Merck Animal Health and Iowa State University announce internship program

Will fund two new poultry-specific veterinary interns

Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., in partnership with Iowa State University, announce the first annual Poultry Veterinary Internship Program (PVIP). Merck Animal Health will fund two new poultry-specific veterinary interns through Iowa State University’s (ISU) well-established veterinary intern program.

The two new poultry positions mark the expansion of a program that began in 2006 as an internship program for veterinary students interested in swine medicine. Over the past 15 years, the program has grown to include positions for bovine medicine and now facilitates the advanced training of approximately 30 interns interested in swine or cattle production medicine.

“The swine and cattle internships have developed into highly competitive positions, and we expect the new poultry program to be no different,” said Blayne Mozisek, MS, DVM, MAM, DACPV, poultry technical services, Merck Animal Health. “In helping to establish these two new poultry positions, our primary goal at Merck Animal Health is to provide selected students the best learning opportunity possible and allow them to experience the poultry industry firsthand. We are excited to help develop the newest generation of veterinary talent for the food animal industry.”

According to Mozisek, a secondary objective of the program is to help customers answer important questions to improve their business.

“By joining ambitious, highly qualified students together with corporate hosts who share our goals in providing a rewarding internship experience for these students, we hope to accomplish great things for all involved and better educate customers on new animal health trends,” said Mozisek.

The internship program will be a 12-week program, with one week on the front end at ISU for classroom and lab-based instruction on basic poultry anatomy, sample collection, flock health and management, and the principles, design and execution of poultry field trials. 

After completing the research, students will return to ISU for a debrief of their time spent in the field and begin assembling data and drafting abstracts. Interns will have the opportunity to present their data the following summer at the annual meeting of the American Association of Avian Pathologists.

“Thanks to Merck Animal Health for funding the internships. This is a ground-breaking, unique opportunity for students interested in poultry veterinary medicine and will provide invaluable opportunities for students to network and gain experience in the industry before graduation,” said Derald Holtkamp DVM, MS, professor in Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University. “It also presents an opportunity for them to learn how to do field-based research which is increasingly important for food animal veterinarians which is not provided in the curriculum at most veterinary colleges.”

“I’m excited to collaborate with Merck Animal Health, and I’m thankful to them for providing future poultry veterinarians with invaluable field research experience and on-farm opportunities they wouldn’t normally be exposed to,” Yuko Sato DVM, MS, Diplomate ACPV, associate professor at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and in Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University.

Current veterinary students and upper-level undergraduates interested in poultry veterinary medicine or current veterinary students interested in learning more about a career as a poultry veterinarian are encouraged to apply for this unique internship opportunity for summer 2022. To learn more, visit the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine website at Interested students also may contact Blayne Mozisek at [email protected] or Christine Mowrer, the program administrator at ISU, at [email protected].


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