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Veterinary Internships at Vale Referrals

Our internship programme aims to support, guide and develop vets to progress on to the next phase in their career. Whether you are a new graduate vet starting out in the profession, a recent graduate who is working in general practice already, or you are focused in specialising or gaining your certificate, we are able to help you lay the foundations for your next chapter.

With a multidisciplinary team of diploma holders and advanced practitioners, our team culture is one, where we believe, multidisciplinary approach provides our patients and owners with the best service of care. For our interns too, whether you are focusing on medicine or surgery, you gain insight into why having the support of other disciplines helps aid your treatment plan, diagnosis and prognosis for you patient.


Welcomed and supported by a large, experienced team of nurses, our interns work directly in all aspects of the patient's care, setting out treatment plans and liaising directly with your nurse, allowing you to focus, plan and implement the best nursing care with confidence. All under the careful guidance and mentoring of your clinicians.

Who should do an internship?

An internship used to be considered very much, for those wishing to head off to do a residency and then specialise, dedicating years to a certain discipline. Many of our interns, who join us, are on this career path. However, we also have vets, who have been in general practice for 1-2years and feel they lack confidence and support, often left in sole charge or moving around branch practices and are perhaps struggling with clinical judgement, planning and management of the more complex cases. This can be a difficult and often a lonely time, with the increased pressures young veterinary professionals are now facing, we can provide you with the skill set, to confidently manage and treat your patients in a variety of cases, especially when referral is not an option. Our internship can give you the support, guidance and confidence to head back into a general practice.

Sara Garret MRCVS, intern 2020-2021 says:


“Hi! I am Sara Garrett and in September 2019 I joined Vale Referrals to carry out a rotating internship with a medicine bias. I qualified in 2013 and was a mixed vet for several years before moving into small animal practice and locuming. I have always loved being a vet and was so lucky to be supported in all of my jobs however something had been missing… I had an interest in medicine but felt that for so many years I was making important clinical decisions with the question ‘what would my boss do?’ in my mind, rather than ‘what is an evidence based, up to date, appropriate treatment choice?’. Thus, I decided to do a medicine certificate and found myself visiting Vale Referrals for the day which culminated with me entering their internship programme. 

A huge advantage of having my previous clinical experience prior to an internship was that I was able to build a foundation of trust with the clinicians. This allowed me to progress on skills such as endoscopy, chest drain placements, chemotherapies etc as well as the overall management of medicine cases. I was lucky enough to continue my internship into a 2-year placement and completed the majority of my medicine certificate during this time. 

My biggest piece of advice to anyone considering an internship is to ask yourself, ‘what have I got to lose?’. I am so lucky to have made that leap of faith and feel like a completely different first opinion vet because of it.  

Of course, it isn’t all roses. The very nature of an internship is that you will get out of it what you put into it, so you need to be prepared to work hard and be enthusiastic to learn. There is often a lot of (very supported) on call and you of course have to consider the financial implications of a pay reduction (I was lucky, I had a supportive partner willing to move away with me and financially support me).

With the veterinary industry appearing to be in an employment crisis it is more important than ever that we explore our options within the clinical field. If you are questioning your role within first opinion practice, or considering leaving clinical work due to a lack of confidence then really do consider carrying out an internship first. I have always maintained that I do not want to specialise but want to be a good first opinion vet, and the internship has given me the support and progression to feel that I am finally achieving that”.

Sara now works as an experienced vet in our first opinion team at Vale Vets.

What if you want to specialise?

For those, who are wishing to specialise and have a good understanding of the dedication and hard work it takes to pursue a successful career in a specialist field, we are here to help guide and propel you through this part of your journey. Many interns can be supported through their certificate, and with IVC Evidensia's residency programme now in place, Vale Referrals (twinned with Hamilton Referrals), is a promising start for anyone considering a residency.

Our internal medicine team teach and mentor you through full case work up. You will learn how to take a complex medical case. From the initial consultation and history taking, suggested imaging (CT/ultrasound) and blood work, creating your list of differentials and communicating effectively, pragmatically and confidently to the owner, and to then carry out an effective treatment plan, along with providing prognosis and ongoing case management and support to your referring vet, your clinicians will oversee and guide you through each case ensuring you consider and research thoroughly to strengthen your understanding of the cases you are involved in. Leaving you, at the end of your internship with a whole new approach to case management.

Our soft tissue and orthopaedic clinicians require you to be very hands on. Our surgical internships are not a spectator sport by any means. You will be asked to research and plan for surgery. Scrubbed in and partnering directly with our resident and surgeon, you will have a front row seat in learning techniques and skills in approaching a wide range of surgical cases. Analgesic management and post operative care are also vital in recovery and positive outcome of patients, and liaising with owners in how to manage their pet's post-surgery, is equally important.

Ranging from complex fracture repairs, wound break downs, BOAS, lung lobectomies, reconstructive surgeries and a whole host of others, you will be exposed to a busy and varied caseload, learning from European Diplomat Michal Vlasin DVM PhD Dipl.ECVS, MRCVS, and his team of highly experienced surgeons.

Barbora Mala DVM MRCVS, intern 2020 – 2022


“I am thrilled to share my personal experience with Vale Referrals because I have successfully progressed through two internship programmes. 


I would describe the internship at Vale as a very practical ‘hands-on’ internship. I was actively involved in the case management from the first consult to the discharge and then the follow-up rechecks. This opportunity has given me a better understanding of veterinary medicine as a complex entity and has allowed me to gain some degree of independence. It does not matter if you are a recent graduate or an experienced veterinary surgeon because the team will adjust the approach based on your needs, confidence and personal preference. 

I had the pleasure of observing my colleagues’ progression through their internship programmes, and I can state that it was an exciting and satisfying adventure. All of them successfully finished the programme with some new skills acquired, and some of them made new friendships and contacts. And as per myself, I was scrubbing into the theatre daily, and I have learned how to perform and assess CT scans, which was a priceless experience for my future surgical career. 

I would recommend the internship at Vale Referrals to anyone who wants to be actively involved in the decision-making and case management to gain knowledge in a referral setting. But also, to someone looking for a lovely, approachable and amusing team of specialists and nurses to work with. And as a cherry on top, there is support in postgraduate training for someone who would like to take a step even further. You will get a chance to be involved in journal clubs, clinical and topic discussions, lunch and learns, publications and many other activities worth mentioning.”  

Interested? Get in touch

We are here to chat and have an informal discussion on your thoughts and expectations for your internship journey. We can explore where you at in your career and where you would like to progress your career to. Vale Referrals are a team who enjoy investing in people and supporting young professionals onto a successful and happy career in the veterinary industry.

Email: to discuss our current internship opportunities.