Purdue’s legacy of leading in graduating career-ready veterinarians

Kevin Doerr College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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 BA
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S. Kathleen Salisbury College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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 DVM, MS, DACVS
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Harm HogenEsch College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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 DVM, PhD, DACVP
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Sandra F. San Miguel College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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 DVM, PhD, DABVP
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Willie M. Reed College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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 DVM, PhD, DACVP, DACPV

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Graduating practice-ready veterinarians who have the foundation to pursue any veterinary career path they choose is a hallmark of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. Today, with advanced technology, new and innovative approaches to learning, and state-of-the-art facilities, that trait is stronger than ever.

Dedicated in April 2022, the new David and Bonnie Brunner Purdue Veterinary Medical Hospital Complex expanded the existing Small Animal Hospital and replaced the Large Animal Hospital with separate Equine and Farm Animal Hospitals. The complex showcases the standard of care, with the latest equipment and an advanced design. The expanded space allows for greater clinician-student interaction, reduces patient stress with enhancements like separate rooms for cats, and, coupled with modern farm animal handling capabilities, improves safety for patients, students, staff, and faculty.

The new hospitals also accentuate Purdue’s advantage in educating all members of the veterinary team as one of few veterinary colleges with a veterinary nursing program. The hospital complex maximizes opportunities for DVM and veterinary nursing students to learn together, gaining real-life understanding of how to work effectively in teams to deliver the best veterinary care to patients.

Additionally, innovation and creativity have improved clinical learning across the curriculum. For example, faculty and staff have begun integrating ultrasound capability into the first year of the DVM program. The Butterfly iQ+ Vet is a groundbreaking single-probe, whole-body, multispecies imaging system that students operate with smartphones to foster their 3-D understanding of anatomy. Performing ultrasound on phantom models and live animals, in parallel with traditional dissection and palpation, reinforces the students’ growing knowledge of organ structure and position in vivo.

Veterinary Skills and Competencies (VSAC) courses are key elements of the college’s revised curriculum launched in 2018. Through a series of 6 VSAC courses, students learn technical skills as well as communication, financial, and self-care skills. Students even role-play client communication scenarios with “actors” provided by Purdue’s communication program. Moreover, with 24/7 access to the Clinical Skills Lab, students learn and practice with high-quality models, gaining greater confidence and mastery of their skills before treating live animals.

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Veterinary team members collaborate in the new Small Animal Hospital’s anesthesia induction area.

Citation: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 261, 3; 10.2460/javma.23.01.0018

Students obtain valuable surgical experience through Priority 4 Paws, an innovative shelter medicine program that provides high-quality care, including neuter surgeries, for partner animal shelters. Students perform the surgeries while also gaining firsthand knowledge about shelter medicine and readying animals for adoption.

Preparing students for success as practitioners also requires learning that fosters cultural competency. Through nationally recognized programs supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion, Purdue veterinary students gain competence in communicating and working effectively to serve the needs of diverse clients in an increasingly multicultural society. Additionally, the college has implemented award-winning programs that influence educationally and economically under-resourced young people to consider careers in veterinary medicine and biomedical research, increasing the diversity of the applicant pool and incoming veterinary classes in the process.

With new facilities, technology, programs, and methods, Purdue is delivering on the promise of preparing the next generation of veterinary professionals for successful and rewarding careers.

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