Become an Extern

It’s more than just an interest in federal politics that drives an AVMA Governmental Relations Extern. It’s the desire to experience something completely different and accelerate their capacity for flexibility and increased self-confidence.

This program is designed for you to build momentum each and every week. In just four weeks, you’ll go from being a bright-eyed visitor to actually lobbying for your future profession with legislators and staffers on Capitol Hill. You will also have the opportunity to meet veterinarians currently serving in a variety of roles for the United States government.

As a veterinary student, you spend a lot of time on the details. This externship will help you gain a better understanding of the bigger picture.


The 2016 Externship Blocks are:

February 1-26
February 29- March 25
April 4-29
May 2-27
June 6- July 1
July 5 – 29
September 6-30

Application Deadline: October 16, 2015



Late Spring and Summer blocks are the most popular. Applicants must select a first choice and second choice block when applying

What Does An AVMA Governmental Relations Extern Do?

Externs learn about both the federal legislative and regulatory processes and are then actively involved in advancing the AVMA’s agenda in Washington.

Lobby firsthand on issues that affect the veterinary profession such as the National Veterinary Medical Service Act, animal welfare, funding for veterinary education, small business, and tax issues. In the process, you have the opportunity to meet with Members of Congress and Congressional staffers.

Why Be An Extern?

As a veterinary student, you only have one chance to explore many of the career opportunities available to you. Putting yourself in unique situations helps to

prepare you for the real world where flexibility and the ability to influence others will be useful in everything from academia and residencies to private clinical practice.

Along with other perks, externs get a chance to meet national newsmakers face-to-face in Washington, D.C

You can be an applicant, if you:

  • Are a member of SAVMA
  • Have completed two years of a professional program at an AVMA accredited school before the beginning of the externship
  • Are interested in public policy
  • Have a desire to advance the AVMA Legislative and Regulatory Agenda
  • Think clearly and stay focused under pressure
  • Are result-oriented, with a high drive to meet goals
  • Show excellent writing and verbal communications skills
  • Relate well to people from diverse backgrounds in various social situations

The Externship Application

You’ll need to submit:

  • Response to the case study, included in application document.(Please do not contact any Member of Congress or their staff regarding this exercise.  It is a theoretical scenario created solely for the purpose of evaluating AVMA Externship applicants)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • One letter of recommendation from a professor who is an AVMA member
  • A personal statement describing why you are interested in an externship, the qualities you would bring to the position, and noting public policy issues of interest to you

AVMA Governmental Relations Externship
1910 Sunderland Place NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

You can also email materials.

Please contact 800.321.1473 if you have any questions.