Welcome to the Rainbow Equine Hospital.  We are pleased that you will be coming join us for your extramural studies. Undergraduates and some graduates come to us to “see practice” or as part of a more formal externship.

An enthusiasm for equine veterinary science is important but moreover a general commitment to hard work and a willingness to learn are key. Within the hospital you will work closely with the intern team but also work directly with our team of specialists and highly experienced nurses.

You should remember that we are a private practice not a teaching hospital so you will primarily be observing rather than doing. However, we will aim to help you gain experience in practical techniques, particularly if you are with us as an extern. You should be tactful, especially when there are clients present and wait to be invited to do things. If we deem it appropriate and if there is time then we will give you the opportunity to get more hands-on.

Our clinicians and nurses will make an effort to explain and discuss cases and procedures as we go. We know that students visit our practice to learn and we try to facilitate this as much as possible. We are however a very busy clinic so be cognisant of what is happening at the time. You may well get far more value from discussing cases at quieter moments rather than asking when we are juggling multiple cases. We are all approachable and encourage you to come and speak to us about anything you don’t understand.

We are here to help you put into practice what you have been taught in a clinical setting. We expect you to be responsible as part of the hospital team when you are with us, courteous to both clients and staff and most importantly to ensure the safety of yourself, our staff and our patients. Be ready to ask questions, be asked questions and contribute to discussions about cases on the road and at the hospital. The hospital is very informal and we want you to feel involved. Please ensure that you make it clear if you are experiencing difficulties, do not understand what you have been asked to do, or generally feel out of your depth in any way at all. We have all been there in the past!

What is expected of all students

You will be directly responsible to the hospital interns. You will be expected to take an active part in all inpatient duties during your time here. We will expect you to start at 7.30 am or earlier when we are busy as dictated by the interns. We will also expect you to stay until work is finished at the end of the day and to play an active part in out of hours’ duties. You will work hard and the days will be long.

Daily duties

Performing Clinical Examinations: Morning checks start from 7.00 am and need to be completed by 8.30am. You will assist staff in performing clinical examinations through the day and overnights as required. With the help of the interns you should ensure your findings are recorded on the patients’ digital records.

Treatments: You will be expected to assist in administering inpatient treatments round the clock. You will be able to observe and perform treatments but should also expect       to have to fetch and hold horses.

Daily rounds: Morning rounds commence daily at 8.30am with all hospital vets and some on the on-the-road team in attendance.

Diagnostic Imaging: You will be expected to assist with radiographs and be involved in radiographic and advanced imaging case discussion.

Lameness Examinations: You will have ample opportunity to observe lameness examinations with the interns and senior clinicians. When it is busy you will also be expected to help with trotting-up.

Surgery: You will have the opportunity to go into theatre during surgical procedures with the possibility of scrubbing in. You will be expected to help in theatre during after-hours surgeries.

Journal Club: Students are expected to attend and contribute to academic rounds that take place during their visit.


Tea, coffee, sugar and milk are freely available in the tea room in the hospital and there is frequently cake courtesy of staff and clients. Please help yourself. There are also a microwave and fridge in the tea room that you are welcome to use. Please clean up after yourself and an easy way to win friends is to clear up after everyone else as well!

A van comes to the hospital at 1245 selling rolls, pies, crisps, chocolate etc. Rumor has it they also sell salads and fruit.

The externs’ house is well equipped and most externs cater for themselves in the evenings. Every type of take-away is available in Malton which is only 5 minutes away.

Local facilities

Old Malton has a pub. There is local store on the edge of Malton which is a fairly long walk but for anything else you really need a car to drive 5 minutes into Malton. If you are staying on site and do not have your own vehicle then the interns will generally be accommodating in helping with shopping etc if you ask them nicely!


Externs are provided with accommodation in one of the houses on site which has twin bedrooms (be prepared to share) and shared kitchen, laundry, bathroom and living areas. Externs are required to be on-site and are therefore required to use this accommodation. In order to cover bills and cleaning externs are charged £200 for the month they are with us. Please pay this to the practice manager when you arrive.

There are several options for B&B within a close proximity to the Hospital for those students who need accommodation. Some of the nursing staff also offer inexpensive accommodation within close distance to the hospital. The local pub has offered special discounted rates for students and accommodation can be booked via the practice.

Preparation for your visit

Please bring:

  • Stethoscope
  • Thermometer
  • Watch/timer
  • Pocketbook
  • Clean and professional clothing (Jeans, T-shirts, shorts etc are not acceptable)
  • Sensible sturdy footwear
  • A warm jacket
  • A passport photograph of yourself

What is expected of externs

Externships run for a fixed 4-week term. As an extern you will be incorporated more formally into the hospital team and will be expected to participate more actively in work within the hospital. You may have to work harder but you will be more practically involved and should take more away from your time with us. The main differences from simply seeing practice are:

  • The fixed 4-week term
  • Provision of accommodation on-site
  • Formal inclusion on a 1 in 2 out-of-hours rota which includes weekends
  • More opportunities to perform practical procedures such as nasogastric intubation, catheter-placement, blood-sampling, removing shoes, nerve blocks and scrubbing into surgery.
  • Greater responsibility for in-patient care. With the interns on hospital rounds you will be responsible for the the monitoring and treatment of in-patients and will be expected to act with initiative and independence in to ensuring your patients receive the very best of care regardless of everything else going on within the hospital.


You will be expected to help with the admission and work-up of after-hours emergencies. You should add your contact details to the board in the interns’ office when you arrive. Unless you tell us otherwise, and have good reason, we will expect you to be “on-call”. You should arrive when asked to do so by the interns and leave when the interns advise you that it is appropriate to do so.

Nights: You should lease with the duty intern at the end of each day to discuss what needs to be done overnight. Externs will be expected to assist with overnight monitoring and treatments as part of our hospital team. Additional help from other students is greatly appreciated and a dim view is taken of students who do not participate in out-of-hours work.

Weekends: Commitment to out-of-hours work is expected and is greatly appreciated. Externs will be expected to work at least 2 of the weekends they are with us. Help from other students is greatly appreciated. Weekends are also an opportunity for you be practically involved when there is more time to help you and gain exposure to an emergency caseload.

When you arrive

Please report to reception for 8am and ask for one of the interns. If you arrive earlier then please head onto the yard and similarly ask for the interns.

Externs are welcome, indeed encouraged, to arrive on the Sunday ready start on Monday morning. Please let us know if you plan to arrive on Sunday or even Saturday. When you arrive head to the hospital where someone will meet you. Alternatively phone the hospital on 01653 695743.


You are a guest of the hospital and therefore Rainbow Equine Hospital does not accept any responsibility for personal injury or accidents or for loss or damage to your property. You should ensure that you have insurance for both yourself and your possessions.


Should you require any feedback then please ask. Students who fail to maintain an acceptable standard, or who abuse our hospitality, can expect to be asked to leave without notice.

And finally……

We hope that you not only benefit from but also enjoy your time at the Rainbow Equine Hospital. We look forward to including you as part of our friendly informal team.

If you would like to visit us to see practice, apply for an externship, or ask us a question please email our Student Coordinator with a copy of your CV or call us on 01653 695743.

Information For Students