Veterinary Career Services

New York State Student Externship Law
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 such veterinarian.
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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