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Veterinary Student Educational Opportunities

The Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Division of Animal Resources offers two veterinary student educational opportunities:

  • Our Externship Program is designed for 3rd and 4th year veterinary medical students and requires a commitment between 3 and 5 weeks. This is an unpaid opportunity.
  • Our Internship Program is designed for 2nd and 3rd year veterinary medical students and requires a summer commitment between 8 and 12 weeks. This is a paid opportunity.

Both programs offer the opportunity to experience the multifaceted field of Laboratory Animal Medicine as specifically relating to nonhuman primates. In addition, the programs offer a combination of didactic/self-study and hands-on training.

Each student in/extern can expect to learn the particular needs, regulations and guidelines associated with nonhuman primates in biomedical and behavioral research. Laboratory Animal Medicine is a board-certified discipline that combines clinical medicine, preventive medicine, pathology, recognition/development of animal models, regulatory oversight and collaborative/independent biomedical research.

Twelve veterinarians supervise the experience, and each student in/extern will work closely with veterinary residents and veterinary technicians to gain a working knowledge and appreciation of the specialty of nonhuman primate medicine. Each student in/extern will spend time at both of our locations: the Yerkes Main Center on the Emory University campus and the Yerkes Field Station, which is located approximately 30 miles from our Main Center. At both locations, student in/externs will have opportunities to work with a variety of animals, including macaques, sooty mangabeys, squirrel monkeys and chimpanzees.

The work day is 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, but may be extended based on clinical needs. Daily routines include making clinical rounds and observations of the animals, reporting any clinical concerns to the veterinarians and following up on those cases with the clinicians. The educational opportunities will also include observing surgeries and imaging sessions (e.g., MRI and PET), participating in anesthesia monitoring and post-operative care, helping with research procedures as directed by the research protocols, assisting with necropsy and histopathology procedures, and, for the student interns, spending time with the Yerkes Behavioral Management Department to observe animals and discuss behavior management techniques.

Each student in/extern will attend at least one Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) meeting to better understand the process involved in reviewing animal research proposals. Also, Yerkes personnel will provide a variety of published literature and other documents to help our student in/externs further your knowledge of Laboratory Animal Medicine with nonhuman primates.  

The program time commitments are set to help our student in/externs gain a comprehensive overview of Laboratory Animal Medicine. We encourage our student in/externs to focus on areas of personal interest, to seek a variety of experiences while at Yerkes, and to ask questions and participate as much as possible. 

For more information:

Yerkes Veterinary Medical Student Externship Program

Contact Dr. Denyse Levesque. Externs are accepted year-round; to apply, send a cover letter and CV.

Yerkes Veterinary Medical Student Internship Program

Contact Dr. Rachelle Stammen. We offer one position each summer; to apply, send a cover letter and CV by January 1.