In a learning veterinary hospital, you do not have just the regular staff. You also have veterinarians-in-training, and vet assistants and vet techs who are doing their internship training. It is important to recognize who is who, why more than one vet is overseeing your pet's care, and the importance of allowing others to sit in on exams and procedures.
The Actual Vets in the Hospital
These are the vets that are at the hospital all the time, every year, never changing unless they quit. Their names and credentials are posted on the office walls, usually along with their pictures, so that you know who they are. In all cases, at least one of these permanent veterinarians will be hands-on with your pet's care whenever your pet is sick or injured.
These are veterinarians-in-training. They have not, as of yet, graduated from the vet school. They have to do a few internships, just like human doctors, before they will be allowed to graduate and become licensed veterinarians. They tend to shadow, or follow, the hospital's veterinarians around while the licensed veterinarians perform exams, check injuries, take x-rays, and administer medications. The vets-in-training may act as both vets and vet techs or vet assistants while they learn at the hospital.
Vet technicians are like animal nurses. They are able to give health screenings, look for diseases and parasites in animal feces and blood, and prep animals for surgery. The learning hospital may have a few vet-techs-in-training as well, but the ones in training are easier to spot because they often look lost and have to ask the hospital's regular techs what needs to be done next.
Veterinary assistants are the CNAs of the animal care world. They are the ones that clean out cages, mop the floors, assist the vets with holding uncooperative animals, and take dogs for walks or exercise the animals. They usually learn while on the job, so you probably will not see too many vet assistants-in-training because they are in the process of training already.
Why the Veterinarian Learning Hospital Operates This Way
There is no better way for future animal doctors and future animal nurses to learn than on the job. This is an ideal place for them, as well as the many animal cases that walk in the hospital doors. It also benefits you and your pet because more than one veterinarian is watching out for the health and well-being of your pet and can make an emergency call on what to do next if something goes awry. You and your pet are helping to train good veterinarians and vet staff by allowing the students to sit in on all procedures.