New York State Student Externship Law
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Students under the following limitations may
practice veterinary medicine within the state without a license:
Chapter 91, Laws of 1984, Section 6705, Number 9: Any student
enrolled and in good standing in a school of veterinary medicine
approved by the commissioner, who practices under the general
supervision of a veterinarian licensed and registered under this
article; provided however, that only such students who have completed
at least two and one-half years in an approved veterinary program
may assist in diagnosis, treatment and surgery in such practice,
subject to the following requirements: (a) assisting in diagnosis
and surgery be under the immediate personal supervision of such
veterinarian; (b) assisting in treatment be under the direct supervision
of such veterinarian; and (c) only one such student shall be supervised,
as specified in clauses (a) and (b) of this subdivision, by one
The purpose of the law is to permit students to gain clinical
experience in private practice during term recesses or during
the off-hours of their medical school terms, such as evenings
or weekends. Such clinical experience need not be a formal component
of the veterinary medical school's program, although it may be.
The only responsibility placed upon the school is to indicate
the student is enrolled and in good standing.
The externship law places certain restrictions upon the "extern"
practice engaged in by the student, and does so, in part, by placing
certain responsibilities upon the supervising veterinarian.
l. The law restricts any practice involving diagnosis, treatment
and surgery to students who have completed three years or more
in a veterinary medical school program.
2. It requires that "treatment" be under the direct
supervision of the veterinarian which means the supervising veterinarian
must be present in the facility where treatment occurs.
3. It also requires that "diagnosis and surgery" be
under the immediate personal supervision of the veterinarian which
means the veterinarian must be physically present in the room
where the diagnosis or surgery occurs.
4. The law requires, with respect to diagnosis, treatment and
surgery, that only one veterinarian may supervise one student.
This means for example that in a two-person practice, no more
that two third-year students may perform either diagnosis, surgery
or treatment at any one time and each must be supervised appropriately
and singly by the veterinarians comprising the practice. The law
states that the student may assist in diagnosis,
treatment or surgery implying that the practitioner is primarily
and directly involved in these clinical functions.
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