Small Animal Rotating Internship 2021-2022 Year
Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for your interest in Friendship! Below is 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 2020-2021 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 over 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. Friendship espouses the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) and AVMA position that “The primary purpose of an internship is to provide an educational program for the intern, rather than a service benefit to the hospital.” Our team of specialists and general practitioners are dedicated to providing an excellent learning opportunity for the interns. We 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, three surgical interns, a medicine intern, and two certified rehab practitioners, our continuously growing team includes:
Micki Armour, VMD, DACVO
Laura Barbur, DVM, DACVS
Lindsay Boozer, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology-Neurosurgery)
Janine Calabro, DVM, DACVECC
Nicole Cohen, DVM, DABVP (Canine & Feline)
Chelsea del Alcazar, VMD (Practice Limited to Oncology-- Boards in 2021 due to COVID)
Tovah Dorsey, DVM (Practice limited to E/CC)
Amanda Foskett, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
JD Foster, VMD, DACVIM (SAIM)
Stephen Garofolo, DVM, DACVS-SA
Mathieu Glassman, VMD, DACVS-SA
Allison Haley, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology-Neurosurgery)
Elyshia Hankin, BVSc, MS (Hons), DACVR
Joshua Hobbs, DVM, DACVR
Courtney Horn, PharmD
Denise Kelley, DVM, DACVIM
Morgan Kelley, DVM (Currently completing ECC residency, joining 2021)
Dana Kuehn, DVM, DABVP (Canine & Feline)
Darcie Kunder, VMD, DACVD
William (Glenn) Lane, DVM, DACVECC
Eric Langfitt, DVM (Practice Limited to E/CC)
Nicole Luensman, DVM, MS, cVMA, DACVAA
Lisa Murphy, MVB, DVM, DACVECC
Tracie Romsland, DVM, DACVP (Clinical Pathology)
Erick Spencer, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)
Jonathan Stack, DVM (Practice limited to Cardiology-- Board in 2021 due to COVID)
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 usually encourage applicants to visit Friendship we will not be having visitors during COVID. We do not routinely perform in person interviews during the application process in normal years. We will perform all internship interviews via Zoom January. All applicants who meet our minimum standards will be sent an invitation for an interview.
Since we cannot have visitors due to COVID-19 protocols, we have uploaded some pictures of the hospital that can be found here. We will be uploading a floor plan shortly: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17Fc2nade5cjTrGWfZshynJ4uGmXFt3yL?usp=sharing
All intern candidates that wish to be considered for ranking and are selected for interview, must participate in an interview with us during 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 Zoom. However, we can also use another video chat service such as FaceTime, etc, should you not have access to Zoom.
Interviews will be conducted during designated weeks in January from 7:30am-6:45pm Eastern time with availability on weekdays and weekends. 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 Zoom 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.
We typically have three to four members of the Friendship team at each interview. The Hospital Director and two to three veterinarians or members of our management team will participate. Each Friendship team member in your interview will have reviewed your application packet in advance. 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. This is vitally important as we believe teamwork is as important as practicing high quality medicine.
The second part will be a case or medical review. We will likely 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.
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, do not be discouraged if you do not immediately receive an invitation. Often we are waiting on transcripts or recommendations to make decisions to send out invites. Candidates will be able to schedule their interview online at any time after receiving the interview request. However, all interviews will be held during the month of January.
During the application window, applications are reviewed as they are submitted. We attempt to extend interviews to as many candidates as possible. We believe that a strong fit for our internship cannot be determined on paper.
We have a set criteria that will automatically receive an interview invitation. 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 a second look at any prior applications that have not yet been sent an interview request based on the final criteria given the interview slots still available.
Therefore, there is likely a very slight advantage to applying early to secure an interview spot as 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. However, we will open more interview spots if we have a large pool of late applicants.
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 will see/stabilize exotic patients through our urgent care service and then refer them to local exotics practitioners. We do not routinely perform wellness care for exotic pets.
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.
Structured orientation for the interns consists of about one and a half weeks in June. During this time, 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. There are also labs and didactic rounds and shadowing of the outgoing interns and/or staff doctors to understand workflow. Once the formal orientation is complete, the new interns will spend approximately a week and a half to two weeks overlapping with the outgoing class in clinics. Overall, there will be a total of 3 weeks of formal orientation and overlap time.
