Holidays are over; NAVLE scores are back, and now its time to make one of the most important decisions of your life if you applied for an internship: Ranking The Programs in the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program (VIRMP). The irony of it all is that at the end of the day, you don’t have too much control over the process.
So here are my top 10 pearls of wisdom to help you with the VIRMP rank that I’ve picked up over the last 10 years being on the ranking side:
- Rank the programs that you feel you will be a good fit at higher.
- Do not rank a program if you feel, deep down inside, you will not like the program or tolerate living in that city. In other words don’t rank just to rank.
- There are wonderful private practice internships so don't be afraid to rank them high. Many private practices have caseloads that dwarf academic caseloads, which could be a real plus. I caution you to find out as much as possible about them so that you know what you are applying for. For those of you who will be ranking next year try to do externships at places you would consider doing internships. I did my internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego and it was AMAZING. Looking back, I would rank them at the top, hands down.
- Don’t rely too much on what you hear about your rank status as you may not end up being ranked as high as people say they are ranking you. It is usually a group of people that decide your rank, and not one individual.
- Make sure you try and contact current or past interns and ask them about their internship experience. You will likely get a very real answer, which will help you decide. Keep in mind these people are extremely busy so be patient and nice.
- Rank places based on the caseload and case variety that you feel you would thrive in most. Be honest with yourself.
- If you are residency bound try to stick to either academic internships or highly respected private practices. If you are unsure about the private practice you can ask them how many interns have gone on to match for residency.
- If you are interested in a particular specialty try to make sure that the specialist you would work with is engaged in training and mentoring interns. Otherwise, I would not rank as high.
- Make sure that you rank higher the places that actually have the specialty you are interested in. For example, dermatologists may not be at every practice.
- The internship you match at is the best one in the country! It’s all about your engagement, enthusiasm, and work ethic. So if you are all in… you will do fantastic. Stay humble, be a team player, and respect your colleagues and staff.
How to Land Your Dream Job
They say getting in is the hardest part.
“They” don’t know how challenging vet school can be.
But you are in the middle of it and you know that it is very difficult; lots of late nights studying, worrying about your patients, mountains of debt, a giant board exam to pass prior to graduation and then, oh yeah, I guess you should think about getting a job too.
We put together a list of what you should be considering when looking for that DREAM JOB: