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Objective—To identify a list of core surgical skills and determine the frequency of use and proficiency in performance of these skills expected of entry-level veterinarians by general practitioners.

Design—Mail-based survey.

Sample—750 general practitioners randomly chosen from the AVMA membership database.

Procedures—Survey respondents rated the proficiency and frequency of use expected of entry-level veterinarians in regard to 26 surgical skills. Demographic information (gender; graduation year; practice type, geographic location, and setting; number of veterinarians in practice; number of surgical procedures performed per week; and number of new graduates mentored in the past 5 years) of respondents was obtained.

Results—387 (52%) general practitioners responded to the survey. Greater than 60% of respondents expected new graduates to have high proficiency and require minimal supervision for 21 of 26 skills. Greater than 60% of respondents assigned 6 of the skills a low expected frequency of use rating. Orthopedic skills, creation of square knots by use of a 1-handed tie technique, and use of electrosurgical and laser instruments received some of the lowest ratings.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Core surgical skills were identified. Results indicated a broad consensus among general practitioners independent of demographic characteristics. Results may aid veterinary colleges in identification of the surgical skills that are most important to include in surgical curricula and for which new graduates should attain proficiency according to general practitioners.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association