For those veterinarians who wish to gain more experience or become board-certified in a specific field of medicine or surgery, they can go on to complete an internship and/or a residency in their chosen area of interest. This article was written by Cathy Lombardi, formerly a veterinary student, now a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), who graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, describes in-depth how the internship and residency programs work.
From Cathy Lombardi:
The way internships/residencies work is that there is a matching system every year. A list is published (every vet school should have a copy) every year with internships and residencies that are available for the next year. There is an application process which involves transcripts, CV**, recommendations, personal statement, etc...and the student lists in order of preference which internships they will accept. Each place offering an internship basically does the same thing (ranks the applicants) - and then it becomes a matching game.
From what I've heard it's pretty competitive - you're probably not going to get one if you graduated at the bottom of your vet school class. How selective/competitive they are I think depends on the specialty. Internships and residencies are available in private practice and at universities. An internship is almost always required to get a residency - there are exceptions - sometimes private practice for a couple of years can be substituted for an internship.