Small Animal Rotating Internship 2019-2020 Year
Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for your interest in Friendship! Below are a list of the most common questions we get about the internship. We are always looking for ways to enhance our program, so some of this may be subject to change and is based on the 2018-2019 intern class year and any foreseen changes.
Table of Conents
Friendship is a great place to do an internship! We have a long history (the internship is 35 years old!) of graduating interns ready to move into specialty internships, residencies, successful emergency or general practice careers. Since our founding in 1936, Friendship has been dedicated to practicing high quality, progressive medicine.
Our goal is to occupy a space between a university setting and traditional private practice to allow for exposure to a high caseload as well as to mentor and strengthen an intern’s knowledge base and clinical skill set. Our team of specialists are practicing cutting edge medicine and are well-connected to academia and other institutions throughout the industry. Being a hybrid practice, our patients can receive comprehensive care including primary care, emergency and specialty all under one roof with a collaborative team focused on the patient’s best interests!
In addition to 15 primary care veterinarians, 12 urgent care veterinarians, two surgical interns, a medicine intern, and two certified rehab practitioners, our continuously growing team includes:
Micki Armour, VMD, DACVO
Laura Barbur, DVM, DACVS
Chloe Block, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Lindsay Boozer, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology-Neurosurgery)
Janine Calabro, DVM, DACVECC
Nicole Cohen, DVM, DABVP (Canine & Feline)
Courtney Crane, DVM, DACVECC
Gideon Daniel, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)
Tovah Dorsey, DVM (Practice limited to E/CC)
Amanda Foskett, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
JD Foster, VMD, DACVIM (SAIM)
Mathieu Glassman, VMD, DACVS
Elyshia Hankin, BVSc, MS (Hons), DACVR
Joshua Hobbs, DVM, DACVR
Courtney Horn, PharmD
Nicole Luensman, DVM, MS, cVMA, DACVAA
Denise Kelley, DVM, DACVIM
Dana Kuehn, DVM, DABVP (Canine & Feline)
Darcie Kunder, VMD, DACVD
Eric Langfitt, DVM (Practice Limited to E/CC)
Joanne McKnight, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Tracie Romsland, DVM, DACVP (Clinical Pathology)
Meaghan Ropski, DVM (Associate in Surgery)
Erick Spencer, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)
Maggie Thies, DVM (Practice Limited to ECC)
While over the years, the structure and goals of the internship have changed, Friendship has always been focused on high quality medicine. The rotating internship is one way for Friendship to stay up to date on the newest information in the veterinary field by constantly interacting with new graduates. It keeps our focus on staying progressive.
The internship also puts an emphasis throughout the hospital on teaching/training.
The program allows Friendship the opportunity to give back to the industry, by helping to shape new veterinarians and give them a solid foundation to build on toward a successful career.
While we absolutely encourage applicants to visit Friendship (more information can be found below), we do not perform in person interviews during the application process. We perform all internship interviews via Skype in the first few weeks of January.
All intern candidates that wish to be considered for ranking and are selected for interview, must participate in an interview with us during the first two weeks of January (unless special circumstances exist and other arrangements are made). Even if you have previously visited Friendship, externed, or even worked here as a team member, this time is required for consideration. We prefer Skype. However, we can also use another video chat service such as FaceTime, etc, should you not have access to Skype.
Interviews will be conducted during the first few weeks of January from 8am-6:45pm Monday thru Saturday. If you are completely unable to be available during these times and are invited to interview, you should respond to the invite to let the internship committee know. We will do our best to find a time before ranks are due to set up a Skype interview with at least two members of the selection committee. This should only be done if it is impossible to set up an interview during the preset times.
The link below will give you access to the plan for who will participate in each interview barring any unforeseen emergencies. Please note this is subject to change.
The first part will consist of basic interview questions to determine your fit at Friendship. We will go through some questions to see how well you can integrate into the Friendship team.
The second part will be a case review. We will present a case for you to work through with our veterinarians. You may need access to your email during this time to receive information to review. The point of the case is not necessarily to get immediately to the correct answers (or to get to them at all) but to see your ability to work through the information. Relax and do your best to process what is presented to you. We understand that not everyone has been through certain clinical rotations or been exposed to specific information/situations.
The final portion of the interview will be a chance for you to ask any questions you have about Friendship and/or the internship. We will also provide you some information about who we are and what distinguishes us among available internships.
As applications are complete/near complete, we will evaluate them against our interview selection criteria. We will send interview invitations out on a rolling basis. However, because applications need to be complete or near complete, the first invitations will likely not be sent until around Thanksgiving time for those that apply early in the appication window. Candidates will be able to schedule their interview online at any time after receiving the interview request. However, all interviews will be held in the first few weeks of January before ranks are due.
