Rotating Internship: Small Animal

   Encina Veterinary Hospital has provided high quality general practice and referral Internal Medicine services to the East Bay of San Francisco area since 1977. Under the same roof, “East Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency”, in Walnut Creek is a multi discipline referral service is staffed by boarded specialists: 2 Internists, Oncologist, Surgeon, 2 Dentists, and a Neurologist. Our facility was recently remodeled and expanded to 6400 Sq. ft and is a showcase of architecture and functionality. Our equipment is state of the art including a helical C/T Scanner, high definition color flow Doppler ultrasound and echocardiography unit, video endoscopy of all descriptions, a complete in house laboratory, and extensive monitoring equipment for anesthesia and critical care, to name a few. MRI studies are currently outsourced. Direct digital radiology is found in our Walnut Creek Location and now in our sister facility, East Bay Veterinary Emergency of Antioch as well. This is a new 4,000sq ft clinic which is equally as well staffed and equipped. Interns will rotate through both facilities. Our team of congenial, highly trained, competent staff provides excellent support.

    Our interns will have the opportunity, with close supervision by senior clinicians, to experience all aspects of general practice, specialty medicine, and surgery. Individual case responsibility will begin after a four week supervised orientation period. Early in the program participants will receive training and experience in anesthesia. Emergency rotations are directly and indirectly supervised. We provide training in ultrasound and echocardiography. We have an intern surgery program which allows clients with financial constraints to be able to pursue surgery for their pet, and for the interns to do these surgeries with supervision from a senior staff member. Some examples of intern surgeries are splenectomies, gastrotomies, enterotomies, cystotomies, amputations, enucleations, mass removals, C-sections, and pyometras. Grand rounds are conducted bi-weekly, case management discussions are conducted daily and subject rounds are held weekly.

Continuing education will be provided with monthly topic rounds and wet labs. The interns recurring schedule will include four weeks of rotation through various specialties, general practice as well as an out-rotation through the Spay and Neuter Clinic at the local shelter. O The program starts and finishes on the 4th of July. Questions regarding the program should be directed to Dr. Peter Nurre DACVIM, phone (925) 937-5000 or

I was in intern 2010-2011 from the University of Florida. I interviewed at all five northern CA programs and a few in CO. I chose Encina for a number of reasons. First, the surgery experience was far and away the best. I came out having done at least 70 spays/neuters, and more importantly, had performed all of the major surgeries – gastrotomy/enterotomy, GDV, splenectomies, enucleations, amputations, and even c-sections.

Second, I got great ultrasound/echocardiogram experience. Unfortunately, the machine you get spoiled with at Encina is nowhere to be found in the real world, but it was a great start. I feel confident in identifying all of the major abnormalities, and I’ve even been able to pick up some of the more subtle lesions. It’s all because I had significant time with the ultrasound and numerous cases. I feel quite confident in doing an echo when I get the opportunity.

Lastly, I simply learned a lot. It’s the most diverse specialist-wise, and having all of those resources was one of the biggest draws. The setup for the satellite ER hospital is perfect. There’s always someone awake at the main hospital to go over cases which is the way it should be. You have the autonomy to manage your cases, and help is a phone call away. It was a great confidence booster and made the learning quicker than would be in another situation. The docs there are genuinely interested in teaching.

There are long days like any internship. I felt worn out from time to time. Most importantly, I enjoyed coming to the clinic every day because I was able to practice the way I wanted to practice, I was in a place where they were interested in making me better, and it was the perfect start to the best career in the world.

To any future intern, I highly recommend EBVS/EVH. I would not hesitate to do it again. I do recommend you visit any practice you are considering applying to. It’s well worth your time because it’s one of the most important years of your career.

—Kyle Marano, DVM, Intern Class 2010-2011