CUSTOM VETERINARY COURSES AND EXTERNSHIPS

The Wildlife Institute and partners offer custom veterinary externships, study abroad courses for pre-vet and vet students and continuing education for veterinarians. We’re constantly developing new programs with veterinary and conservation partners around the world. Contact bzwildlifeclinic@gmail.com and let us help you design your study abroad course.

WILDLIFE INSTITUTE COURSES AND EXTERNSHIPS IN BELIZE

INTERNATIONAL VETERINARY EXTERNSHIP (IVE)

Wildlife Medicine & Conservation (WMC) + Small Animal Veterinary Externship (SAVE)
Tuition & Program Fees – $4,850
2019 Dates: June 11th – July 6th 

Our 26-day International Veterinary Externship (IVE) includes both Wildlife Medicine & Conservation (WMC) and Small Animal Veterinary Experience (SAVE). IVE is ideal for pre-veterinary, vet tech and veterinary students alike. Students’ skills and learning objectives are evaluated by the veterinary surgeons and specific roles and tasks are assigned to students based on these evaluations. The program is challenging and pushes students to develop skills which are often lacking in the vet school setting. Each course generally satisfies externship requirements with up to 60hrs of clinical experience per course. During Wildlife Medicine & Conservation, students join our Wildlife Veterinary team at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC), learn from Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand, our renowned and world-recognized Wildlife Veterinarian and Clinic Director. There students receive an intensive course on critical Wildlife Medicine and Conservation topics through hands-on learning, labs, some key lectures and field-site excursions. Students also visit other wildlife centers in Belize and the region. During SAVE, students are introduced to essential small animal clinical skills through hands-on preparatory lectures + quizzes, labs, street animal care and examination.  Then, students participate in service-learning animal health clinics in underserved communities educating the public about animal health, zoonotic diseases and environmental health issues; emphasizing the One Health approach. Students participate in spay and neuter clinics in underserved communities, often under basic conditions. Students do not conduct surgery independently during spay and neuter clinics, but may assist as deemed safe and appropriate by the veterinary surgeons. Students will conduct patient intake, examination, intubation, anesthesia monitoring, surgical assistance as appropriate, and recovery monitoring and discharge. This procedure is done in a strictly safe and appropriate way to maximize patient safety, student safety, and facilitate hands-on learning. 

Wildlife Medicine & Conservation Learning Objectives 
This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas:

  • Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in wildlife medicine and conservation.
  • Critical conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges with focus on human wildlife conflict and illegal pet trade.
  • Wildlife immobilization, handling, restraint and examination.
  • Wildlife medical approaches.
  • Stressors and risk evaluation.
  • Clinical procedures for mammals, birds and reptiles.
  • Distance immobilization & restraint for mammals, birds and reptiles.
  • Emergency medicine and triage protocol.
  • Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases.
  • Zoo and preventative medicine.
  • Wildlife Transport.
  • Comparative wildlife anatomy, osteology, and radiography.
  • Ecology of large cats, monkeys, iguanas, snakes, and birds of Belize.
  • Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species.
  • Necropsy.
  • Basic suturing.
  • Basics of avian fracture repair.
  • Tropical parasitology & neotropical zoonotic diseases.
  • International and local regulatory and practical applications associated with wildlife conservation.
  • International Veterinary Medicine perspectives.
  • The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation.

o Guatemala may be included in some itineraries

*Note on wildlife rescue or emergency field visits: The need for wildlife rescue or emergency visits is unpredictable. Past students and interns have been involved in a number of wildlife rescue, relocation, and emergency response situations. When such occasions arise, BWRC will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.

