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.
To determine whether addition of an optional clinical skills laboratory (OCSL) to the traditional surgery curriculum would affect total surgery time or incision closure time in veterinary students performing ovariohysterectomy of a dog during a third-year surgery course.
Retrospective and prospective study of veterinary student attendance at OCSL sessions and student performance during the third-year surgery course.
Students from the classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014 at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
For all students, total surgery time and incision closure time were recorded when students performed an ovariohysterectomy of a dog during their third-year live-animal surgery course. Times were analyzed to identify differences among classes and determine whether times were associated with number of OCSL sessions attended, previous experience performing ovariohysterectomies, or enrollment in an elective clinical skills course.
Total surgery and incision closure times were not significantly different between students in the class of 2012 (no access to the OCSL prior to the third-year surgery course) and students in the class of 2013 (ie, access to 4 OCSL sessions during the spring semester prior to the third-year surgery course). However, times were significantly shorter for students in the class of 2014 (ie, students who had access to OCSL sessions during the 3 semesters prior to the third-year surgery course) than for students in the other 2 classes.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested that attendance in the OCSL sessions was associated with improvements in surgical performance, as reflected in faster total surgery and incision closure times while performing an ovariohysterectomy during the third-year surgery course.