The DVM program is delivered over four calendar years and includes 9 semesters of instruction. A total of 27 hours of class and laboratory time and 1 hour of seminar are scheduled weekly during the first three years (six semesters) of the curriculum. The final year consists of 40 weeks of practicum rotation experiences delivered over a full calendar year and is comprised of hands-on clinical and professional education.
The DVM curriculum provides a balance of opportunities for students to learn foundational knowledge, to acquire and practice clinical and professional skills, and to develop diagnostic reasoning capability during the first three years. Broad coverage of the scientific veterinary knowledge base is provided in a series of discipline-based courses. Clinical material at the individual animal and population levels is seen regularly through delivery of a series of Clinical Presentations courses. In these courses, students begin to develop their diagnostic reasoning skills, to apply concepts learned in their discipline courses, and to explore broader issues related to animal health.
A series of Clinical and Professional Skills courses offered in each semester of the first three years enables students to have early and frequent contact with animals, where they learn and practice clinical and professional skills necessary for the practicum year. Each Clinical Skills course contains learning modules for clinical examinations, diagnostic procedures, clinical intervention and management, and clinical proficiency. Students spend two half-days per week in these courses mastering clinical skills while working with animals housed at the Clinical Skills Building. Professional Skills courses include training in communication, people management, critical and reflective thinking, ethics, jurisprudence, self care and professional renewal, business operations, informatics, and research.
Two weeks of each semester during the first three years of the program are assigned to field courses. Field courses have been designed and scheduled to allow students to work under supervision for a focused time period within our Distributed Veterinary Learning Community sites on selected veterinary topics.
Delivery of final year practicum rotations through the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community provides a wealth of clinical and professional experiences, preparing students for the broad range of career opportunities available within the veterinary profession. The Distributed Veterinary Teaching Hospital gives students access to a large hands-on case load that includes a significant proportion of primary care cases, in addition to more complex, tertiary care cases. Scheduling of the final year over 12 months provides opportunity to capture clinical experiences specific to spring and summer.
In the fourth year, practicum rotations are organized into 4 different courses. All students must take a course in Laboratory Diagnostics, involving pathology and clinical pathology, and a course in General Veterinary Practice, involving clinical rotations covering the major domestic species. Students also choose one of four areas of emphasis courses, which provide enhanced rotations in the following areas: production animal health, equine health, ecosystem and public health, and investigative medicine. Students also enroll in a clinical enrichment course, which provides further hands-on animal care rotations. The combination of the last two courses contain a choice of rotations that allow students to either increase the depth of their experience in an area of emphasis or broaden their experience in different aspects of veterinary practice.