Small Animal Veterinary Externship Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key challenges and opportunities for small animal veterinarians in a developing country.
  • Safely handle, restrain and examine small animals.
  • Perform basic clinical laboratory diagnostic procedures.
  • Describe common zoonotic disease and their diagnosis, treatment and prevention, including those prevalent in the Neo-tropics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of domestic animal anatomy and radiography
  • Correctly perform basic suturing
  • Demonstrate an understanding of cardiopulmonary physiology as related to the perioperative patient
  • Correctly calculate drug dosages
  • Safely and effectively administer and monitor anesthesia the perioperative patient
  • Communicate effectively with the local community about preventative healthcare for domestic animals

WILDLIFE MEDICINE & CONSERVATION (WMC) IN BELIZE

Tuition & Program Fees – $2,850, Winter I 9-day format $2,150
2021. Dates pending

Taught by Dr. Isabelle, the award-winning and world-renowned Wildlife Veterinarian and Director of the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic. This course has been taught for over a decade to hundreds of aspiring veterinarians and animal science professionals. The Wildlife Medicine & Conservation course is an intensive introduction to key topics in wildlife medicine and conservation issues in the neo-tropics. Students learn about wildlife medical issues and approaches, the role of the veterinarian in wildlife conservation, zoo medicine, and wildlife rescue & rehabilitation. Students are introduced to preventative medicine and common diseases for various wildlife species. Students visit a number of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and conservation projects and centers around Belize and the region. The majority of this course is held at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic’s (BWRC) teaching facility with BWRC’s veterinary team and staff. Labs include distance immobilization, suture, necropsy, comparative anatomy, radiography, parasitology, and blood analysis. Students also have the opportunity to observe, and when possible, assist the BWRC and other facility veterinary staff with daily treatments and husbandry.

Students are likewise introduced to critical conservation issues in the region, focusing on strategies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Guest speakers enrich the course content with perspectives drawn from the front lines of wildlife conservation. In between visiting field sites and classroom sessions, students enjoy recreational activities and are introduced to Belize’s rich and diverse culture(s) through excursions, guest speakers and culinary exploration.

This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas

  • Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in wildlife medicine and conservation.
  • Critical conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges with focus on human wildlife conflict and illegal pet trade.
  • Wildlife immobilization, handling, restraint and examination.
  • Wildlife medical approaches.
  • Stressors and risk evaluation.
  • Clinical procedures for mammal, birds and reptiles.
  • Distance immobilization & restraint for mammals, birds and reptiles.
  • Emergency medicine and triage protocol.
  • Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases.
  • Zoo and preventative medicine.
  • Wildlife Transport.
  • Comparative wildlife anatomy, osteology, and radiography.
  • Ecology of large cats, monkeys, iguanas, snakes, and birds of Belize.
  • Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species.
  • Necropsy.
  • Basic suturing.
  • Basics of avian fracture repair.
  • Tropical parasitology & neotropical zoonotic diseases.
  • International and local regulatory and practical applications associated with wildlife conservation.
  • International Veterinary Medicine perspectives.
  • The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation.

o Guatemala may be included in some itineraries

*Note on wildlife rescue or emergency field visits: The need for wildlife rescue or emergency visits is unpredictable. Past students and interns have been involved in a number of wildlife rescue, relocation, and emergency response situations. When such occasions arise, BWRC will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.

SMALL ANIMAL VETERINARY EXTERNSHIP (SAVE)

Tuition & Program Fees – $2,850
SUMMER 2019 dates: June 11th-22nd

Small Animal Veterinary Externship (SAVE) is co-facilitated in partnership with the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC), and local animal welfare organizations. At BWRC, students receive lectures, labs and clinical training in preparation for community health and spay & neuter clinics. Public health and outreach clinics are conducted in and around San Ignacio and Belize. Students travel to various locations in Belize to conduct Animal Health Clinics, Educational Outreach, and Community Spay & Neuter Clinics in partnership with animal welfare organizations and veterinary clinics around Belize.

Students who take both Wildlife Medicine & Conservation and SAVE courses over a month’s time engage with the veterinary staff at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic; visit partner wildlife rescue and rehab organizations in Belize and Guatemala; have an opportunity to participate in international medicine; develop or strengthen clinical skills; work with a number of animal welfare and conservation organizations; and conduct community clinics. This within the context of beautiful Belize with its amazing array of natural beauty and cultural diversity.

