Department of Comparative Medicine

4th Year Clerkship

The 4th year clerkship program is designed for veterinary students who are strongly considering or have already decided on, pursuing Laboratory Animal Medicine as a career.  The overall objective is to provide basic training in Laboratory Animal Medicine as conducted in a medical school environment at a large public university.  Veterinary students will gain a significant understanding of the many roles and opportunities for veterinarians in biomedical research and laboratory animal medicine.  This in-depth program is designed to be achieved within a 3-4 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, 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 daily care and husbandry of laboratory animals.
  • Learn the principles of disease surveillance and testing
  • 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.

Students may also become involved in a short research project related to LAM.

At the end of the rotation, students will give a 30-40 minute seminar on a subject of their choosing related to LAM.