While we welcome students to ride along with our veterinarians to gain experience in all aspects of production animal veterinary medicine, we are not taking students at this time. We are able to provide housing for one student at a time, though we welcome students who have their own accommodations. Students are expected to provide their own liability insurance (AVMA PLIT is affordable and accessible!), or will be asked to sign a liability waiver. We are only able to accommodate a small number of international students each year, and it is first come, first served.
Getting here is pretty straightforward, as San Francisco International Airport and Sacramento International Airport are each about 1.5 hours away. We strongly encourage students to either bring or rent a car, as we are unable to provide transportation to and from the airport, and it will expand your opportunities for late afternoon work, emergencies, and weekend trips (San Francisco, Yosemite, the beach, and more are all just a couple hours away).
A typical day starts with morning herd check, where you will palpate for pregnancy or watch the ultrasound monitor and examine any sick cows. Afternoons are usually on an "on call" basis, where we might be going to a difficult calving, fixing a displaced abomasum, vaccinating calves, or suturing up a laceration.
You should bring a few pairs of coveralls (we have some extras), boots, lots of snacks and water, and enthusiasm. Summertime regularly reaches temperatures of over 100F, so bring clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable under your coveralls. Winter is cool and can be rainy, so bring a sweatshirt, vest, beanie, and rain jacket.
Unfortunately, our calendar for the next year is full, and we are not accepting new externs at this time.
We are a preceptor site for the Western University College of Veterinary Medicine. If you are a third year Western student spending your two week large animal rotation with us, welcome! This rotation allows you a lot of hands on experience, animal handling practice, and an opportunity to practice synthesizing the big picture and small details.
Please show up promptly each morning, as dairies run on a daily schedule that we work herd checks around. Get to the office early enough to collect extra coveralls, water, etc before the given departure time.
Come with a positive attitude, curiosity, and an open mind. We understand that just a couple students from each class plan on going into large animal practice after graduation, but you may gain an appreciation for a different aspect of veterinary medicine, where your food comes from, and the lifestyle of large animal veterinarians and farmers.
Come prepared for a day on the road and outside on the farm. Bring your standard work gear (coveralls, boots, hat), plenty of water (especially in summer and fall months where temperatures are routinely in the 90s and 100s), snacks, and a notebook for questions, notes, etc. Depending on the time of year, you may also want a jacket (or two) or beanie.