Preceptorship Program

When Will the Preceptorship Take Place?

Successful candidates are offered one of two 6 week block commitments
May 28th - July 5th OR July 8th - August 16th, 2024

What are the Qualifications I need?

  • If participating in an associates' program, you are required to have completed at least two semesters of Veterinary Technology coursework. If participating in a bachelor program, you are required to have completed at least four semesters of Veterinary Technology coursework.
  • Proof of Rabies pre-exposure vaccinations or current titer
  • Proof of current health insurance
  • Ability to lift 30lbs 

When is the Deadline for Applications?

The application period will be opened December 1st, 2023.

Deadline for Applications and Resume is March 8th, 2024

When Will I Know If I've Been Accepted?

Decisions will be announced by April 5th, 2024

Vet walking yellow lab outside

Two vets examining a puppy

How do I Apply?

Students interested in applying for a preceptorship opportunity can submit queries and application materials attention Veterinary Technician Preceptorship Committee at Incomplete applications will not be considered. 
Please click here to find the Cornell Wildlife preceptorship program 

All Applications Must Include:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Completed application LVT Preceptor Application
  4. Contact information for two (2) references

An interview will be required by Zoom or in person.

The amount of hands-on experience may be limited on some clinical rotations as Cornell must first meet the practical experience requirements of its residents, interns and students. Throughout the preceptor program, all preceptors will be exposed to a variety of cases and learning opportunities, using observation techniques when hands-on work is not possible. Although it is our intent to offer the most complete experience possible, we cannot guarantee fulfillment of all check off items listed on the student's task list.

Each 6-week rotation will offer preceptors opportunities to work closely with a team of staff and students in a fast-paced, high-volume environment.

Vet walking old lab during an examination

What are the Rotations?


  • Small Animal Surgery

    Preceptors rotating through the Small Animal Surgery section will be exposed to a variety of surgical cases with either soft tissue or orthopedic conditions. Preceptors will learn proper aseptic techniques, instrument identification, proper instrument care/preparation, and sterilization methods.

     They will shadow and assist the surgical technicians in their daily routines which include: 

    • Receiving surgical appointments and getting patient histories
    • Helping restrain and assisting with physical exams, bandage changes, etc.
    • Scheduling  pre-operative exams for blood work, sedation, radiology, ultrasound, CT, MRI
    • Helping set-up operating rooms and assisting in surgery

  • Small Animal Anesthesia

    The small animal anesthesia department coordinates, creates plans for, and performs anesthesia for orthopedic surgeries, soft tissue surgeries, ophthalmologic surgeries, neurology surgeries, MRIs, CT scans, endoscopies, dentistry procedures, and others. Primarily, preceptors will observe pre-medication, induction, maintenance of inhalant anesthesia, and recovery. Preceptors may have the opportunity to assist LVTs and residents with tasks such as:

    • Creating an anesthetic plan (look up history, bloodwork, physical exam, choose drugs, etc)
    • Helping calculate drug dosages and drawing up drugs
    • Helping pre-medicate, place IV catheter, induce, intubate, administer inhalant anesthesia, and recover patient
    • Helping place monitors on the patient and recording information on the anesthesia record
    • Restraining patients for physical exams, pre-medication, and IV catheter placement.

  • Ophthalmology

    On the ophthalmology service, preceptors will be able to observe surgeries and assist LVTs with appointments. Common procedures on this service include cataract surgery, lens luxations, nictitan gland replacements, laser pexy, ERG, and others, primarily on small animals. Preceptors will be able to sit in on rounds or short lectures with the students. Some tasks the preceptor may perform include:

    • Restraining patients for examinations, medications, and blood draws
    • Administering medications, such as eye drops
    • Drawing blood
    • Setting up equipment for procedure

