A thorough search of the literature to find the best evidence is central to the practice of evidence-based veterinary medicine. This requires knowing which databases to search to maximize journal coverage. The aim of the present study was to compare the coverage of active veterinary journals by nine bibliographic databases to inform future systematic reviews and other evidence-based searches. Coverage was assessed using lists of included journals produced by the database providers. For 121 active veterinary journals in the "Basic List of Veterinary Medical Serials, Third Edition," the percentage coverage was the highest for Scopus (98.3%) and CAB Abstracts (97.5%). For an extensive list of 1,139 journals with significant veterinary content compiled from a variety of sources, coverage was much greater in CAB Abstracts (90.2%) than in any other database, the next highest coverage being in Scopus (58.3%). The maximum coverage of the extensive journal list that could be obtained in a search without including CAB Abstracts was 69.8%. It was concluded that to maximize journal coverage and avoid missing potentially relevant evidence, CAB Abstracts should be included in any veterinary literature search.
Ethical sensitivity has been identified as one of the four necessary components of moral action, yet little has been done to assess ethical sensitivity to animal issues in animal-related professions. The aim of this study was to develop assessment tools to measure and enhance ethical sensitivity to animal issues, and determine relationships between ethical sensitivity and moral reasoning. Of a cohort of 115 third-year veterinary students from the University of Queensland, Australia, 104 students gave permission to use their responses to written ethical sensitivity and moral judgment tests, and 51 to use their video role-plays to demonstrate ethical sensitivity to current animal farming issues. Inter-rater reliability of scoring by an expert panel was moderate to substantial for the written assessment, but only slight to moderate for the video response. In the written test, students' mean scores for recognition of animals' emotions, expression of empathy and recognition of alternative actions and their impacts improved after teaching. Scores did not increase for identification of their own emotions, moral conflicts between stakeholders, and conflicts between legal, organizational and ethical responsibilities as a professional. There was no overall relationship between ethical sensitivity and moral reasoning scores. However, high scores for reasoning using universal principles were correlated with high scores for recognition of moral conflicts between stakeholders and between legal, organizational, and ethical responsibilities as a professional. Further development of these ethical sensitivity assessment tools is encouraged to enable veterinary and animal science students to raise and address animal ethics issues and alleviate moral distress.
Graphic organizers (GOs) are visual and spatial displays, such as tables or charts, which facilitate learning by making conceptual relationships between content more apparent. We hypothesized that study aids in the form of GOs would lead to improved learning outcomes, study efficiency, and student satisfaction compared to traditional outline (OUT) format. A mixed-methods prospective randomized crossover trial was undertaken with veterinary students (n = 31) in an elective cardiology course. All students received identical content presented via weekly in-class lectures. Following 8 pre-designated lectures, students were given instructor-prepared study aids in either GO or OUT format. Students completed quizzes of content knowledge for each lesson and indicated amount of time spent studying. Crossover occurred such that groups of students alternated between receiving GO and OUT. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected in the form of in-depth pre- and post-course surveys. Quiz scores did not differ (p = .42) based on type of study aid provided (GO vs. OUT). Students spent an average of 17% less time studying per lesson when using GO compared to OUT (p = .05). Student satisfaction with both study aid formats was high, but students preferred GO over OUT in terms of study efficiency (p = .002), visual appeal (p < .001), ease of use (p < .004), and likelihood of referencing in the future (p < .001). In an elective veterinary cardiology course, use of GO compared to OUT format study aids resulted in higher study efficiency and student satisfaction with equivalent short-term learning outcomes.
Due to limitations in traditional approaches to didactic and clinical learning, professional veterinary medical students face challenges in developing skills and competencies related to clinical practice. The Veterinary Information Network's (VIN) Virtual Clinic (VVC) aims to support learning by using gaming techniques to simulate clinical case management in a low-risk setting. The VVC lets students explore medical scenarios inside a virtual hospital. The purpose of this article is to describe the development and implementation of a learning approach that blends classroom instructor-directed learning with online simulation-based learning, using the VVC.We share challenges and successes of this approach. The case vignettes in the specific example described herein are for canine multicentric lymphoma. However, the lessons learned through the implementation of this oncology clinic module are expected to apply to a wide range of clinical disciplines.
