15 Great Veterinary Teaching Hospitals

A veterinary teaching hospital provides education to future veterinarians and gives them the hands-on opportunities to gain skills in an in-patient setting. Often, fourth year vet students are involved in in-take and do an initial examination of a patient, afterward following-up with a veterinarian as far as diagnosis and potential treatment. These first-hand experiences help vet students to develop confidence in their skills and to gain more direction under the guidance of a veterinarian, many of whom may be board certified.  As well, teaching hospitals usually offer a diverse number of services, ranging from treatment of small and large animal to care for exotic animals, wildlife, and farm animals, creating many learning opportunities for the future vet. Whatever animal type you want to work with or specialty that you wish to seek, a veterinary teaching hospital is the way to develop those needed skills.

City : Urbana
State : Illinois

This teaching hospital, in Urbana, IL, is a full-scale hospital that offers services for animals, ranging from pets to exotics and farm animals to horses. Students work alongside professionals, many who are board-certified, but also with vet techs who are certified, too. They have opportunities to gain skills in numerous specialty areas that range from anesthesiology and pain care to imaging, ophthalmology, surgery, reproduction, and much more. In fact, there are more than a dozen specialties available through the teaching hospital. Senior veterinary students typically do the initial take-in of patients and then discuss the findings with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action and follow-up.

City : Fort Collins
State : Colorado

This teaching hospital, in Fort Collins, CO, gives students the opportunity to expand their working skills to help treat small and large animals. They also can learn about general equine and general livestock care through available hospital programs. Not only does the hospital offer equine field services, typically staffed by two veterinarians and an intern, but also equine sports medicine, too. Third- and fourth-year students can participate in the hospital’s dairy ambulatory service program, which includes weekly visits to provide primary care to cows and calves, at dairy farms – and currently has four dairy farms in the rotation. Additional services, and opportunities for learning, range from emergency care to cardiology, dentistry, oncology, neurology, and more, all available at the small animal hospital.

City : Blacksburg
State : Virginia

Located in Blacksburg, VA, this school was founded in 1978 and is the in-state vet school for students living in Virginia or Maryland. The school offers both small and large animal service hospitals, but also an Equine Field Service program. This operates with 35 miles of the Blacksburg area and provides primary, emergency and preventative care to horses in a farm setting. In fact, more than 79,000 animals are treated yearly through the school’s hospitals and field-service program. There are many other services also available through the hospital that range from equine acupuncture and ultrasound to inpatient and outpatient diagnostic imaging, giving vet students many ways to immerse themselves in animal care.

City : Athens
State : Georgia

“Supporting Georgia’s agriculture one herd at a time” is a key phrase for this teaching hospital, which provides the opportunity to be part of a production medicine team and to monitor and help improve the health of dairy and beef cows in the area. That’s not all; students also can gain hand-on experiences through the more than 25,000 small and large animal visits that occur annually through the hospital, and by working under the supervision of board-certified specialists. If modern is important, the hospital moved to a new location in 2015, and now provides state-of-the-art equipment that includes a 64-Slice CT scanner and a 3T open bore MRI that could be of interest to students wanting to know more about these technologies. There also are more than 25 specialties provided through the hospital.

City : West Lafayette
State : Indiana

Students gaining experience in this teaching hospital, in West Lafayette, IN, can work under the guidance of doctors trained in fields such as anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, oncology and more. Treatment is provided through community practice, specifically available to those in the county as well as staff and students of the campus, but also through the school’s small and large animal hospitals, in which providing compassionate care is a priority. Fourth-year veterinary students in the hospital have the opportunity to do medical histories and perform physical exams on new patients and then to collaborate with clinicians to create appropriate diagnostic plans.

City : Pullman
State : Washington

At this teaching hospital, in Pullman, WA, fourth-year veterinary students and interns, residents and graduate students work with clinical professionals to provide the best of care and treatment to animal patients. Students in this hospital, which opened in 1996, may be able to learn about various technologies including CT scans, endoscopy, MRI, radiation therapy and more, and may be able to gain knowledge in specialty areas such as cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, pharmacy, and radiology. In fact, the hospital offers more than 15 specialty service areas that range from clinical pathology to oncology.

City : Baton Rouge
State : Louisiana

Students learning vet skills in this Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based hospital work under the direction of board-certified specialists skilled in areas like anesthesiology, cardiology, internal medicine, oncology, and more. Students may be able to participate in events ranging from Spay Day to animal emergency responder boot camps and ultrasound workshops, and can even take part in the school’s Shelter Medicine program that aims to help unwanted animals residing in shelters in south Louisiana. Two related animal shelter classes have even been incorporated into the school’s veterinary program, and zoological services, farm animal services, and wildlife care is also available.

