Subject: MYSTIC AQUARIUM VETERINARY EXTERNSHIPS (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Sun, 27 Sep 1998 21:07:50 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 14:19:42 EDT
From: DUNNL@aol.com
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
     <MARMAM@UVVM.UVIC.CA>
To: MARMAM@UVVM.UVIC.CA
Subject: MYSTIC AQUARIUM VETERINARY EXTERNSHIPS

------

              A STUDENT GUIDE TO MYSTIC AQUARIUM
                        VETERINARY EXTERNSHIPS


Introduction

        Since its inception in the mid 1970's the Veterinary Externship Pro=
gram
of
the Department of Research and Veterinary Services (RAVS) at Mystic Aquariu=
m
has welcomed scores of veterinary students from institutions worldwide.  Ov=
er
the years the program has evolved as our needs and experiences have changed=
=2E
The current program places substantial emphasis on a student's research
project which in some way utilizes our facilities, animal collection, data
bases or other assets to address a question which either the applying stude=
nt
or an Aquarium staff member has identified as of interest to our institutio=
n.
Most externship research projects require more than three and less than six
weeks.  This includes a brief overview of aquarium operations through short
(one to two day) rotations through our Laboratory, Aquatic Bird, Fish,
Invertebrate and Marine Mammal Husbandry areas.  We suggest that students
interested in more clinical exposure in these areas schedule time in additi=
on
to that required for the research project.

Our program ordinarily accepts a maximum of eight students per year, and
attempts to schedule them in a non-overlapping fashion.  To accommodate the
different methods whereby students are allocated blocks of time for
preceptorships, externships etc., we accept students on a rolling admission=
s
basis. Applications for Summer externships ordinarily exceed available
openings.  You are encouraged to submit your application early.


1. Admission Procedures:  Contact Dr. Dunn regarding your proposed research
project and for assistance in planning the study.  Avoid proposing a study
that involves invasive techniques on live animals unless you or a
collaborating faculty member from your institution has some special experti=
se
that might justify such procedures.  All projects must be approved by our
staff Research Review Committee and those involving invasive procedures mus=
t
be reviewed by our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
Studies done in collaboration with another institution may also require
approval from that institution's IACUC prior to final approval by Mystic.

Some research projects may be supervised by other staff members (e.g.
laboratory or husbandry staff).  If this is the case, you will be instructe=
d
to contact these individuals to make certain that the needs of the project =
can
be met within the constraints of departmental operations.  Planning and
approvals take time.  We therefore encourage students to begin the process
early, even before elective blocks have been scheduled by their college.

Once the project details have been addressed and an acceptable time frame h=
as
been established, contact the Intern/Extern Coordinator, Serena Bates  at
860-572-5955 Ext. 204 to formally register for the program.  The Coordinato=
r
can answer administrative questions and may have suggestions for locating
housing.








Extern Guide
Page 2.


2. Research Proposal:  Once a student's project has been accepted in
principle, a detailed research proposal must be submitted to our Research
Review Committee.  Forms are available from the Intern Coordinator.  The
student should also provide a complete list of research expendables which w=
ill
be utilized during the course of the study.  This should be submitted as ea=
rly
as possible.

3. Duties:  Conduct and complete the approved research project.  As time an=
d
conditions permit, assist the veterinary staff with clinical cases.  If tim=
e
allows after completion of the project, rotate through the laboratory and
various husbandry sections.  Externs are asked to present a short (15-25 mi=
n.)
seminar on the project and its results for the staff.  Students should prov=
ide
copies of their written report to the Research and Education Departments.

4. Compensation:  On a funds available basis, Mystic Aquarium may provide
stipends to assist some veterinary externs with the cost of research
expendables, housing and transportation.  The determination of the amount
awarded is based on a combination of factors including, but not limited to,
the value of the extern's contribution to the Aquarium and its goals, the c=
ost
of research expendables and the level of funding available to support the
Aquarium's veterinary education program.  Stipends usually do not exceed $5=
00.

5. Attire:  Veterinary externs are expected to dress in the same manner as
aquarium staff members.  This consists of an aquarium uniform shirt and kha=
ki
pants or shorts.  Uniform shirts or sweatshirts are sometimes available for
loan to students during their stay.  If appropriately sized uniform items a=
re
not available for loan, students must purchase required items.

6. Conduct:  Mystic Aquarium is a public institution which is visited by
hundreds of thousands of guests each year.  To the public, veterinary exter=
ns
are indistinguishable from our staff.  Since the appearance and activities =
of
externs reflect on our institution we expect the same high standards of
conduct, presentation, and professionalism from our externs as we do from o=
ur
staff members.

7. Evaluations:   Student evaluation:   At the end of the externship the
student=92s performance will be evaluated by his/her immediate supervisor a=
nd by
Dr. Dunn.  The student will receive a copy of the evaluation.  If your
academic institution also requires an evaluation please make certain that a=
ll
necessary forms are turned in at the beginning of your externship.  Some st=
ate
licensing authorities require special certification letters listing the
details of the externship experience.  If your state or school has any spec=
ial
certification requirements please make certain that we are made aware of th=
is.
                Program evaluation:   We request that each extern provide a=
 writ
ten
evaluation of their externship experience.  This will enable us to identify
strengths and weaknesses in the program and enable us to improve the
experience for future externs.
Please contact: Dr. J. Lawrence Dunn
                        MYSTIC AQUARIUM
                        55 Coogan Blvd.
                        Mystic, CT  06355

                        Phone:  860 572-5955 ext. 103
                        Fax:      860 572-5969
                        e-mail:  DUNNL@AOL.COM