Haptic perception is an important tool for veterinarians. The present study analyzed the association between the haptic perception threshold of veterinary students and their palpatory experience. To approach this goal, 35 female students of veterinary medicine were divided into two groups with different levels of experience: (a) students with little practical experience, at the beginning of their studies (first year), and (b) students close to the end of their theoretical training (fourth year). To thoroughly evaluate the students' sense of touch, three different test procedures were used: the Haptic Threshold Test (HTT), the Haptic Figures Test (HFT), and tactile acuity. Contrary to our expectations, we found worse mean haptic perception thresholds (HTT) in the more experienced students than in the less experienced group. This effect was significantly correlated with age. Furthermore, we found that longer exploration times were not sufficient to compensate for shortcomings in haptic perception. We also found large interindividual differences. Future studies should investigate whether and to what extend these effects have an impact on students' palpation performance on simulators and live animals. Moreover, which beneficial effects may be achieved through an additional haptic training for students with inferior haptic thresholds should be investigated. Improving haptic perception abilities in veterinary students could be one important step toward achieving satisfactory Day One Competences in university graduates.
In veterinary general practice, dental extractions are common procedures that require a specific set of surgical skills. Veterinary medical educators are tasked with preparing students for general practice, equipping them with medical knowledge and surgical skills. Results of this pilot study demonstrate students' preference for circle-based laboratory setup, a perceived high value of immediate feedback when performing laboratory exercises, and a lack of preference for timing of the laboratory relative to the relevant material provided in lecture. The impact of lecture, supplemental information, and laboratory setup on development of these surgical skills are explored.
Curriculum review and enhancement is a requirement of accredited veterinary medicine degree programs to ensure they are fit for purpose. This article presents a curriculum review process undertaken by the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Ireland. A four-dimensional curriculum review conceptual framework was adopted to analyze the undergraduate and graduate entry veterinary medicine programs. Curriculum mapping was chosen as the methodology to gather data and structure curriculum review activities. Curriculum mapping was considered a useful methodology to review the program for three of the four dimensions of the curriculum framework.
BACKGROUND: Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) combine feedback and evaluation with a permission to act under a specified level of supervision and the possibility to schedule learners for clinical service. This literature review aims to identify workplace-based assessment tools that indicate progression toward unsupervised practice, suitable for entrustment decisions and feedback to learners. METHODS: A systematic search was performed in the PubMed, Embase, ERIC, and PsycINFO databases. Based on title/abstract and full text, articles were selected using predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Information on workplace-based assessment tools was extracted using data coding sheets. The methodological quality of studies was assessed using the medical education research study quality instrument (MERSQI). RESULTS: The search yielded 6,371 articles (180 were evaluated in full text). In total, 80 articles were included, identifying 67 assessment tools. Only a few studies explicitly mentioned assessment tools used as a resource for entrustment decisions. Validity evidence was frequently reported, and the MERSQI score was 10.0 on average. CONCLUSIONS: Many workplace-based assessment tools were identified that potentially support learners with feedback on their development and support supervisors with providing feedback. As expected, only few articles referred to entrustment decisions. Nevertheless, the existing tools or the principals could be used for entrustment decisions, supervision level, or autonomy.
The recent programmatic focus on skills development in veterinary medicine means that many programs are devoting increased time to formal clinical skills teaching. This expansion makes it essential that we use the time as effectively as possible. This review examines current practices and veterinary training principles using the broader field of evidence-based motor skills learning as a lens. In many areas, current practices may be hindering learning. Proposed practices include using videos and discussions for pre-laboratory training, focusing on a single complex skill at a time, using more near-peer instructors rather than faculty, including assessments in each teaching or practice session, and encouraging supervised distributed practice by incorporating practice sessions into the formal curriculum. Ensuring mastery of a few core skills rather than exposure to many may be the new goal. Further research is urgently needed on block versus spiral curricula, optimum instructor-to-student ratios, learning and practice schedules, hours required for proficiency, and the benefits of exercise on motor skills learning.