Yes! All interns will be assigned an official mentor for the year. After the 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 skills 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 reported a case log 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 Collaborate. We chose Collaborate as our secret word because of the focus we place on teamwork and collaboration at Friendship. Our team is, by far, our greatest asset. Having a high caseload, MRI, CT, fluoroscopy, dialysis machines, a ventilator and other fancy equipment is great, but it's the strength of our team of doctors and support staff and the way we collaborate on cases that makes us unique.
You will need the password-- Collaborate-- if you are selected for an interview with Friendship! We will ask you at the beginning of the interview if you had a chance to read over the FAQs, when we ask that question, please let us know that the password is Collaborate
The schedule is broken down into 14 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 the year. 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, and elective time, 1 block each of neurology, specialty surgery, cardiology, oncology, primary care (including general surgery and dentistry), there is one split block of ophthalmology and dermatology. Please note, when on-call, you are only on-call for certain days of the block-- a total of 28 throughout the year, only 8 of which are days you are not scheduled to work at the hospital.
Below you will see an example schedule. Each intern would start at a different point within the schedule and follow it from there. Each block is 4 weeks long. There may be slight changes as we finalize the year:
4 Weeks: 3 nights, 4 nights, 3 nights, 4 nights
Depends on program
Yes, weekends on call
Depends on program
Urgent Care 1
Thurs-Fri AM, Sat-Mon evening
Yes, a few nights of week when already scheduled to work during day
4 Weeks: 4 overnights, 3 overnights, 4 overnights, 3 overnights
Primary Care, General Surgery and Dentistry
Mon-Fri for general surgery and dentistry. Possibly some weekends for Primary Care (will not exceed more than 5 days in a row with 2 days off together)
Yes, a few nights of week when already scheduled to work during day
Ophthalmology and Dermatology
2 weeks each, Mon-Fri
Urgent Care 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 eight 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 few 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. With the exception of the times you are on-call, days off are days off and interns have no responsibilities at the hospital. On-call is detailed below.
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, there are just 8 days of on-call that would normally be days off throughout the year.
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 limited based on on-call responsibilities.
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 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.
Each block, the intern is evaluated on the following criteria (each have subcategories for assessment):
While each intern enters the program with different goals in mind and Friendship customizes mentorship to help reach those goals, we believe that every intern should complete the year as a much stronger veterinarian with a well-rounded foundation to launch their career. Friendship strives to maintain best practice in all that we do. While we are a private practice, Friendship used the AAVMC’s guidelines for internships at academic institutions to establish a list of Entrustable Professional Activities that we expect all interns will display competency in by the end of their year with us.
The Entrustable Professional Activities that we believe each intern will possess at the end of their year with Friendship, regardless of career path, match those recommended to academic internships, and include but are not limited to the following:
1. Performs an accurate, comprehensive assessment of a new patient
2. Creates an initial diagnostic and treatment plan for an ill patient with an unknown condition
3. Communicates complex or potentially upsetting information about a patient to a client
4. Amends treatment plans of a hospitalized patient based on patient information and best practice
5. Prioritizes treatment and diagnostic plans based on client resources and/or patient status
6. Maintains accurate, timely medical records
7. Communicates effectively and professionally with medical team members, clients, and referral community
8. Manages minor wounds and lacerations
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.
In the event that you match for a residency or specialty internship that has a start date prior to the end of the internship, you will be able to leave early in order to start your next position. We will work with you to determine an appropriate end date after match results.
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 quarterly
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 recent years, Friendship has had a 72%+ match rate directly to residencies and over a 93% match rate to specialty residencies or internships, comparable with the reported match rate in the VIRMP with academic institutions (71.01% average reported for the 2019-2020 VIRMP across academic institutions) There are times that factors like specific location/geographic preferences have impacted the ability to match. Some folks who don’t match to a single 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 using 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 evaluate 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 Anesthesiologist to our team. 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 170 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 animal hospital in the country while adhering to our core values.
Our Core Values:
The Friendship Family:
twenty-four hours every day.
diversity of our clients and our team.
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:
Currently, due to COVID, we are not accepting internship visits. We will reevaluate as things progress.
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 the 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 will hold internship information sessions with the Hospital Director and the Intern Director/Chief of Emergency and Critical Care on:
Wednesday, October 7th
Wednesday, October 28
Wednesday, November 11
Wednesday, November 25
Wednesday, December 9
Wednesday, December 23
Wednesday, January 6
Each evening will be at 7pm Eastern via Zoom. We will walk through details about the internship as well as answer any questions during that time.
Topic: FHA Internship Info Sessions
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Meeting ID: 819 8665 7783
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In addition to your complete VIRMP packet including personal statement, transcripts and letters of recommendation, 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 mean 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.