI endoscopy, rhinoscopy, and cystoscopy services.

7. Small mammal medicine

• Dr. Godin's special interest will provide you an opportunity to examine, treat and surgically assist many small mammals from hedgehogs to guinea pigs to rabbits and sugar gliders.

8. Emergency Medicine

• We routinely reserve time each day for sick and emergent cases. Many of our doctors and technicians enjoy emergency medicine. We are also fortunate to have Mylissa Fitzpatrick, a Licensed Veterinary Technician Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care and a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner.

9. Reproduction Experience

• Our externs can choose to spend a few days focused on small animal reproduction with our colleagues at Harmony Veterinary Clinic. Harmony provides exceptional reproductive healthcare to established and responsible breeders across the northeast. They have an AKC-compliant canine sperm bank and offer transcervical and surgical insemination. 

10. Shelter Experience

• Our externs can spend a day at the Animal Protective Foundation working with their staff veterinarian. Learn what HQHVSN programs look like and get a peek at shelter medicine.

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