  • Small Animal Internal Medicine

    Internal Medicine visualizes and treats the body as a whole; we consult and coordinate with each hospital
    specialty, as needed, to improve outcomes for our patients. Our service primarily receives stable to critical
    Cornell Emergency patient transfers, stable to urgent referral appointments with acute and chronic
    disease, and perform consultations along with high level diagnostics and procedures in order to provide
    the highest level of care for our patients, and to gain a better understanding of differentials and disease
    processes. LVT Preceptors will be able to follow along with cases from admit and initial history, through
    performed diagnostics and consults, and later interpretation; train with five highly experienced LVTs;
    work closely with one medicine-focused intern, and a rotation of five residents and two faculty members
    each week.
    Diagnostics typically performed include basic level complete bloodwork and urinalysis in our in-house
    lab and Cornell’s Clinical Pathology and Diagnostics lab, sample collection for our Clinical Trials Team
    which includes research and bio bank work, and advanced level referral testing samples sent to specialty
    labs around the nation. Regularly performed procedures include FNA's (blind and ultrasound guided),
    joint taps, bone marrow aspiration, Radiation Iodine Therapy with Nuclear Scintigraphy, Ultrasound,
    Radiology, CT, rhinoscopy, cystoscopy, endoscopy (upper, lower, foreign body removals), laparoscopic
    liver biopsies, skin biopsies, esophagostomy tube placement, gastric feeding tube placement, balloon
    dilation, among many others. LVT Preceptors may have the opportunity to assist with:

    • Blood collection, IV catheter placement, or cystocentesis
      ● Restraining patients
      ● Setting up for procedures
      ● Assisting with procedures
      ● Administering sedation and monitoring sedated/anesthetized patients
      ● Processing laboratory samples

  • Exotics:

    The exotics department performs a variety of functions, from routine physical exams to surgical procedures on exotic patients such as rabbits, rodents, reptiles, and birds. While on exotics, preceptors can expect to observe handling and restraint of various species, client communication, blood collection, medication administration, sedation/anesthesia, surgical procedures, radiographs, and other various procedures. Preceptors should be aware that they may only be able to observe on this rotation, as some patients become stressed easily or are critical. If possible, preceptors may be able to participate in tasks such as:

    • Blood collection and quick assessment tests
    • Assisting with anesthesia, radiology and surgical procedures
    • Assisting with subcutaneous fluids, oral medications, and injections
    • Feeding patients and other patient care
    • Maintaining cleanliness of facility and restocking of area

  • Community Practice Service

    Community Practice Service (CPS) operates similarly to an independent general practice. The preceptor on this rotation will observe physical exams, vaccinations, surgeries such as spays and neuters, blood tests, and referrals. While on CPS, preceptors may be able to participate in tasks such as:

    • Restraining for physical exams
    • Blood collection
    • Vaccinating
    • Assisting LVTs prepare for surgeries
    • Observing anesthesia protocols

  • Dermatology

The Dermatology Service at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals provides specialty care for companion animals with skin and ear conditions. We offer state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques and treatments, including digital video ear examinations, intradermal and serologic allergy testing, cryotherapy and have CO2 laser capability.

Preceptors will primarily observe examinations, sample collection, and anesthetized procedures. Preceptors may have the opportunity to assist LVTs, interns, and residents with tasks such as:

  • Restrain patients for physical exams, treatments, sedation, blood collection
  • Help monitor patients during and after sedation
  • Help prepare and stain cytology slides
  • Facilitate the workflow of cases and procedures

  • Neurology

The Neurology Service here at Cornell is a nine-person service meeting the needs of patients both medically and surgically. On a two week rotating basis we have anywhere between 2-6 students on with us. We receive appointments on a scheduled basis as well as emergency receiving. Some of the most common reasons we see patients are intervertebral disc disease, epilepsy, pain management, long term seizure management, trauma (brain & spine), inflammatory and infectious diseases (and so much more!). We utilize different imaging modalities to diagnose our neurologic patients such as radiographs, CT scans and MRIs.

As a LVT preceptor on our service you may have the opportunity to assist with any of the following:

  • Restrain for cerebrospinal fluid collection
  • Perform basic venipuncture
  • Place intravenous catheters
  • Bladder expression
  • Urinary catheter placement
  • Cystocentesis
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Assist with Operating Room duties
  • Perform blood pressure
  • Basic physical therapy
  • Post operative patient management

  • Shelter Medicine

The Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University works directly at the local Tompkin's County SPCA to provide care for the homeless animals in the area. In partnership with Cornell, the shelter provides daily medical care including intake exams, surgeries, preventative medicine, and post adoption support to its patients. As a technical student, you will be hands on daily providing direct care to over 40+ animals in the shelter environment on tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Intake Examinations: providing practice with vaccinations, blood draws, medication administration, and restraint of cats, dogs, and other small mammals (when applicable)
  • High Volume, High Quality Spay and Neuter: providing assistance with LVTs to administer IM medications, intubate, prep for surgery, and recovery animals in a high volume fashion
  • Medication Administration: providing knowledge on commonly used medications and how to administer to multiple different animal personality types (a great skill to have)
  • Other aspects of the shelter as a whole you will get to tour and become familiar with include: animal care, adoptions, behavior, and so much more!


