A Day in Photos: Wildlife Veterinary Intern

We followed Dr. Monica Madera, one of the Wildlife Center’s veterinary interns, during an early-spring day at the hospital. This is a photo journal of her day, giving you a glimpse into what it’s like to be a wildlife veterinarian.

8:02 a.m.

Most days start off with me looking at the daily treatment sheets and schedule to prepare for the day ahead.

Most days start off with me looking at the daily treatment sheets and schedule to prepare for the day ahead.


8:26 a.m.

Once a week, one of the veterinary or rehabilitation staff members sits down with the students to go over the “Case of the Week”. The purpose of this is to provide real cases to all students so they can think through a problem on their own and see what problems can present to the Wildlife Center that may not always be seen on a regular basis. This week, we were looking at pox lesions in Gray Squirrels; I encouraged the students to determine diagnostics and to think through a treatment plan.

9:11 a.m.

I examined red fox kit #18-0207 with veterinary technician intern, Jenna. This fox was admitted after she was found by a construction crew and had inhaled concrete dust. She was having trouble breathing and was covered in dust.

9:28 a.m.


Time to review treatment sheets again, and plan for the next patient. It was Turtle Thursday, which means all of our turtle patients are examined (hence the “Turtle Thursday” reminder sign on the treatment table).


9:37 a.m.


Volunteer Kelly and I performed a weekly foot-and-tail check on our education opossums. A spoon of peanut butter keeps them busy as I examine them!


9:49 a.m.



Checking on treatment sheets again, and recording what we did so far for the morning, and checked in with the students and fellow intern Dr. Ingrid to see what was happening next.


9:57 a.m.



Part of my job is teaching fourth-year veterinary students who do rotations at the Center. Here I’m helping veterinary student Anna draw blood from Snapping Turtle patient #17-2211.


10:41 a.m.



One of our Eastern Ratsnake patients needs to be weighed.


11:03 a.m.



I performed a quick visual check on Bobcat #17-2495 as part of her weekly evaluation.

11:10 a.m.



I took a phone call confirming an interview for a job – my position at the Wildlife Center is a limited training position, meaning I have to find a permanent full-time job after my internship ends in June. [Editor’s note: Dr. Monica has since accepted a position in Watertown, NY!]


11:15 a.m.



Each morning (or early afternoon) we hold daily rounds in the hospital – this is when the hospital staff, rehabilitation team, front-desk coordinators, and outreach department come together to go over patient statuses.

12:08 p.m.

We prepped Canada Goose #18-0108 for a special procedure to visualize the inside of the goose’s throat (where there was an abnormal narrowing) in order to widen that narrowing. This was in order to help this patient swallow food and water normally. It was a long procedure!

5:01 p.m.

I did an intake exam on Black Bear yearling #18-0222 - a very thin, malnourished bear that was found in Bland County, Virginia.


6:28 p.m.


My last intake of the day: a female Northern Cardinal.


8:56 p.m.

I finished the day by entering notes into our patient management system, WILD-ONe. Notes include comments about patients, prescriptions for the following day, and changes to treatment plans.


10:11 p.m.


And my day is done! In the late winter, spring, and summer, our days tend to be pretty long; this is because of the increase in patients admitted, in combination with the increased number of procedures and surgeries that need to be performed for those patients.

See the others featured in the "A Day in Photos" series.