Practice-based clerkships provide a way for students to experience the types of cases, clients, and procedures that they can expect to see in a general practice setting.These clerkships are typically quite different from those offered in teaching hospitals. Forty-seven (65.28%) of the 72 invited veterinary medicine students from three cohorts participated in pre- and post-test surveys designed to compare their expectations to their actual experiences. Students reported significant positive changes in terms of adequate supervision, approachability of practitioner, and comfort level when asking questions, as well as seeing different cases than they see at the teaching hospital. Students reported significant negative changes in terms of their ability to interact with clients as much as they expected with respect to the practice of communication skills, history-taking skills, preventative therapy discussions with clients, and treatment.These findings were supported by written survey comments regarding the most and least helpful portions of the clerkship.We suggest further research to study student experiences over time and to survey practitioners before and following placement with veterinary students; the aim would be to obtain more information about the expectations and success of practice-based clerkships.
Active teaching approaches such as the flipped classroom are linked to better quality student learning outcomes across health care disciplines, with the potential to support students' preparedness for practice. In the flipped classroom instructional approach, students engage in significant pre-class preparation to learn foundational knowledge and skills, then undertake instructional activities in the classroom that require them to integrate, apply and extend their learning to new contexts. This study reports the results of a multinational survey of flipped classroom use in veterinary education. Participants' (n = 165) familiarity with and extent of use of the flipped classroom technique were investigated, together with the teaching strategies used and the perceived benefits and barriers to implementation. Relationships between respondent characteristics and flipped classroom use were also explored. The results indicated that 95% of participants were familiar with the flipped classroom technique, although fewer (64%) used it in their teaching. Pre-class activities included reviewing online and printed material, and engaging in preparatory learning activities such as quizzes, case analyses, reflective assignments and group activities. A variety of active learning strategies were used in class, including discussions, presentations, quizzes, group activities, problem solving and laboratory/practical exercises. Most participants perceived that the flipped classroom technique benefited student learning, with some also identifying benefits for the faculty involved. A range of student-, faculty- and institution-related barriers to implementing the flipped classroom technique were identified. These barriers need to be considered and addressed by teachers and administrators seeking to improve students' preparedness for practice by implementing flipped classrooms in veterinary education.
Developing a common market and allowing free movement of goods, services, and people is one of the main objectives of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Area. In the field of scientific research, Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes aims to improve the welfare of laboratory animals by following the principle of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement). Each breeder, supplier, and user must appoint a designated veterinarian to advise on the well-being and treatment of the animals. In our report we investigate how the undergraduate veterinary curriculum prepares future veterinarians for the role of designated veterinarian, by analyzing data from 77 European veterinary education establishments. Over 80% of them provide training in laboratory animal science and medicine in their curriculum. All countries in the EU and the European Free Trade Area, having national veterinary schools, include such training in the curriculum of at least one of their establishments. Laboratory animal science and medicine courses can be obligatory or elective and are often part of more than one subject in the veterinary curricula. Post-graduate courses or programs are available at more than 50% of those veterinary schools. Most authorities in the European region consider graduate veterinarians ready to seek the role as designated veterinarian immediately after graduation.
Veterinary students experience high levels of psychological distress including anxiety, stress, perceived stress and depression. The inability to cope with the demands of veterinary training has personal and professional consequences. Existing evidence shows that mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) can reduce stress in students, but more research on how MBIs are introduced into the veterinary curriculum is required. The first aim of the pilot study was to design and deliver a bespoke MBI to third-year veterinary students at the University of Liverpool Institute of Veterinary Science. The second aim was to gain feedback from those taking part, thus using their experiences to explore the challenges of introducing an MBI into a veterinary curriculum. By doing this, we aim to reflect and learn for future interventions. Qualitative feedback provided by participants of the MBI focus group was analyzed using thematic analysis and organized into two main themes: (1) "Taking Part in the MBI and Beyond-What it Was Like and What Has the MBI Done for Me?" and (2) "Mindfulness for Veterinary Students-Reflections, Challenges, and Making it Happen." Experiences and outcomes of the MBI were positive. However, implementation into the veterinary curriculum was found to be challenging. This pilot study provides clear recommendations to support the future integration and delivery of MBIs into a veterinary curriculum.
