College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Internship Stories: Ruby Fishbein

Joanna Bell
Ruby Fishbein

As Agriculture Forward student Ruby Fishbein watched a scalpel slice through the leg of a three-year-old golden retriever to expose muscle and bone, she couldn’t think of a better way to spend her summer. 

Dually enrolled as an Animal Science and Agricultural Business Management student at the University of Maryland, College Park, Fishbein watched such surgeries this summer as part of her Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) internship at the Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine (VOSM) group in Annapolis Junction, MD. In addition to observing amazing surgeries, she helped animals undergo different types of therapies and treatments, and watched animals recover from injuries—all while actively learning more about a career in veterinary orthopedic sports medicine.

Fishbein pursued this internship to learn about treatments for dogs such as swimming, underwater treadmills, and chiropractic therapies. However, once she started working at VOSM she grew to appreciate the veterinary science part of her job. In fact, her favorite part of the internship was assisting the veterinarians during surgery. She said, “You come to a realization that this surgery you are observing is going to alter this pet’s life for the better. Instead of experiencing pain from its injury, this animal will be able to run, jump, and play again.”

Fishbein also became interested in learning more about all animals, and admits that some of the more fascinating surgeries were on less common pets such as rabbits or geese. One surgery that she witnessed was performed to fix a fractured leg on a pet goose. 

Before this internship, Fishbein was considering a career that focused on physical therapy for dogs. This internship helped her gather experience toward that goal and opened her mind to veterinary science and medicine, as well as careers that work with a greater variety of animals. Overall, she had a great internship experience. In the future Fishbein wants to find a career that she feels passionate about. In fact, she states that, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” This statement accurately describes both her internship and her future career aspirations.

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