During the application window, applications are reviewed as they are submitted. We have determined set criteria that will automatically receive an interview invitation during that time. If your application does not meet the minimum threshold to receive an automatic interview invitation, it will be reviewed by our internship committee to determine if an interview invitation should be sent. Once the application window closes, all applications that have not already received an interview request will be reviewed. At this time, depending on the total applicant pool, our criteria may be tightened or loosened for interviews. We will also take another look at any prior applications that have not yet been sent an interview request based on the final criteria set given the interview slots available.
Therefore, there is likely a very slight advantage to applying before the last few days of the window to secure an interview spot because the criteria may tighten based on the final pool of candidates. Also, if you apply early and are selected, you will have the advantage of having more options available for interview time slots.
Friendship is happy to sponsor visas for well-qualified applicants. For those outside of Canada and Mexico, we work with an experienced immigration attorney to help expedite the process. For Canadian and Mexican citizens, the process is far less complicated and we will work internally with you to get everything taken care of prior to starting your internship. Friendship has had numerous international interns throughout the years.
Friendship does not currently see exotics. We have explored becoming a Level 1 Trauma Center which would require seeing exotics on emergency. This is not yet determined and would require some additional training and CE for our staff doctors. There is not currently a timeline associated with this plan.
Washington, DC, can certainly be a bit more expensive than some other places in the country, however, our interns are able to find great housing options throughout the metropolitan area. Some interns will find apartments inside DC, while others will live in the Maryland suburbs of Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, or Takoma Park. Friendship is located just one mile inside the DC line and ½ block from the Tenleytown-American University stop on the red line of the metro. Many affordable communities are located along the metro.
While many interns find housing close by to the hospital, some choose to live a little further away due to family housing or other reasons. The interns schedule and on-call requirements are described below. However, as long as the intern can make in into the hospital within 45-60 minutes when all call, they will not have a problem with their housing choice.
Orientation for the interns consists of about two weeks at the end of June. During this two weeks, the interns will go through basic new team orientation/human resources functions and get information about how the hospital works-- meeting with various team members, learning the computer system, and other important information. This typically takes a few days. After that, there are labs and didactic rounds and shadowing of the outgoing interns and/or staff doctors to understand workflow.
Yes! All interns will be assigned an official mentor for the year. After match, we will send out a survey to all of our new interns asking additional questions about your long term career goals. This will help us to determine who the best match will be to help mentees be successful throughout their time in the program. Additionally, in each rotation, interns are being directly mentored by specialists, emergency doctors and general practitioners in order to strengthen their clinical skills.
Mentors/Mentees meet regularly to help guide them through the year. Preparation for specialty internship/residency match (if applicable), as well as other skill and knowledge development will be enhanced through this relationship. Our mentors are keen to help our interns succeed both within the internship and beyond.
Yes! Interns have primary case responsibility on their overnight emergency receiving blocks (with a staff doctor for guidance). On emergency/critical care blocks, interns have the opportunity to have primary case responsibility on in-hospital cases and outpatient receiving (with the guidance of Criticalists and staff emergency doctors). Interns also have varying amounts on case responsibility on each of the specialties. A recent former intern from the 2016-2017 class reported a caselog of over 1,100 cases in which she had primary case responsibility.
Interns receive a tremendous amount of tissue handling experience performing laceration repairs on emergency receiving. Typically, interns will scrub in on specialty surgery and emergency surgeries to assist the specialty or staff surgeons.
Good, you are reading this! Our secret password for the interview is “Progressive” The reason we picked the word Progressive is because Friendship strives to practice the most progressive medicine possible, bridging the gap between a university and traditional private practice. Our doctors take a collaborative approach to medicine to provide the absolute best care to our patients and our clients.
You will need the password-- Progressive-- if you are selected for an interview with Friendship! Hint: the password is case sensitive.
The schedule is broken down into 13 four week blocks that flow in a specific order. Each intern starts on a different block and will follow the same schedule rotation from whichever point they started. There are some services that have a full blocks and some that have split blocks. The schedule may have some adjustments before being finalized, but is likely to be two blocks each of internal medicine (including dialysis), critical care/emergency, overnight emergency receiving, 1 block each of neurology, specialty surgery, cardiology, split blocks include anesthesiology, clinical pathology, dermatology, pain management/rehab, oncology, ophthalmology, primary care, general surgery and elective time.
Below you will see an example schedule for one of the 2018/2019 interns. Please note that there is a possibility that changes will be made to the schedule and this should just serve as an example schedule. Friendship aims to balance exposure with our services, work/life balance and learning opportunities in order to set up an ideal schedule.
