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  • Author or Editor: Andrea K. Erickson x
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To evaluate the role of simulation models and previous surgical experience on subjective and objective stress levels of students performing their 1st elective surgery within the veterinary curriculum.


141 third-year veterinary students


Using a pre–post experimental design, salivary alpha-amylase, and cortisol were evaluated as markers of physiologic stress response before students’ first elective surgery. Student self-reported State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scores and quantitative measures of experience were correlated to biomarker results.


No association was found for change in salivary biomarkers of stress, alpha-amylase, and cortisol, between baseline and presurgical samples accounting for gender, age, type of elective surgery performed, previous surgical experience, or simulation model use. Salivary cortisol levels were markedly elevated falling between the 66th and 99th percentile compared to an age and gender-matched population. Salivary alpha-amylase levels were also 2 to 3 times higher than those recorded by other health professionals. Veterinary student STAI scores were high falling between the 65th and 73rd percentile compared to working adults in the general population.


Veterinary students’ salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, and STAI scores fell into the upper 2/3rds of the general population, demonstrating a high level of stress. Simulation models and previous surgical experience were not associated with decreased stress. Further evaluation of the implementation of high-fidelity simulation models and the role of stress on performance is indicated.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To evaluate outcomes of dogs with parathyroid carcinoma (PTC) treated by surgical excision and to describe the incidence of postoperative hypocalcemia, degree of hypocalcemia, duration of hospitalization, duration of calcium supplementation, and survival time


100 client-owned dogs with PTC admitted to academic, referral veterinary institutions.


In a retrospective multi-institutional study, medical records of dogs undergoing surgical excision of PTC between 2010 to 2019 were reviewed. Signalment, relevant medical history, clinical signs, clinicopathologic testing, imaging, surgical findings, intraoperative complications, histologic examination, and survival time were recorded.


100 dogs with PTC were included, and 96 dogs had clinical or incidental hypercalcemia. Common clinical signs included polyuria (44%), polydipsia (43%), hind limb paresis (22%), lethargy (21%), and hyporexia (20%). Cervical ultrasonography detected a parathyroid nodule in 91 of 91 dogs, with a single nodule in 70.3% (64/91), 2 nodules in 25.3% (23/91), and ≥ 3 nodules in 4 (4/91)% of dogs. Hypercalcemia resolved in 89 of 96 dogs within 7 days after surgery. Thirty-four percent of dogs developed hypocalcemia, on the basis of individual analyzer ranges, within 1 week after surgery. One dog had metastatic PTC to the prescapular lymph node, and 3 dogs were euthanized for refractory postoperative hypocalcemia. Estimated 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates were 84%, 65%, and 51% respectively, with a median survival time of 2 years.


Excision of PTC results in resolution of hypercalcemia and excellent long-term tumor control. Surgical excision of PTC is recommended because of resolution of hypercalcemia and a good long-term prognosis. Future prospective studies and long-term follow-up are needed to further assess primary tumor recurrence, metastasis, and incidence of postoperative hypocalcemia.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association