Veterinary Orthopedics Internship Online - Support Animal Rescue - Loop Abroad

Wildlife Clinic
Veterinary Orthopedics Internship Online

Gain clinic experience and support animal rescue…

from anywhere on Earth


Veterinary Orthopedics: Exotics Surgical Techniques, Fracture Management, and Physical Therapy Internship (Online)

Earn 40 exotic virtual vet hours in 4 weeks!

Program Highlights

  • 100% live online through Zoom and Google Classroom
  • Earn 40 exotic veterinary hours for VMCAS vet school applications
  • Join a wildlife veterinarian up close and in real-time for physical and orthopedic examinations (may include raptors, coatis, lizards, snakes, rats, rabbits, frogs and more!)
  • Receive a goniometer via mail to practice orthopedic assessments live with your veterinarian mentor
  • Earn a “Veterinary Goniometric Assessment” training certificate for your resume  
  • Support exotics rescue, rehabilitation, and research in Belize

Lead Mentor: Jorge Luis Mercado Ortega, DVM

Supporting Mentor: Sarah Mann, Founder – Belize Raptor Center

Students in the Veterinary Orthopedics Internship (Online) will learn and practice the fundamentals of orthopedic surgical techniques, fracture management, and physical therapy through live demonstration and vet-taught case studies on avian and small exotics species — at a local wildlife clinic in Belize. 

Interns will learn to:

  • Understand the musculoskeletal system of small exotics
  • Properly restrain exotics
  • Apply radiology principles to orthopedics
  • Perform physical and orthopedic examinations
  • Reduce, stabilize, and repair fractures
  • Care for wounds
  • Utilize complementary diagnostic tools to assess orthopedic ailments (blood sampling, blood smear reading, red and white blood cell counts, fluorescein, parasitological)
  • Select drugs in orthopedic treatment
  • Recognize metabolic problems associated with orthopedics
  • Perform physical therapy (use of a goniometer)
  • Use newly acquired knowledge to interpret real-time cases
  • Make highly informed diagnosis decisions
  • Provide clinical care, rehabilitation and release for exotic species  

Reviews of the last virtual internship with the Belize Raptor Center

“This experience GREATLY exceeded my expectations. I had so much fun learning about everything in this course. I instantly fell in love!”

“This far outweighed my expectations – which is saying something since I know Loop programs are always amazing! This was a once in a lifetime experience.” 

“The whole raptor team was so helpful, accommodating, and they KNEW their stuff! I loved learning from them every session!”

“Both Dr. Jorge and Sarah were so helpful and always were so open to answering all questions. They were both extremely passionate about what they do, making the internship and learning more enjoyable.”

Real-time cases will screen exotics for: 

  • Luxation / disclocations
  • Joint injuries
  • Degenerative joint diseases
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Fractures

……and SO much more! 

Interns will participate in physical and orthopedic examinations, screenings, and diagnostic workups of exotics, with a focus on avian medicine. Other small exotics may include lizards, rats, snakes, rabbits, coatis, frogs, squirrels, or any other patients to the clinic during the internship period. This internship takes place at a real, working Belizean clinic!

During the final session, students’ knowledge will be assessed through a final examination and skills demonstration. Interns who pass the final exam (which you will be prepared to do if you have attended all sessions) and successfully demonstrate their skills will be certified in their successful completion of the “Veterinary Goniometric Assessment” training by Loop Abroad.

Each student will receive a goniometer by mail to practice for their certification assessment.

Dates, Meeting Times, And Deadlines

Note: If you cannot attend all live sessions or have schedule conflicts with certain hours, all sessions will be recorded so that you can watch anything you missed.

Each week, you’ll be working with, learning from, and shadowing the veterinary team by video call at the times above. All interns can ask questions and get one-on-one mentorship.

Enrollment is rolling and sessions will close as soon as they fill. If a fellowship session is still listed here, there are still positions available.

Internship Tuition

Since COVID-19 has disrupted many students’ travel and educational plans, we are heavily discounting tuition to help pre-veterinary students meet their goals.

FellowshipFull Tuition
4-week internship (40 hours)$1495 $1095

University credit is not offered with this internship.

There are no additional readings, technology subscriptions, or course materials you have to purchase to participate in this fellowship.

The Gilman Scholarship could fund $5000 of your tuition and the deadline is October 5, 2021 at 11:59pm Pacific Time!

See the official website for the latest details and read about Loop Abroad students who have received this scholarship. If you are a US citizen receiving a Pell Grant and currently enrolled in college or university, we encourage you to apply for this scholarship!

What do I need to enroll? Students may apply from anywhere in the world. You must be fluent in English and have internet fast enough for a video call (minimum 1Mbps) and a computer with video playback, microphone, and sound. No experience with veterinary medicine is required.

Enroll Now



There are lots of ways to help fund your online and travel programs with Loop Abroad, and we are here to help.

Scholarships are a terrific way to cover some or all of your tuition for a Loop Abroad program.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship:

The Gilman Scholarship could fund $5000 of your tuition and the next deadline is October 5 at 11:59pm Pacific Time! The Gilman Scholarship was designed to help students of limited financial means have the opportunity to study abroad – online or in-person. Nearly a third of applicants are awarded the scholarship! This is a great opportunity to help cover your tuition.

Students can receive up to $5,000 for travel or virtual programs. The scholarship can be applied to any of our online programs, to our semester programs, or to one of our 2-week programs.

Along with their application, students must submit two essays, the Statement of Purpose Essay, and the Community Impact Essay. Students must also upload their transcripts (unofficial or official). For more information on the application guidelines, please click here.