Sun-Weds 2000-0800 weeks 1, 3
As arranged with program, Mon-Fri 0700-1800
Mon-Fri 0700-until done (avg. 1900)
Mon-Thurs 0730-1700, Fri Urgent Care
Urgent Care 1
Thu-Fri 0730-1730, Sat-Mon 1200-2200
Mon-Thurs clinics, 0730-1900; Fri projects/inpatients
Internal Medicine 2
Thurs-Sat 2000-0800 weeks 1, 3
Primary Care, Gen Sx, Ophthalmology
Urgent Care 2
Clinical Pathology, Oncology
Mon-Fri 0800-1800, Mon-Fri 0730-1800
Internal Medicine 2
There is elective time that can be spent either inside or outside the hospital, but no core rotations are outside the hospital.
Yes! Interns receive two weeks of elective time during the year. This time can be used to spend additional time in the hospital in areas of specific interest or to go out to gain experiences not available within the hospital. Interns have used elective time for additional time on in-hospital rotations or outside of the hospital for behavior, shelter medicine, exotics, research, radiation oncology, and other areas of interest. We maintain strong relationships with the local humane society, the National Zoo, and the specialties we do not house within Friendship and can help arrange the elective time.
All blocks except overnights have five day work weeks with two days off per week. Overnights are alternating 3 or 4 day work weeks with 3 or 4 days off. Please note that there is some additional on-call time during a few rotations. For the 2018-2019 class, that is detailed above.
Interns have ten days of paid time off throughout the year. These days can be used for vacation, sick time or other personal reasons. Time off cannot be used during emergency receiving or overnight shifts, though interns have switched shifts amongst themselves in emergency situations.
No! During the day-time Critical Care/Emergency receiving rotations, interns are working directly with the Criticalists with inpatients or are receiving cases under the guidance of our emergency doctors. On overnights, interns are working with a staff emergency doctor every night of the week.
Yes! Interns receive a performance evaluation and feedback after each block (monthly) as well as direct feedback while on rotations. Friendship also seeks anonymous input from interns about the program regularly throughout the year in order to strengthen it both during the current year and in subsequent years.
Interns are not on-call for most blocks. However, on a few blocks, interns will be called in to assist in emergency surgeries.
We split on-call between several blocks so that interns will not have to be on-call without a break during a block. The on-call is set at the beginning of the year and interns are permitted to trade on-call days. Each intern will be on call 28 days for the year. Most on-call days are days they are already scheduled to work.
Interns do not need to live very close to the hospital in order to meet their on-call responsibilities. While many interns can find affordable housing fairly close to the hospital, as long as an intern can make it into work within 45-60 minutes, their housing choices should not be liited based on on-call responsibilities.
FHA encourages interested interns to consider research projects and publication. However, we want interns to be realistic about what can be accomplished prior to December (residency application deadlines), particularly in a busy private practice. FHA has had searchable electronic medical records for quite some time, so a retrospective study is a possibility. Case reports or imaging/pathology reports (e.g. What is your diagnosis? reports in JAVMA) would likely be the easiest type of manuscript to prepare in that timeframe.
FHA is currently participating in or scheduled to launch several clinical trials and other studies which the interns can participate in.
Friendship believes that didactic teaching, in addition to our high caseload, is an important part of building the foundation for interns. The following is a fairly comprehensive list of all rounds and journal clubs. Some are mandatory and interns are marked off of clinical duties for them. Some are dependent upon the rotation that the intern is currently assigned.
Cage-side rounds are held three times per day, to coincide with shift changes for doctors. Morning rounds (overnight updates and case distribution) are at 7:30am daily. Brief rounds for inpatient transfer to swing shift and overnight doctors are held at approximately 4pm and between 10pm and midnight. Specialists are present for morning and afternoon rounds.
Didactic rounds specifically for the interns with specialists are held on average six times per month (Currently Wednesday and every other Tuesday morning). These rounds are required for all interns unless they are on out-rotations during an elective block or have requested an excused absence.
CVT rounds are held twice per month. All interns rotate through presenting assigned chapters from Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy XV.
Hospital-wide M&M rounds are typically held once monthly.
All interns are required to make one presentation during the year (generally scheduled November thru January).
Surgery once weekly
Oncology once weekly
Internal Medicine once weekly
Surgical Oncology once monthly
In total, there are currently about 22 didactic rounds or journal club sessions per month in addition to cageside/clinical rounds.
In the last 5 years, 15 of the 21 interns that applied for residencies were matched-- this is a 71.4% match rate, comparable with the reported match rate in the VIRMP with academic institutions (71.01% average reported for the 2019-2020 VIRMP across academic institutions). An additional 4 of those 6 unmatched went on to specialty internships or fellowships in their field. There are times when based on factors like specific location/geographic preferences means that folks who don’t match to a specific program do not pursue multiple options or look for placement outside the match. Generally speaking, a well qualified candidate in our program should be able to move on to a residency or specialty internship in their field after a rotating internship at Friendship.
