Internship Program

Compassionate and High Quality Care

Pioneer Equine Hospital Internship Program
Contact Person: Becky Hicks, DVM
Number of Interns currently in practice: 4

Doctors and Staff: We have 8 veterinarians, including two board certified surgeons, and two certified veterinary acupuncturists, one of whom is also certified in chiropractic care. We also have four intern veterinarians, as well as two part-time veterinarians who specialize in orthopedic and soft tissue ultrasound. There are fourteen equine health technicians and five front office staff members.


Type of Practice: 100% equine practice – predominantly performance horse with emphasis on western performance and hunter/jumper/dressage.



The hospital is a 22,000 square foot full service facility on 20 acres in Oakdale, California. It has two spacious surgical suites with adjacent viewing rooms. There are four padded induction/recovery rooms which are utilized by surgery and MRI. There are seven large examination rooms including specialty rooms for standing surgery, radiology, ultrasound, and endoscopy. The covered lameness area is 140×300 ft with hard and soft ground for optimal evaluation. We have the only high field equine MRI in northern California and a Pegaso CT, which has an impressive 120cm gantry. There are two 20 stall barns which separate the surgical and lameness patients from the medical and emergency cases. The on-site podiatry center offers highly skilled farriers who see outside appointments and also work closely with the veterinarians in cases that need therapeutic or corrective shoeing. Our reproductive services include assisted reproductive technology, artificial insemination, subfertile mare management, embryo transfer, foaling, full service stallion management, breeding soundness evaluations, and collection of semen for shipping and freezing.


Estimated Breakdown of Daily or Weekly Work Load:


The intern performs morning treatments and assessments of the patients prior to morning rounds. Interns will rotate through four departments during the internship. Interns will spend two week blocks on anesthesia, surgery, lameness with Dr. Brad Jackman, and hospital, seeing daytime emergencies and facilitating in-hospital case therapy.


Approximately 30% of their time will be spent performing anesthesia or assisting on surgical cases, 20% performing diagnostics, 30% assisting the primary clinicians with lameness evaluations including performing perineural and intraarticular injections, 10% assessing and treating hospitalized patients, and 10% ambulatory duties. Routine treatments during hospital hours, weekend days, and week nights are performed by the technicians, while after hour treatments and monitoring are performed by the interns and externs. Interns are responsible for all daily treatment sheets in hospitalized patient records and performing call backs on each patient seen at Pioneer Equine Hospital.


Additionally, interns will sharpen their presentation skills by participating in monthly grand rounds as well as giving hospital tours and participating in community equine activities.


Emergency Duty Requirements: Primary emergency duty one night during the week
and rotating weekends. There is a board certified surgeon on back up call at all times.


Philosophy of Practice’s Internship:


Pioneer Equine Hospital strives to provide the highest quality care for our patients in a friendly and fun work environment. The interns are considered an integral component of the practice. We rely heavily on the interns to use their knowledge and skills as veterinarians and not as inexpensive labor to perform duties the primary clinicians do not want to perform. The interns will gain a great deal of hands-on experience and should be very competent at the end of the internship in performing equine surgical, medical and reproductive skills. In the past, we have had outstanding placement to academic residency programs and associate positions around the country.


Internship Information and Requirements


Requirements for Internship Application: A letter of intent, resume or CV, three letters of recommendation, and a transcript must be on file prior to October 15th. Applicants that have visited our hospital and performed an externship will have an advantage in the selection process. A license to practice in the state of California is mandatory. To apply, please send your application to Dr. Becky Hicks by mail or email at


Employee Benefits: AVMA Liability Insurance, continuing education stipend, housing and health insurance.


Employment Contract: A one year employment contract is required detailing the duties and responsibilities of the intern. Interns are given 10 full days off through the year with no vacation taken during June, July, or May. Interns are also given 3 half days for residency or associate interviews.


Intern Salary: Available on Request


Term of Employment: June 1 through May 31