City : Knoxville
State : Tennessee

Knowledge, compassion and discovery are key parts to the care provided at this animal medical center, located in Knoxville, TN. As a student, you may be able to gain learning at any of the four animal hospitals, and discover ways to provide care to small animals, horses or even farm animals. If that’s not enough, there is even an avian, exotics and zoological hospital and the capacity to work under the direction of board-certified specialists. Fourth-year students often begin the intake process of small animals, finding out the history of a pet or animal and doing a physical examination and then following up with skilled veterinarians on routes for treatment.

City : Raleigh
State : North Carolina

Whether it’s to learn how to work with small animals, farm animals, horses or more, this veterinary hospital, located in Raleigh, NC, offers many different learning opportunities. There are more than 17 board-certified specialists on staff, providing guidance as far as animal care, and three animal medical facilities at which to learn, including a companion animal medical center, an equine and farm animal medical center and a veterinary health and wellness center. In the companion animal center alone, there are 30 exam rooms and 10 surgery suites, affording plenty of opportunity for students to gain new insight and skills.

City : Columbus
State : Ohio

Students receiving a veterinary education at this Columbus, Ohio-based animal medical center learn about providing both routine and specialized care to animals and become part of an overarching care system that treats more than 35,000 animals every year. State-of-the-art technology is important to learning as is the opportunity to gain specialized skills in areas like cardiology, gastroenterology, urology, reproduction and more. In addition to treating companion animals, students may have opportunities to work with a variety of farm animals or even service animals, like police dogs and guide dogs.

City : North Grafton
State : Massachusetts

This Tufts University animal hospital, in North Grafton, MA, offers a focus that goes beyond just healing animals to helping embrace entire families, according to its website. Opportunities for student learning include a small animal hospital, a large animal hospital, an ambulatory service, a wildlife clinic, which has a goal of releasing animals back into the wild, and a spay/neuter clinic. It also offers “Tufts at Tech,” which aims to provide low-cost primary and preventative care to companion animals in the region.

City : College Station
State : Texas

Providing both a small animal and large animal hospital, this veterinary teaching program, in College Station, Texas, gives students the opportunity to learn how to provide care to dogs, cats, birds, horses, cattle, goats and more. The teaching hospital, established in 1915, has a caseload of treating more than 24,000 animals every year. The only veterinary teaching hospital in the state, the school employs many faculty members who are board-certified in their field and can help pass their knowledge on to students. An animal life-care center offers opportunities to secure care for the rest of a pet’s life.

City : Ithaca
State : New York

Located in Ithaca, NY, this veterinary teaching hospital gives students the chance to work under the direction of board-certified veterinarians and to use cutting-edge approaches. Care options encompass a companion animal facility, an equine hospital, a farm animal hospital – all three as in-patient facilities – as well as a wildlife health center, and ambulatory production medical services. The wildlife center enables students to work with injured or rescued animals, including owls, while the ambulatory services gives them the opportunity to gain skills in providing routine and emergency care to animals on farms within 25 to 30 miles of Ithaca.

City : Philadelphia
State : Pennsylvania

This veterinary hospital is considered one of the busiest in the country, handling more than 30,000 small animal visits annually, about a third of which are emergency cases. Located in Philadelphia, PA, this hospital also gives students the opportunity to work with exotic animals, such as amphibians, birds and reptiles. The school also has a large animal hospital, located in Kennett Square, Pa., that oversees the care of about 4,000 animals yearly, with most of these involving treatment of horses. However, there also is a field service program that gives students the opportunity to learn at local farms – particularly since the school treats about 36,000 animal patients a year through outreach.

Methodology

The following factors were used in compiling this list of 15 great veterinary teaching hospitals.

  1. Various hospital types: Most of the teaching hospitals on this list offer care to small and large animals – and some even for exotics or wildlife – and additionally have more than one hospital site or type.
  2. Outreach services: Many of the veterinary teaching hospitals on this list provide outreach services, often through field services, that occur on a farm or other type of similar site.
  3. 24-hour services: Nearly all of the teaching hospitals on this list offer emergency services, 24 hours a day, giving students the opportunity to learn from specialists who demonstrate how to work quickly and provide the best care that they can.
  4. Numerous specialties: Many of these hospitals offer different areas of specialty care, ranging from oncology to reproduction, ophthalmology and more. While not every teaching hospital offers every specialty, most offer a diverse number, positioning students and interns to be able to gain unique insight and experience.
Barry Franklin (Editor)

Barry is the Managing Editor of VetTechColleges.com, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, which he co-founded. Previously, Barry served as a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. In addition to running editorial operations at Sechel, Barry also serves on the Board of Trustees at a local K-8 school, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He presently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and their black maltipoo.