Efficacy of training in theriogenology as determined by a survey of veterinarians

Margaret V. Root Kustritz Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.

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 DVM, PhD, DACT
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Peter J. Chenoweth School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia.

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Ahmed Tibary Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6610.

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 DVM, PhD, DACT

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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether veterinarians perceive that theriogenology training at veterinary medical schools in North America and the Caribbean is adequate for achievement of theriogenology skills commonly used in private practice.

Procedures—A survey was mailed to members of the veterinary medical associations of Alabama, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Washington. With regard to reproductive procedures in bovine, equine, porcine, small ruminant, camelid, and small animal species, veterinarians (predominantly practitioners) were asked to rate the importance of that procedure in their job and to assess their own degree of competency in that procedure at the time of their graduation from veterinary school.

Results—Procedures considered most valuable in practice were those that represent basic theriogenology education and training, such as transrectal palpation of cows and mares and interpretation of vaginal cytologic specimens in bitches. Dystocia management was a high priority in all species. Correlations between rankings for value in practice and competency at graduation were good, varying from 0.75 in cattle and 0.78 in horses to 0.98 in dogs and 1.0 in cats, small ruminants, and pigs.

Conclusions—Analysis of these data suggests that appropriate theriogenology procedures are being taught in veterinary medical schools but perhaps not to the extent required to achieve adequate competency immediately at graduation. Issues requiring further investigation include the effect of tracking in the veterinary curriculum on theriogenology training, methods by which more students could receive greater practical exposure during theriogenology training, and the apparent relative lack of theriogenology training (including contraception) in small animals and exotic animals.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether veterinarians perceive that theriogenology training at veterinary medical schools in North America and the Caribbean is adequate for achievement of theriogenology skills commonly used in private practice.

Procedures—A survey was mailed to members of the veterinary medical associations of Alabama, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Washington. With regard to reproductive procedures in bovine, equine, porcine, small ruminant, camelid, and small animal species, veterinarians (predominantly practitioners) were asked to rate the importance of that procedure in their job and to assess their own degree of competency in that procedure at the time of their graduation from veterinary school.

Results—Procedures considered most valuable in practice were those that represent basic theriogenology education and training, such as transrectal palpation of cows and mares and interpretation of vaginal cytologic specimens in bitches. Dystocia management was a high priority in all species. Correlations between rankings for value in practice and competency at graduation were good, varying from 0.75 in cattle and 0.78 in horses to 0.98 in dogs and 1.0 in cats, small ruminants, and pigs.

Conclusions—Analysis of these data suggests that appropriate theriogenology procedures are being taught in veterinary medical schools but perhaps not to the extent required to achieve adequate competency immediately at graduation. Issues requiring further investigation include the effect of tracking in the veterinary curriculum on theriogenology training, methods by which more students could receive greater practical exposure during theriogenology training, and the apparent relative lack of theriogenology training (including contraception) in small animals and exotic animals.

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