  • Large Animal Internal Medicine

    Internal Medicine is a fast-paced emergency type environment with many opportunities for hands on learning. Preceptor is expected to know basic handling of all species, able to take direction and be a highly motivated person. Preceptors will experience handling during catheter placement, ultrasound, and examinations of horses, cows, camelids, pigs, sheep, and goats.

    Preceptor Medicine Expectations:
    • Helping set up for appointments and hold patients for exams
    • Helping students with treatments
    • Assisting with drawing blood, placing catheters and administering medications
    • Delivering blood to the lab, and knowing reasons for submitting certain tests
    • Participating in service rounds

  • Large Animal Surgery

The large animal surgery service works with a variety of species such as horses, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, alpacas, llamas, camels, reindeer and many more. Our service provides outstanding surgical care for large animals with a wide range of medical conditions both elective and emergency care. Diagnostic capabilities include high resolution radiology, CT, MRI scanning and endoscopy. Procedures are performed in state-of-the-art surgery suites fully equipped with equipment for both traditional open surgery and for laparoscopic procedures. We work as part of a team with a broad range of specialists including anesthesiologists, internists, dentists,radiologists and other specialists to ensure our patients receive the most comprehensive care possible. Our experienced staff provides nursing care 24 hours a day.
The Orthopedics Service is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Our staff includes board-certified veterinarians who have pioneered many of the approaches used for diagnosis and treatment of joint and bone disorders. They are assisted by skilled surgical residents and veterinary technicians.

Common Procedures:

• Farm Animal
o Abomasal displacement or volvulus, hardware disease (Rumenotomy) and atresia coli in calves
o Cesarean section, castration and hernia repair
o Management of Urolithiasis (blocked sheep or goat)

• Equine
o Exploratory Laparotomy (colic), hernia repair, Cesarean section
o Laparoscopic Cryptorchidectomy Castration and Ovariectomy
o Sinus surgery for cysts, neoplasia and dental disease
o Upper airway surgery including Tie back, Tie forward, Ceratohyoidectomy
o Fracture repair, Arthroscopy

LVT Preceptors may have the opportunity to assist with:
● Preparation of induction room and surgery suite
● Assist in induction, positioning and patient prep
● Identifying surgical equipment and sterile procedure
● Gowning and gloving techniques
● Assist during surgical procedures

  • Large Animal Internal Medicine Service

The Large Animal Internal Medicine Service here at Cornell works with equine and farm animal patients to diagnose and treat various conditions and care for hospitalized patients. We have one chief of service, two residents and two LVTs on at a time. On a two week rotating basis we also have anywhere between 2-6 students on with us. We receive appointments on a scheduled basis as well as emergency receiving. Some of the most common reasons we see patients are colic, dystocia, pneumonia, neurological signs, fevers of unknown origin, weight loss, diarrhea, airway evaluation, gastric ulcers, choke, (and so much more!). Common species we work with include equine, bovine, caprine, camelid, porcine and cervidae. We utilize different diagnostic testing to assess our patients including, bloodwork, ultrasound, radiographs, endoscopy, and
CT. We also work closely with the Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Theriogenology services and help with workups of their large animal patients. Our favorite part about LAIM is that each day is different!

As an LVT preceptor on our service you may have the opportunity to assist with any of the following:

• physical examination
• set up and clean up for procedures
• basic venipuncture
• restrain for ultrasound and other diagnostic procedures
• nursing care of hospitalized patients
• run point of care bloodwork
• neurologic examination
• place IV catheters
• receive incoming emergencies

  • Large Animal Anesthesia

    Large animal anesthesia LVTs sedate and/or anesthetize horses, cattle, alpacas, llamas, pigs, goats, sheep, and the occasional exotic/large wildlife animals for a variety of procedures. Preceptors will observe IM injections, IV catheter placement, premedication, induction, maintenance, ventilation techniques for large animals, and recovery of patients. Preceptors may have the opportunity to assist LVTs and residents with tasks such as:

    • Administering IM and IV injections
    • Placing IV catheters and arterial catheters
    • Assisting with induction and intubation
    • Placing monitoring equipment on patient
    • Operating the anesthesia machine and syringe pumps
    • Keeping an anesthetic record
    • Assisting with extubation and patient recovery