Internship accreditation

Attract great internship candidates

Adding internship accreditation to your AAHA accreditation can help your practice attract the top internship candidates and sends a strong message to candidates that you’re serious about providing interns with an educational program that allows them to enhance their skillsets.

If you’re interested in building an internship program for your practice, the internship standards provide a guide. Or, you can use them to enhance your current program.

Frequently asked questions about internship accreditation


What is an internship?

An internship is a postgraduate, clinical training position, usually for one year, in which veterinarians gain practical experience by rotating through various departments in the hospital or focusing on a specific discipline.

Internship programs should be designed to build confidence and communication skills, and prepare veterinarians for high-quality service in practice or advanced specialty training.

The main purpose of the internship program should be to provide a sound educational program for the intern. The key to a successful internship is establishing a clear, mutual understanding of what is being provided and what is expected in return.

What is the difference between internship and mentorship programs?

An internship program focuses on establishing a clinical training position where practical experience is gained by the veterinarian. This can be a new associate or a veterinarian who has been in practice for some time.

A mentorship program is intended for newly hired graduates and/or new associates, and is relationship based. Mentors help the mentee learn the ins and outs of what it’s like to work in a practice and fit into a practice culture.

AAHA mentorship accreditation

Why did AAHA develop internship standards?

AAHA recognizes that internships help develop veterinarians' skills and help them become more productive team members. AAHA supports continuous improvement in all forms, and understands the value of internship programs that help veterinarians succeed professionally.

Who can pursue internship accreditation?

AAHA-accredited practices that have at least one board-certified veterinarian on staff who supervises the practice's intern(s) are eligible. Beyond that, any AAHA-accredited practice may choose the internship standards as an optional, no-cost addition to their accreditation evaluation.

Is internship accreditation mandatory?

No, internship accreditation is completely optional.

Is there a cost?

There is no additional cost to add internship accreditation as part of your accreditation evaluation.

AAHA launches internship standards

AAHA was the first major veterinary organization to offer a standards-based platform for establishing successful internship and mentorship programs at veterinary hospitals.