Dr. David Haeussler founded The Animal Care Centers in 1980 as a small 1-doctor practice. Through a focus on hard work, selecting the best staff, attention to quality veterinary medicine and customer service, the small 1 doctor hospital has grown into the largest small animal practice of it’s kind in Ohio. With three beautiful, full service hospitals ranging in size from 12,000 s.f. to 20,000 s.f in size Dr. Haeussler’s group practice is quickly gaining a reputation as the place to go for extern, student, and recent graduate mentoring.
The Animal Care Center staff boasts a very unique, sophisticated, and comprehensive system of mentoring to insure that every student and new doctor gains the necessary exposure and experience to become an excellent companion animal veterinarian. Mentoring is a passion at the Animal Care Centers and you will have the opportunity to work alongside multiple excellent general practitioners. You will accompany them into as many as 15-20 cases per day and see what it takes to win the "Best Veterinarians of Cincinnati" award a record 7 times. Watch, scrub in, and if capable, even perform surgery while under the supervision of your mentor. You will have the opportunity to learn how to work up simple outpatient appointments as well as work up complex internal medicine cases in an environment that encourages mentoring and engagement. Mentoring and teaching is a passion at Animal Care Centers and it shows in virtually everything we do.
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Could you briefly explain a day-to-day schedule of a typical intern and how that progresses, especially in terms of how the mentorship program fits into all of it? How exactly are we provided mentorship?
The day to day schedule when you are new is structured around training. Of course this changes as you gain confidence and experience and have spent time with our doctors and staff. When a new doctor starts with us they spend approximately 2 days with Samantha, our training director, to perform your orientation, collect all necessary paperwork including tax forms, go over the handbook, and begin getting you comfortable with our hospital software.
After this process you will spend a full week shadowing our doctors. We assign you to a doctor each day so you have clear direction. We will expose you to surgeries during that time as well. After a few days we may have you see boarders with one of our doctors coaching and giving general advice.You will receive as much time from our doctors as you need and ask questions and get to know the staff.
When the first week is over you will begin to see routine appointments.You will receive ongoing mentorship throughout the day. You will meet with a senior doctor for a one on one training session weekly. After each session your Employee Progress Report is updated.(The "Employee Progress Report" is a very structured training program that is broken down into 12 months sections of training - Just as an FYI, we have some doctors doing ACLs, Foreign body surgery, and many other challenging surgeries by the end of their 1st year. Not only can they do them, but they are good at them.)
Depending on what materials are covered, the senior doctor will clear you to see certain types of cases when you are comfortable. Your personalized Employee Progress Report is filled out at least weekly; there is an “Exposed” section, a “With help” section, and an “Independent section”. For instance, if your mentor has gone over how to handle an ear infection case and the senior doctor feels you can see a case independently, your Employee Progress Report is updated to "I" and you are cleared to see those cases independently. We keep a running list of what the new doctors have been cleared to see so the front desk knows how to schedule them.
We work closely with you in surgery as well. Surgery training is tracked in a very similar manner and is updated weekly to the Surgery Employee Progress Report. You will observe routine surgeries, scrub in with our mentor, and then perform routine surgeries with your mentor. Once your mentor feels you can perform that surgery independently your Surgery Employee Progress Report will be updated and you'll be clear to perform these surgeries independently. With the amount of doctors we always have on staff a senior doctor is always available if you need help. We won't ever leave you alone. We work closely with the SPCA and have pets come in weekly to be spayed and neutered so can give our interns and externs alot of surgical exposure.
How long am I assigned to a senior doctor?
We will look at the schedule for the day and see what the doctors have scheduled both from a surgical and appointment standpoint, and guide the training accordingly. You may have 2 or 3 doctors you are involved with in any given day. There are no concrete rules for this. This program is very good at identifying what you need and tailoring the training to help you become successful.
Once you start seeing appointments you would usually see appointments in the morning, surgery in the afternoon, you get an hour lunch and then back to appointments. As you can see your mentorship and progress are part of our culture and are practiced daily.
What is the caseload like?
This will differ as when you do your rotation to each clinic. You may spend 6 months at one of our busier clinics and 3 months at the other 2. All of our senior doctors are excellent teachers and you will receive great experience and mentorship at all of our clinics. Newer doctors are scheduled 30 minute appointments and after 6 months usually can see 20 minute appointments if they are ready. You will be single booked during appointment time. As a new doctor you could be booked a full day but that is not usually the case. If we have surgeries we want you to observe or be involved in, you will be marked out for those surgeries. This happens quite a bit. Between the 3 clinics you will get to see and be involved and learn many different surgeries.
What is the application process for externships?
There is not a formal application process. If you let us know you are interested and we have an opening we will work with you to get you in our program.
How long of an externship am I allowed to complete with you?
Some of this is dependent on your school but our programs are typically 2-4 weeks.
Will I be working with one specific veterinarian or many veterinarians during my externship?
You will work with multiple doctors but there will be one that will be responsible for completing your paperwork. We have busy practices with much to see, we do not want to limit the cases and surgeries you are involved in by having you with a single doctor.
How involved am I allowed to be in clinical cases?
This will depend on a lot of different things. It will depend on your skill set, your level of interest, how willing you are to work, and how coachable you are. We want you to have a great experience here!
What is the dress code?
Scrubs or business casual.
What should I bring with me?
Your stethoscope and any paperwork that you have been given by your school for us. Most paperwork is sent to us electronically.
Do you have recommendation for housing?
1. ACC owned condos! (Space is limited) These are in close proximity to our hospitals and come furnished.
2. Extended Stay America (right next to our Blue Ash Office) #513-985-9992
3. Extended Stay America (near our Fairfield Office) #513-860-5733
4. InTown Suites Fairfield (short term apartments) #513-942-8005
"First of all, I wanted to thank you and all of the wonderful doctors and staff members from Animal Care Center for making my experience unforgettable. The individual mentorship I received from each doctor was top-notch. This experience allowed me to grow my clinical skills and surgical confidence which is invaluable.
I had the opportunity to discuss participating in your one year internship program with Joey the Director of Operation while I was there. I appreciate his willingness to discuss the details of the position with me and for giving me time to consider this offer.
It was a difficult decision to make but I've decided to pursue an associate position instead of an internship after graduation. I appreciate being considered and learning more about Animal Care Centers of Cincinnati.
It was a pleasure meeting you and your staff!"
"My name is Sarah Kovarik and I go to Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. I have always loved animals and can remember at a very young age wanting to be a veterinarian so that I could help them. I wanted to come to ACC because I saw an upperclassman’s Facebook post about their time here. They mentioned there was a high caseload and that they were able to get some surgery time as well, which was appealing to me. ACC has provided me with AMAZING mentorship! All the doctors here are great and take the time to talk with you about cases and answer questions. The work environment at ACC was inviting and comfortable. All the technicians were helpful and love when you ask to draw blood or help restrain. The caseload varied, but in general there was a high number of them. It was a little slower than normal during my time here because of the holidays and owners traveling, but there was still plenty of interesting cases. I was able to perform one surgery on a shelter patient, assist in a cystotomy and an exploratory that ended up being multiple foreign bodies. I was able to observe numerous mass removals and dental extractions as well. I was able to gain experience with the ultrasound machine thanks to Dr. Ben. He was able to help me interpret findings and become more proficient in using it. I was also exposed to many radiographs and interpreting them. It’s hard to say what other students might be looking for as experience. As for my experience, I can’t think of anything else that I would have added to my externship. I truly had a great time interacting with the staff at ACC and was happy with the opportunities they provided me."