Priest Lake Veterinary Hospital

2445 Morris Gentry Blvd
Nashville, TN 37013-2073


Veterinary Externships


Priest Lake Veterinary Hospital takes great pride in helping the future generations of veterinarians.

If you are looking for a veterinary externship in Nashville, Tennessee and are enrolled in an accredited DVM/VMD program and interested in learning from our veterinarians, please send an email ( ATTN: Dr. Kopp with your contact information and a short bio about yourself.


A member of our team will try to reach out within 3-5 business days.

What types of animals will I get to see?

We see dogs, cats, reptiles, birds and exotic companion mammals. Dr. Kopp treats dogs, cats, and exotic companion mammals.


Do you pay students or provide housing?

No, we are a small practice and unfortunately do not have the budget to pay students or provide housing. However, we work hard to make the externship enjoyable and educational.

What are the requirements for your externship?

  • Must be a veterinary student in good academic standing at an accredited veterinary school.
  • 4th year students are preferred, though other exceptional 1st, 2nd, and 3rd veterinary students are welcome to apply
  • Must be able to work at least 40-48 hours per week for a minimum of 2 weeks.
  • Must be able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Must be able to follow instructions and complete tasks efficiently.


What will I learn during my externship?

You will learn about all aspects of veterinary medicine, including:

  • Physical examinations
  • Vaccinations
  • Parasite prevention and treatment
  • Minor surgical procedures
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Dental care
  • Nutrition
  • Behavior

You will also have the opportunity to shadow our veterinarians and veterinary technicians as they work on a variety of cases.

What should I wear during my externship?

Please wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes and business causal clothing that you don't mind getting dirty. Please bring your lab coat.


What are the hours of your externship?

Our externship hours are usually Monday through Thursday from 7:45 AM to 7:00 PM.


How do I apply for your externship?

To apply for our externship, please send your resume and a cover letter to ATTN Dr. Kopp


Q: What are some things I can do to prepare for my externship?

A: Here are some things you can do to prepare for your externship:

  • Review the Priest Lake Veterinary Hospital Extern Information Packet carefully – this is emailed after your interview with out veterinarians.
  • Read the journal articles and textbook chapters that are listed in the packet.
  • Review your knowledge of canine and feline physical exams, anesthesia, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and common diseases.
  • Learn about the husbandry of common small mammals and other exotics (if possible).
  • Practice drug calculations and medical math.
  • Review your knowledge of canine and feline spay and neuter techniques.
  • Learn about radiology safety.
  • Review puppy and kitten visit protocols, including vaccine protocols, prevention (HW/flea/tick), and parasitology/deworming protocols.
  • Join the VIN (Veterinary Information Network) for free.


Q: What should I expect on my first day of externship?

A: On your first day of externship, you should expect to:

  • Arrive at the clinic at 7:15-7:20 AM and check in at the front desk.
  • Introduce yourself to your mentor.
  • Shadow your mentor throughout the day and observe each patient's physical examination, diagnostic procedures, treatments, surgery, etc.
  • Ask questions and get involved.

Q: What are some of the tasks that I will be allowed to do as an extern?

A: As an extern, you will be allowed to do a variety of tasks, including:

  • Shadow your mentor during rounds and observe patient care.
  • Perform diagnostic procedures, such as skin scrapes, tape tests, radiology exams, and fecal testing.
  • Assist with treatments, such as administering medications, placing IV catheters, and bandaging wounds.
  • Observe and assist with surgery.
  • Communicate with clients about their pets' care.

Q: What are some of the things that I am expected to do as an extern?

A: As an extern, you are expected to:

  • Be professional and courteous at all times.
  • Show initiative and get involved.
  • Ask questions.
  • Be respectful of your mentor and the other staff members.
  • Keep your work area clean and organized.

Q: What are some of the things that I can do to make the most of my externship?

A: To make the most of your externship, you should:

  • Be prepared and organized.
  • Be enthusiastic and eager to learn.
  • Ask questions and participate in discussions.
  • Be respectful of your mentor and the other staff members.
  • Be professional and courteous at all times.



We work hard to make the externship enjoyable

We understand that you are not being paid for your externship, so we work hard to make it as enjoyable and educational as possible. We provide you with opportunities to learn from our experienced veterinarians and veterinary technicians, and we encourage you to ask questions and be involved in all aspects of the practice.

We hope you will consider applying for our externship! We look forward to hearing from you.