Department of Comparative Medicine

3rd Year Clerkship

The overall objective of the 3rd year clerkship program is to introduce veterinary students to the field of Laboratory Animal Medicine, and the roles and opportunities for veterinarians in biomedical research environment.  This introductory program is designed to be achieved within a 2 week-long period.


  • Acquire knowledge and skills relating to the practice of clinical laboratory animal medicine in commonly utilized research species, including mice, rats, rabbits, fish, amphibians, birds, ferrets, swine, dogs, and non-human primates.
  • Obtain experience in anatomic pathology and the correlation of clinical findings and clinical pathology, with gross and microscopic changes.
  • Gain an understanding of the specific regulations governing the use of animals in biomedical research, teaching, and testing.
  • Acquire an appreciation of the roles of veterinarians in managing and directing the care and husbandry of laboratory animals in academia and industry.
  • Acquire an appreciation of the roles of veterinarians in training principal investigators (PIs), research technicians, and animal care staff in the proper care and the use of laboratory animals in biomedical research.

The clerkship program includes rotations through Veterinary Clinical Services, Pathology, Transgenic Resources, Rodent Health Monitoring, Non-human Primate Medicine through the Washington National Primate Research Center, Gnotobiotics, Animal Welfare, Aquatic Animal Medicine, and Biotechnology/Research.  Students also attend weekly clinical, pathology, literature review, and research seminars through the Department of Comparative Medicine.

At the end of the clerkship, students give a short presentation on an assigned clinical case.