Less than 5% of US veterinary school graduates go on to practice predominantly food animal medicine, contributing to a serious shortage of veterinarians practicing in rural areas. Exposing students to clinical and farm experiences while in veterinary school is an effective way to recruit them to various types of veterinary careers. Students at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (UMN CVM) were not always aware of food animal course options within the curriculum. Additionally, food animal faculty had noted that while face-to-face mentoring was the most effective way to help students select courses, it was too dependent upon faculty availability and students' comfort level in reaching out for advice. Consequently, it was decided to develop an online catalog of course options focusing on food animal topics. This course catalog, called the Food Animal Curriculum Roadmap, was designed as an interactive roadmap similar to a map of subway lines, where each line represents a species of interest (beef, dairy, small ruminant, swine, and poultry) and each station is a course. The roadmap was made available to all students at the college. A user survey showed that 96% of the respondents ( = 30) indicated that they had a better understanding of course offerings after using the Food Animal Curriculum Roadmap.
The veterinary medical education system faces increasing challenges in educating students in the most current technologies while responding to changing community needs and expectations. Communities expect veterinarians to be involved in disaster management at some level. The purpose of this study was to describe the level of disaster preparedness and educational needs of veterinary practitioners in Mississippi. A survey was mailed to 706 practitioners to assess disaster plans, disaster training, and familiarity with disaster-related organizations. Forty-three percent of veterinarians had a clinic disaster plan. Veterinary practitioners who had experienced a disaster were more likely to have a personal plan (odds ratio [ ] = 4.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.47-8.37) and a clinic plan ( = 4.11, 95% CI = 2.28-7.44) than those who had not. Veterinarians residing in Mississippi Gulf Coast counties were more likely to have a personal plan ( = 3.62, 95% CI = 1.54-8.72) and a clinic plan ( = 3.09, 95% CI = 1.35-7.21) than were those residing in other areas. Only 17% of veterinarians had assistance agreements with other practices, and few veterinarians indicated having disaster education materials available for their clients. Twenty percent of respondents indicated having obtained formal disaster training, and more than two-thirds of respondents were interested in receiving disaster training, mostly in the form of online delivery. Results suggest that private veterinary practitioners have the desire and need to obtain disaster education. Providing opportunities for both veterinarians and veterinary students to obtain education in disaster management will result in better overall community disaster preparedness.
Video- versus handout-based instructions may influence student outcomes during simulation training and competency-based assessments. Forty-five third-year veterinary students voluntarily participated in a simulation module on canine endotracheal intubation. A prospective, randomized, double-blinded study investigated the impact of video ( = 23) versus handout ( = 22) instructions on student confidence, anxiety, and task performance. Students self-scored their confidence and anxiety before and after the simulation. During the simulation laboratory, three raters independently evaluated student performance using a 20-item formal assessment tool with a 5-point global rating scale. No significant differences ( > .05) were found in anxiety scores. The video group's confidence scores were significantly higher ( < .05) post-simulation than pre-simulation. Video-based instructions were associated with significantly higher ( < .05) total formal assessment scores compared with handout-based instructions. The video group had significantly higher scores than the handout group on 3 of the 20 individual skills (items) assessed: placement of tie to the adaptor-endotracheal tube complex ( < .05), using the anesthetic machine ( < .01), and pop-off valve management ( < .001). Inter-rater reliability as assessed by Cronbach's α (.92), and Kendall's (.89) was excellent and almost perfect, respectively. A two-faceted crossed-design generalizability analysis yielded coefficients for both the handout ( = .68) and the video ( = .72) groups. Video instructions may be associated with higher student confidence and performance scores than handout instructions during endotracheal intubation simulation training. Further research into skill retention and learning styles is warranted.