SAVE Learning Objectives:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key challenges and opportunities for small animal veterinarians in a developing country.
  • Safely handle, restrain and examine small animals.
  • Perform basic clinical laboratory diagnostic procedures.
  • Describe common zoonotic disease and their diagnosis, treatment and prevention, including those prevalent in the Neo-tropics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of domestic animal anatomy and radiography
  • Correctly perform basic suturing
  • Demonstrate an understanding of cardiopulmonary physiology as related to the perioperative patient
  • Correctly calculate drug dosages
  • Safely and effectively administer and monitor anesthesia the perioperative patient
  • Communicate effectively with the local community about preventative healthcare for domestic animals

WILD SPRING BREAK IN BELIZE

Tuition & Program Fees $1,795
Section I: March 2nd-9th
Section II: March 9th – 16th
Section III: March 16th – 23rd
Section IV: March 23rd – 30th

Private groups and custom itineraries available.

Perfect for pre-vet, vet and students interested in wildlife conservation. The Wild-Spring-Break is a Wildlife Medicine & Conservation “Light” combining the perfect combination of wildlife veterinary medicine,  conservation, and eco-based recreation. Participants travel from the warm turquoise Caribbean waters to the rainforest while meeting and learning from veterinary and conservation professionals. This fast-paced program includes visits to wildlife centers across Belize, and both marine and terrestrial protected areas where participants snorkel in the Western Hemisphere’s most extensive coral reef, and visit Maya sites and wildlife centers set in jungles of Belize. Students engage with experts in Wildlife Medicine & Conservation, combining site visits with experiential learning on the front lines of wildlife conservation. Site trips include the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, the Belize Zoo, the Green Iguana Project, the our own Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC). You can sign up for one of our trips, or book a private section for your school or club.

This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas

  • Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians and conservation professionals in wildlife medicine and conservation.
  • Critical conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges with focus on human wildlife conflict and illegal pet trade.
  • Wildlife immobilization, handling, restraint and examination.
  • Wildlife medical approaches.
  • Stressors and risk evaluation.
  • Clinical procedures for mammal, birds and reptiles.
  • Distance immobilization & restraint for mammals, birds and reptiles.
  • Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases.
  • Zoo and preventative medicine.
  • Wildlife Transport.
  • Comparative wildlife anatomy, osteology, and radiography.
  • Ecology of large cats, monkeys, iguanas, snakes, and birds of Belize.
  • Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species.
  • Tropical parasitology & neotropical zoonotic diseases.
  • The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation.

o Guatemala may be included in some itineraries

*Note on wildlife rescue or emergency field visits: The need for wildlife rescue or emergency visits is unpredictable. Past students and interns have been involved in a number of wildlife rescue, relocation, and emergency response situations. When such occasions arise, BWRC will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.

REPTILE MEDICINE & CONSERVATION EXTERNSHIP

Tuition & Program Fees $2,950
SUMMER: July 24th-Aug. 7th

Private groups and custom itineraries available.

Perfect for vet, pre-vet and animal science students interested in reptile medicine, research and conservation. This internship combines work at 4 different centers in Belize. Interns hone their technical and clinical skills with the veterinary team at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC). Interns then conduct hands-on work at the Green Iguana Project and BFree’s Central American River Turtle Project (Dermatemys mawii). Interns study Crocodile population health and ecology at the Crocodile Research Coalition.  Participants travel from the jungle covered mountains of the Cayo district to the the warm turquoise Caribbean waters and Belize Barrier Reef while meeting and learning from veterinary, research and conservation professionals. This internship is offered once annually and enrollment is limited. 

This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas

  • Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians and conservation professionals in reptile medicine and conservation.
  • Critical conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges with focus on human wildlife conflict and illegal pet trade.
  • Wildlife/reptile immobilization, handling, restraint and examination.
  • Reptile medical approaches.
  • Reptile stressors and risk evaluation.
  • Clinical procedures for reptiles.
  • Immobilization & restraint for specific reptiles, including crocodiles.
  • Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases.
  • Zoo and preventative medicine.
  • Reptile transport.
  • Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species.
  • Reptilian parasitology & neotropical zoonotic diseases.
  • Field data collection methods.
  • Develop field observation skills.
  • Practice all aspects of reptile husbandry.
  • Reptile rehabilitation methods and approaches. 
  • The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation.

o Guatemala may be included in some itineraries

*Note on wildlife rescue or emergency field visits: The need for wildlife rescue or emergency visits is unpredictable. Past students and interns have been involved in a number of wildlife rescue, relocation, and emergency response situations. When such occasions arise, BWRC will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.

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