Friendship staff doctors maintain close relationships with their colleagues in academia and at large, high quality private practices. We are happy to connect well qualified candidates with these institutions.
Yes! After we match and survey about their interests, we will attempt to set up the schedule in such a way that an intern looking to specialize in a particular area will rotate through appropriate services so that they may ask for letters of recommendation from the board-certified specialists to strengthen their application.
Friendship can typically accommodate interns use of their paid time off for residency interviews or job interviews. Interns will also sometimes switch shifts amongst themselves in order to use days to do this.
Friendship’s specialists, staff doctors, and management will help interns interested in applying for residencies with their application preparation.
Friendship management meets with the intern class during a rounds session usually in late January or early February to discuss how to evlauate a potential clinic for employment; how to read job offers and how to negotiate for pay and benefits. Friendship will provide current information about the state of the industry and help with job placement. Friendship management is happy to assist interns in evaluating job offers as they receive them.
Friendship maintains strong relationships with hospitals and clinics locally as well as across the United States to help make connections for job placement.
Friendship has been expanding rapidly over the last several years. We are currently looking to expand by adding an additional Criticalist, Oncologist and Surgeon. There are a few other current specialties we are evaluating and may expand. While we are hopeful to fill these positions, we take our time to find the best fit. Therefore, a ranking decision should not be made based on these openings.
Friendship is proud to have had a small animal rotating internship since 1984 that has grown throughout the years. We have had over 150 interns complete the program and go on to a variety of careers-- diverse paths such as specialty, general practice, emergency medicine, practice ownership, government and corporate services are all represented among our internship alumni!
Specialties represented by our intern alumni are as follows:
Emergency and Critical Care
In recent years, Friendship’s applicants have come from every AVMA-accredited school in the United States and many from throughout the world. Friendship’s former interns represent 30 different AVMA accredited schools.
We are a leader in comprehensive animal healthcare that improves the wellbeing of our patients, clients, team members and community.
To be the most medically progressive independent animal hospital in the country while adhering to our core values.
Our Core Values:
The Friendship Family:
Our Service Standards:
In addition to practicing the highest quality, collaborative medicine for our patients, Friendship wants to live up to the highest of levels of service for our clients. In every interaction, Friendship strives to live up to those standards that our clients have come to expect. We have, therefore. set up the FHA CARES Service Standards to guide our decisions and ways in which we interact with our clients.
Our clients expect us to be:
Absolutely! We would love to give you a tour of the facility and answer any questions you may have in person, though this is not required to be considered for ranking. Regardless of visit, all intern candidates that are selected for an interview are required to do so through our Skype format so that all candidates can be uniformly evaluated.
To set up a visit to the hospital, please use the link: https://fhainternvisit.youcanbook.me You can arrive at either 8am or 12noon and should expect to spend about 4 hours at the hospital.
We encourage externships as well. To set up an externship, you can use our externship website accessible through the friendship website.
Yes! We encourage you to reach out to one or more of our current rotating interns to discuss the program. Though the program is reviewed annually and changes are made from year to year, the current intern class can give you a good idea about the workings of the program, learning opportunities, support provided and culture of the hospital. The current intern class can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This is likely the quickest way to get an answer, as the first intern available will respond.
We also held info sessions this year where students could log in to talk with our current interns. Those dates have passed. We also held webinars about the program held by the intern committee chair and COO. Those dates have also passed, howeve, we recorded one and the links are available below.
To access a video of the first Information webinar, please use the following link:
This was presented by Kieran Mara, Chief Operating Officer and Janine Calabro, DVM, DACVECC, Intern Committee Chair
If you are having trouble with the video, you can access the Slideshow here:
In addition to your complete VIRMP packet including personal statement, transcripts and letters of reccomendation, Friendship relies on our interview process to determine the right fit for our internship class. We are looking for individuals who are interested in collaborating, working hard, who will be able to integrate into our culture as a hospital. Friendship interns develop lifelong relationships with FHA team members. We always say “Once you are one of us, you are always one of us.” Therefore, we want applicants who will not only be great doctors, but also great team members.
Once interviews are complete, the internship selection group will meet to discuss and finalize our ranking decisions. We will not disclose those rankings to applicants. This does not me you are not ranked highly (or even number 1). We will not ask you to disclose your rankings at any time.
When making ranking decisions, it is important to think about several things:
Remember, no matter where you match, you get out of it what you put in! You have decided to take this year to invest in yourself. Make the most of it! Work hard. Establish methods to organize your time. Learn a lot. Find mentors. Have Fun! Relax.