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Veterinary Student Intern Job Description

About the State of Indiana

Join U.S News & World Report's #1 state government! With more than 50 executive branch agencies, the State of Indiana is a diverse workforce offering applicants stimulating and challenging projects across a broad scope of career opportunities. As a State of Indiana employee, you impact the well-being of Indiana's communities every day.

About the Indiana State Board of Animal Health

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health's mission is to:

  • Enhance Indiana's economy by protecting Hoosiers' investment in animal agriculture, wildlife, horses and companion animals.
  • Protect public health by preventing and controlling the spread of animal diseases which pose a threat to people.
  • Maintain a vital link in a safe food supply through the state meat and poultry and dairy inspection programs.
  • Help people and their animals who are victims of large-scale disasters such as floods and tornadoes.

About the Job

This position will work for the State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) performing work in the planning and implementation of animal disease control, animal care, food safety and emergency preparedness/biosecurity programs.  The duties will involve performing animal health related tasks under the supervision of a BOAH veterinarian.

A Day in the Life

Under the supervision of a BOAH veterinarian:

  • Conducts animal disease tests and evaluations of animals.
  • Collects samples from livestock and other animals and prepares specimens for shipment and laboratory testing.
  • Performs animal care evaluations and develops recommendations for care.
  • Conducts investigations with local and state authorities on suspect cases of animal disease or inadequate care as directed by the State Veterinarian
  • Performs various activities associated with planning, preparation, response and recovery for an animal disease event. Focus will be on:
    • Activities related to preparedness in the poultry and swine sectors;  and
    • Radiological Preparedness Guides and Response Messaging for Livestock and Pet Owners.
      A large portion of Northern Indiana falls in the ingestion pathway zones of nuclear power plants in both Illinois and Michigan. BOAH has preparedness and response obligations to assure the health and safety of public health, animal health, and our meat, poultry, and dairy supplies during an incidental release of nuclear material. The interns will be tasked with updating and creating new informational documents and messages that BOAH would use to instruct Indiana citizens and animal owners during such an emergency. These communication tools will cover background and basic information about nuclear power plants as well as detailing protective actions that can be implemented during an incident to protect against or reduce nuclear contamination of animals, their feed, and our food supply. Informational resources regarding the potential need to evacuate and the steps to maintain animal care and continuity of business for the agriculture industry will also be created.
  • May perform a variety of inspections on animals for diseases and pests to ensure that the animals meet State and Federal animal health standards.
    • National & International Disease Outbreak Monitoring
      • Interns will be tasked with identifying and monitoring new and ongoing disease outbreaks occurring outside of Indiana's borders domestically and internationally that have the potential to affect Indiana's livestock industry, food supply, public health, or companion animal population. The interns will organize and present timely briefings to appropriate BOAH staff members regarding these outbreaks to include clinical manifestations of the disease, transmission dynamics, control measures being instituted, and the public health and economic consequences of the outbreaks. If the risk to Indiana is deemed high, interns may be asked to complete a deeper literature search and review of state and national response plans in place for the disease.
  • Foreign Animal Disease Investigation Quick Guide Development
    • BOAH veterinarians are certified and called upon by animal owners and private veterinarians to conduct foreign animal disease investigations in Indiana pets and livestock. There are numerous federal and state guidance documents, summaries, and SOP's available to direct veterinarians through the entire process from arriving at the affected premises and implementing appropriate biosecurity through submission of samples to the national veterinary laboratories. The interns will be tasked with compiling and summarizing the most up-to-date guidance and SOP's and preparing new reference binders for BOAH veterinarians.
  • Performs other regulatory activities related to animal health, animal care, food safety, and emergency response/biosecurity.
    • Training of Indiana Private Veterinarians on Electronic Animal Movement Documentation Platforms
      • BOAH continues to transition Indiana veterinarians from using paper documents to electronic platforms. Interns will be tasked with identifying Indiana veterinarians that are currently still using paper CVI's, implementing free electronic applications at their practices, and training the clinic's veterinarian's and staff members on using these systems.
  • May evaluate animals presented for exhibition at fairs, shows and exhibitions for compliance with State and Federal animal health or exhibition standards. 
  • Maintains and submits a variety of records and reports on all phases of activities.
  • Maintains the security and up keep of all state and federal equipment used in the accomplishment of daily activities.
  • Other duties as assigned.
    • Database Updates
      Each summer, BOAH relies on interns to complete a full update of our veterinarian and veterinary clinic modules housed in our database. There are approximately 2,000 veterinarians in Indiana, the majority of which provide regulatory services on behalf of BOAH and/or the USDA to Indiana citizens including vaccination, testing, and surveillance for reportable and program diseases, application of official livestock identification, and issuance of certificates of veterinary inspection for animal movement and disease traceability. For all Indiana veterinarians, the interns will be responsible for updating license and accreditation status, the veterinarian's contact information, and the contact information for the practice or organization where they are employed.   

What we are looking for

  • Must be currently enrolled as a veterinary student with an accredited post-secondary institution and have completed at least one (1) year of veterinary education.
  • General knowledge of the principles and practices of veterinary medicine as acquired through a regular course of study as a first or second year student in an accredited Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. 
  • Ability to identify selected animal normal and abnormal conditions based upon physical examination as learned through a regular course of study as a first or second year student in an accredited Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.
  • Ability to learn and perform tissue/serum sample collections. 
  • General knowledge of pertinent Federal and State laws and regulations.
  • General knowledge of animal husbandry and animal industry practices in the state. Ability to secure compliance with laws and regulations firmly, tactfully, and impartially.  Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates; farmers and livestock operators; local, state and federal government representatives; and the general public.
  • Ability to communicate tactfully and firmly with a variety of different people encountered on the job in an effective manner.
  • Ability to use current technology in the performance of the assigned duties including laptop computers, database programs, digital cameras, etc. 
  • Possess a current motor vehicle operator's license.
  • Must be enrolled in and in good standing in an accredited program leading to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer.