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University of Pennsylvania-Large Animal Neonatal/Perinatalogy


Each spring the University of Pennsylvania, School of
Veterinary Medicine offers a two week elective in Large Animal Neonatology and
Intensive Care Medicine at the New Bolton Center campus.  This clinical
elective is open to veterinary students who have completed their preclinical
training and who have a special interest in equine neonatology/perinatology
and/or intensive care medicine. Our case load includes intensive care neonates
(primarily equine) and high risk pregnancy cases (equine, caprine, bovine).  We also attend all dystocia births (equine,
bovine, ovine, caprine, alpaca) and any other birth that occurs in the

Students make elect 2 or 4 weeks of neonatology, if so
desired. The elective provides students experience managing these critically
ill neonates and complicated pregnancies. Daily rounds emphasize normal
physiology and pathophysiology of perinatal diseases, the use of monitoring
equipment (eg capnography, ECG, BP monitor), fetal and neonatal ultrasonography
and various treatment modalities (eg oxygen therapy, parenteral nutrition,
positive pressure ventilation, fluid therapy, inotrope/pressor therapy)
required in the management of critical care neonates and late-term

Students will have the opportunity to master some of the
following manual and theoretical skills; blood gas analysis, calculation of
parenteral and enteral nutrition formulations, establishing and maintaining
long term jugular catheters, principles of fluid therapy as applied to patients
with septic shock and patients requiring maintenance fluids, interpretation of
fetal and neonatal sonograms, familiarity with various types of respiratory
support therapy and resuscitation protocols, and a working knowledge of a wide
variety of pharmacological agents including antimicrobials, anticonvulsives,
analgesics, pressors and inotropes. Consecutive two week rotations begin during
the last week of February and continue through the first week of June.


Associate Veterinarians and special expertise available

  • Jonathan
    E. Palmer; VMD, DACVIM (Large Animal Neonatal/Perinatalogy)

Educational Resources

  • electronic journals
  • electronic text books
  • branch library
  • all are part of the University of Pennsylvania's library system


Students responsibilities include presentation of NICU
cases at rounds, performing patient treatments with the assistance of the NICU
nursing staff, morning SOAP’s on all assigned cases, and emergency shifts and
assistance with monitoring and delivery of high risk pregnancies. Students are
scheduled on a rotating basis to assist with treatments every week day evening
and on weekends and holidays. Emergency duty is also assigned equitably on a
rotating basis among the students. Care of the NICU case population is a team
effort shared by 4th year students, NICU clinicians, nursing staff,
nursing assistants, nursing students and foal sitters (2nd year
students and volunteers).

Student Supervision

Generally 80 hours a week but sometimes more.


visiting students are provided with dormitory space at our New Bolton Center
campus. Students are responsible for meals and all personal expenses. Limited
cooking facilities are available. Dedicated footwear and scrubs are required.

Practice Information

University of Pennsylvania
3800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Ph: (215) 573-8652
Office for Student Affairs
(610) 925-6412 Dr. Jon Palmer, Chief Neonatal Intensive Care Service, Director of Perinatal/Neonatal Intensive Care Programs
Fx: (610) 925-8100 Dr. Jon Palmer

Email: or Dr. Palmer

Students can also access our Externship Packets and Applications at:

Signature on file: Dr. Jon Palmer
Updated: 08/05/11


Students may enroll in 1 or 2 two week rotations
corresponding to our rotations 21 through 2 (generally the last week of
February through the first week of June).

Students must have liability insurance either
through OSU or we can accept AVMA student liability coverage.

Philadelphia, PA
Elective categories: