The Humane Alliance Extern Training Program is a two-week (40 hours/week) program designed to deliver spay/neuter surgical instruction, and offer students a behind-the-scenes look into the world of spay/neuter and shelter medicine. The program is open to senior veterinary students attending AVMA-accredited colleges who have completed at least the course and clinical surgery portion of their veterinary training (not rotations).
Externs will experience surgical instruction and practice seven out of the program’s 10 days. The exact curriculum is determined by patient/case availability and each student’s ability. Historically, most students have performed 15-30 surgeries over the two-week period.
Apply for the Program
Step 1: Submit an Application
Indicate your interest by submitting our Application Form.
You will be contacted within one week to discuss available blocks. The application includes the following, which should be prepared ahead of time:
- A request for your Externship/Preceptorship Coordinator's contact details
- Agreement to the terms in our Memorandum of Understanding
Step 2: Confirm Dates
Once dates are confirmed, you will be sent an acceptance letter, and a pre-signed North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board Application for Interns & Preceptees (NCVMBA), as well as further instructions.
Step 3: Apply for Your Temporary License
Approximately on the 5-month mark prior to your scheduled externship, complete and mail the NCVMBA to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board, using the pre-signed license we sent. The NCVMBA must also include:
- A check or money order in the amount of $25
- One passport photo taken within the past six months
- A dean’s letter verifying your good academic standing and your current student status (e.g., full-time, fourth-year student)
- A copy of your Social Security card
Step 4: Submit Your Housing Payment
Three months prior to your scheduled externship, if you have indicated that you would like to stay in the Humane Alliance dorm facility, please submit payment of $100, using PayPal. Please also ensure that you bring your own sheets and pillow cases (a pillow and blanket will be provided) and towels.
Step 5: Complete the Pre-Arrival Form
Two months before your arrival, we'd like to know your experience levels a little better, so please complete the Pre-Arrival Form
Step 6: Prepare For Arrival
Please make sure you are familiar with the details of our program by reading the following information before you arrive:
- Pre-arrival Information (arrival times, what to bring, accommodation recommendations)
- Humane Alliance Protocols (surgical technique videos, drug charts, etc.)
- Recommended Reading List (spay/neuter articles to digest)
- Asheville Recommendations (restaurants, bars, etc.)
I have already graduated. Can I still attend this program?
The Veterinary Student Externship is only open to senior veterinary students. If you are a graduated veterinarian you may participate in our Veterinarian Training.
Do you provide accommodation?
Yes, we offer on-campus dorm-style accommodation for $100 per training. Each unisex room consists of two bunk beds, storage, reading light, pillow, one blanket, and wi-fi. The dorm also contains a kitchen, dining room, lounge, computer room, and bathroom/showers. A laundromat is located within close proximity to our campus.
Check-in for the dorms is 8am on your first day. Check-out is 8am on your last day (though your responsibilities extend to around 4.00pm that day). If your flight out is on the Saturday, you will need to find alternate accommodation for Friday night. Hotel information, for nights in Asheville before and after those times, can be found in our Pre-arrival Information.
Do I need a car?
Yes, getting off-campus and around Asheville is much easier with a car. Don't forget, though, that you're not the only extern training with us, and other students may have cars you can pool.
Are stipends awarded for this position?
Are you open during holidays?
We have no training on MLK Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, or Thanksgiving. We usually finish surgeries at noon the day before Independence Day and Thanksgiving.
I have to fill out a form. What are my supervisor's details?
We will assign an instructor to you on your first day, so you should use our Medical Director's details:
- Facility: Humane Alliance: A Program of the ASPCA
- Melissa Saxton, DVM - Medical Director, Building B
- Address: 25 Heritage Drive, Asheville, NC 28806
- Phone: (828) 252-2079 | Fax: (828) 785-1972
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm traveling from another country. Which visa do I need?
We’re legally not allowed to give out visa advice. The rules change all the time with immigration, and if one is not trained/licensed, a person could end up giving bad advice. We recommend, therefore, that you speak with your university’s international office (or equivalent) to make sure you have all you need for crossing the border. You should, however, make sure you bring your acceptance letter, which stipulates you won’t be receiving financial compensation for training with us. That’s usually a red flag at border control.
What should I bring?
Pre-arrival Information (arrival times, what to bring, accommodation recommendations)
What Is A Dean's Letter?
A Dean's letter is something that is produced from your school. It is a letter that verifies your status with your school (e.g., full-time fourth year student) and that you are in good standing. Please note that the completed NC Intern license application will be mailed directly to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board, not Humane Alliance.