See the official website and read about Loop Abroad students who have received this scholarship. If you are a US citizen receiving a Pell Grant and currently enrolled in college or university, we encourage you to apply for this scholarship. The round of applications due October 5 will cover in-person programs or internships that start between December 1, 2021 and October 31, 2022. Virtual programs will be eligible through Summer 2022. This cycle encompasses Spring 2022, Summer 2022, Fall 2022, and Academic Year 2022-2023 programs.

Loop Abroad Dr. Erica Ward Scholarship

Loop Abroad is offering one FULL TUITION scholarship to cover one online program of your choice starting January 2022 or later. Applications are due November 30, 2021.

Who can apply: This scholarship is open to all students age 18 and over. You do not have to be a US Citizen. You do not have to be currently in school. You do not need to be enrolled in an online course to apply. You can apply for the scholarship first and make your online course selection after you receive a decision about the scholarship. (Note: if you make any payments toward tuition and later receive the scholarship, your payments will be refunded up to the value of one online program of your choice, not including an online semester.) 

Criteria for selecting the scholarship recipient: 

We will consider financial need, commitment to conservation and/or animal science, academic performance, and ability to be a positive team member as factors in our decision. We are not looking for the applicant with the highest grades or the most animal hours. We are not looking for the applicant with the saddest story. We are looking for a student who embodies Loop Abroad’s values of teamwork, commitment to a cause, and hard work, and for a student who would not be able to otherwise afford Loop Abroad tuition (whether because of household income or recent change in circumstances).

How to apply:
In order to apply, you must complete the following three steps:

  1. Submit the application to the Loop Abroad Dr. Erica Ward Scholarship here. The application requires a copy of your proof of household income (such as last year’s tax return).
  2. Follow @LoopAbroad on instagram ( and make an instagram post about the program you’re hoping to join, tagging @loopabroad and #loopabroad in the post.

Announcement of Award: The scholarship winner will be notified by November 25th.

girl elephant dogWhy is it called the Erica Ward Scholarship? Dr. Erica Ward is our Academic Director. We believe that she embodies the values we are seeking in our scholarship applicants: she is passionate, dedicated, hard-working, and driven to make the world a better place. Dr. Ward consistently strives to find ways that Loop Abroad can support projects in need and help its students and alumni have fulfilling academic opportunities. We have decided to name this scholarship after her in order to honor her continued commitment to her values and purpose. (PS – She isn’t dead. Please don’t write your essay about honoring her legacy. She is very much alive and still working here. If you are a finalist for the scholarship, she will read your essay.)

The scholarship will be credited toward tuition for the winning student toward the Loop Abroad online program of their choice. If the chosen winner has already made payments toward his or her Loop Abroad tuition, those payments will be refunded in full.

Scholarship is non-transferable. If student cannot attend, scholarship will be void – it is not a cash prize and cannot be paid as such. Applicants must be over the age of 18. Citizens and residents of any country may apply.


The Gilman-McCain Scholarship:

The Gilman-McCain Scholarship is a congressionally funded initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and named after the late senator John S. McCain from Arizona.

This scholarship is open to US citizen undergraduate students who are child dependents of active duty service members and receiving any type of Title IV federal financial aid. Students can receive awards of up to $5,000 for 2+ weeks of international travel or online programs. The scholarship can be applied to any of our online programs,  semester programs or 2-week travel programs.

The next round of applications for the Gilman scholarship open in January 2021. The deadline will be in March. At that time, you can apply for scholarships to use on any program starting between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022.

Freeman-Asia Scholarship:

The Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. This scholarship is open to both US citizens and permanent residents who are undergraduate students at a two-year or four-year college or university.

Recipients can receive up to $3,000 in awards for summer programs. This scholarship can be applied to our Thailand programs of 2+ weeks.

In order to apply, students must fill out an online application. Read the scholarship instructions here and the eligibility requirements here.

Applications for the 2020-2021 school year are closed. 

The Fund for Education Abroad:

The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) invests in promising students with financial need who wish to study abroad. Potential applicants who meet our eligibility requirements may participate on any international education program that meets their academic objectives.

This scholarship is open to US citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a college or university in the US. Scholarships range from $1,250 – $10,000 and can be applied for programs that run for at least 28 days.

Along with their application, students must submit a financial aid form (filled out by the financial aid office at their school), one recommendation letter, and a copy of their unofficial transcript.

Applications for Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 will open November 16, 2020 and be due by January 20, 2021. Students may review the scholarship and apply here.

Scholarships of note that you can apply for through the Fund for Education Abroad include: Travel Video Contest:

The 2020 Travel Video Contest gives students the opportunity to win a scholarship by sending in an original video discussing:

  • How COVID-19 has impacted your international education or cultural exchange experience abroad
  • Your ideal international education or cultural exchange after Covid-19

There are several prizes available ranging from $250 to $4,000.

In order to apply, students must create a 4-minute video and submit an online entry form. Tips and tricks for filming a video entry can be found here. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

Submissions are due by October 13, 2020. Apply here.

The Associate Home Loan Scholarship:

The Associate Home Loans Scholarship was created with today’s future leaders in mind. As college prices are constantly increasing this scholarship was created with the hope that it can help make a small difference in one college student’s life each year.

This scholarship is open to high school seniors who have been accepted into a college or university, and current college and university students who attend at least part-time.

Students can apply for the scholarship by submitting a 500-word essay to the question, “What is your dream career?” The student with the winning essay will be awarded $1,000.

Get more details about this program…

"Overall, this course has been amazing. It has exceeded any and all expectations I had. I love it!"

Grace H., Animal Rescue Internship Online 2020

Alma College in Michigan

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