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Stakeholder expectations regarding the ability of new veterinary graduates to perform various diagnostic and surgical procedures

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164.
  • | 4 Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care and Adoption Center Veterinary Services, 11780 Arrow Rte, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess stakeholders' expectations regarding new veterinary graduates' ability to perform various diagnostic and surgical procedures.

DESIGN Cross-sectional survey.

SAMPLE Veterinary students, recent graduates, clinical veterinary college faculty, and general practitioners at or from AVMA Council on Education–accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States and Caribbean.

PROCEDURES Respondents rated how proficient they expected new graduates, on their first day of practice, to be in 8 diagnostic procedures and the degree of independence they expected of new graduates in 8 surgical procedures.

RESULTS Response rate was 9% (235/2,500) for practitioners, 12% (151/1,275) for faculty members, 14% (70/500) for recent graduates, and 15% (1,731/11,474) for students. All 4 respondent subgroups expected that new graduates would be able to adequately perform a fine-needle aspirate of a subcutaneous mass (96% to 98% expected new graduates to be able to adequately perform this procedure) and a cystocentesis (93% to 97% expected new graduates to be able to adequately perform this procedure). The greatest variability in responses was noted for performing hand ties, ultrasound-guided liver biopsy, and arthrocentesis. Most respondents expected new graduates to be able to independently perform a canine castration (82% to 94% expecting independence), feline subcutaneous mass removal (66% to 75% expecting independence), and canine ovariohysterectomy (65% to 89% expecting independence).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results revealed a diversity of opinion regarding expected proficiency for new graduates performing various diagnostic and surgical procedures. Findings may help colleges of veterinary medicine refine their curricula by providing end points for student training.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess stakeholders' expectations regarding new veterinary graduates' ability to perform various diagnostic and surgical procedures.

DESIGN Cross-sectional survey.

SAMPLE Veterinary students, recent graduates, clinical veterinary college faculty, and general practitioners at or from AVMA Council on Education–accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States and Caribbean.

PROCEDURES Respondents rated how proficient they expected new graduates, on their first day of practice, to be in 8 diagnostic procedures and the degree of independence they expected of new graduates in 8 surgical procedures.

RESULTS Response rate was 9% (235/2,500) for practitioners, 12% (151/1,275) for faculty members, 14% (70/500) for recent graduates, and 15% (1,731/11,474) for students. All 4 respondent subgroups expected that new graduates would be able to adequately perform a fine-needle aspirate of a subcutaneous mass (96% to 98% expected new graduates to be able to adequately perform this procedure) and a cystocentesis (93% to 97% expected new graduates to be able to adequately perform this procedure). The greatest variability in responses was noted for performing hand ties, ultrasound-guided liver biopsy, and arthrocentesis. Most respondents expected new graduates to be able to independently perform a canine castration (82% to 94% expecting independence), feline subcutaneous mass removal (66% to 75% expecting independence), and canine ovariohysterectomy (65% to 89% expecting independence).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results revealed a diversity of opinion regarding expected proficiency for new graduates performing various diagnostic and surgical procedures. Findings may help colleges of veterinary medicine refine their curricula by providing end points for student training.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Cary (jcary@vetmed.wsu.edu).