Veterinary Specialist Internship Programme | VSA/Zoetis 2021


VSA, in partnership with Zoetis NZ, are pleased to announce that applications are now open for our 2023 Intern Programme.


A practical pathway to specialisation

The VSA/Zoetis internship was established in 2002 with the program proving to be very successful in achieving its primary goal of providing a pathway for veterinarians to progress to specialization. Almost 20 interns have completed our program with more than half earning specialist status in their chosen fields of surgery, medicine, radiology and dermatology after completing residency programmes in North America, the UK and Australia. We also have one past intern who is currently completing a PhD with research focusing on the veterinarian’s role in end-of-life (EoL) management of older and chronically ill cats in New Zealand. We also currently have 5 past interns in various residency programmes in North America, including cardiology and surgery.

World-class internship structure

Our programme is well structured with the support of 7 specialist surgeons, 2 specialists in radiology, 3 internal medicine specialists and 1 specialist in anaesthesia over our two purpose built hospitals in Auckland. Being a valued member of the VSA team means you will not only learn from our specialists but also from our incredible nursing team and our other awesome support staff.

Our comprehensive range of specialist veterinary services include but are not limited to:

  • Brain surgery
  • Interventional radiology
  • Spinal stabilization
  • Orthopaedic, neuro, soft tissue and urogenital surgery
  • Skin reconstruction
  • Total hip replacement
  • In-house CT
  • Ultrasonography
  • Endoscopy
  • Arthroscopy
  • Access to off-site radiation therapy, MRI and PET-CT Scans

Exceptional track record of success

Dr Kyle Clark

Kyle is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Her career path as a specialist began as a VSA-Zoetis intern. Kyle says: “The internship was a great stepping stone out of vet school because it allowed me to be supported in my first year of practice and gain solid foundation skills. The internship assisted me into a rotating internship in North America which then led onto a surgical residency. Since then, I have been involved in a number of internship programs around the world, and I can confidently say that the VSA-Zoetis Internship is an excellent program for veterinarians who wish to pursue specialization (even if they are unsure of which field) or simply to become an exceptional general practitioner.”

Kyle is now a full time staff member at Veterinary Specialists Auckland in New Zealand and plays a key role in helping run the internship programme.

Dr Briana Dalbreth

Briahna completed her internship with VSA in 2015 and is now in her 3rd year of her Small Animal Surgical Residency training at Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA. This is what Briahna has to say about the VSA-Zoetis internship: “The VSA-Zoetis internship, undoubtedly was a huge platform for building many skills as a competent veterinarian. There was a busy caseload, fantastic support, mentorship, emergency work and diversity of caseload which comes with being at a speciality clinic, and an awesome team to work with.

It prepared me as a competitive applicant for the VIRMP matching program in North America for rotating internships in the large veterinary schools in North America, which is critical in gaining a residency position. I matched at the University of Georgia, an academic internship, which added to my skill-set gained from the private practice internship at VSA.

Regardless of whether you know you want to specialize, or are uncertain at this stage, I would strongly recommend doing the internship at VSA as it is a year where you have mentorship from many specialists in many disciplines. You will exponentially expand your knowledge and skill-set under guidance, discover your areas of interest, and prepare you for further specialist training or be more confident if going into general practice.

Dr Keaton Morgan

Keaton is about to embark on a cardiology residency at the University of Minnesota, USA. Heres what he had to say about the VSA-Zoetis internship: “The VSA-Zoetis internship provided me with a structured learning environment that helped me both find and nurture my passion. The specialists at VSA have a wealth of knowledge and were very supportive in guiding the development of my practical skills in both surgical and non-surgical procedures. The VSA hospital itself is very busy with a varied caseload. This gave me exposure to specialised equipment, advanced diagnostics, and advanced treatments for veterinary patients.

About Veterinary Specialists Aotearoa

When does the internship start?

Be part of an exciting and rewarding 12 month rotating internship programme starting on the 31st January 2023. Our programme is surgery heavy but all of our interns get the chance to rotate through all of our referral departments including our newly developed anaesthesia department and also through our emergency departments.

Our interns are expected to fully participate in case management, perioperative surgical care, and to assist with afterhours care of cases in the hospital. They are also required to attend regular journal clubs, case rounds and other CPD events.

A requirement of this programme is also to prepare a case report or review article suitable for publication and to present at seminar or conference. VSA holds an annual CPD event in Auckland which our interns are required to present at in both the vet and nurse streams.

It is the intention of this program to enable our interns to be competitive in applications for further postgrad training programs (internships or residencies) in university teaching hospitals anywhere in the world.

Applications for our 2023 intake close on the 14th October 2022. Please send a cover letter and your C.V to

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