Professional DVM Curriculum
Since the establishment of the first veterinary college in Lyon, France in 1761, professional veterinary medical education has continued to evolve. In both human and veterinary educational programs, there is an obligation to deliver curricula that support the development of compassionate and competent healthcare professionals.
Today’s world-class education is no longer just rote memorization and textbooks. In the CVM’s modern professional education setting, academic standards address not only coursework requirements, but clinical skills, non-technical skills, cutting-edge innovative technologies, and inclusive curricular design. We confirm day one competencies, utilize proficiency scales, encourage entrepreneurial thinking, and train in inclusive professional behaviors.
We're redefining processes, reducing costs, and simplifying delivery to ensure the best and most affordable education that students can find in the country and the world.
Diversity in its broadest definition is closely aligned to excellence and stronger teaching and learning environments. The CVM weaves inclusion and diversity learning outcomes directly into our curriculum at all levels, helping to prepare our graduates to be fully ready to lead, adapt to change, and be successful in a global society.
The CVM’s dedication to diversity and inclusion starts at the beginning of a prospective DVM student's journey with us. During the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs), cultural competency scenarios have been used since 2012. Cultural competencies are discussed as professional behaviors during First-year Student Orientation, included in the DVM Professional Student Handbook, and in the Professional Skills course.
A session on cultural competency is in the core curriculum for DVM students in their first and second years. Rotations at the Houston SPCA and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) expose students to a breadth of individuals and these differences are discussed in context. Due to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital's (VMTH) caseload and clientele, students are exposed to large numbers of clients with a variety of attributes during fourth-year clinical rotations.
The DVM program emphasizes cultural competency throughout the curriculum. One of the New Graduate Outcomes specifically states that new DVM graduates will demonstrate sensitivity to people who are different from them and interact with others free of discrimination in professional settings.
To achieve this outcome, courses throughout the curriculum utilize simulated client interactions (including ESL, for blind and deaf clients) for developing a culturally welcoming practice and skills for communicating with diverse groups.
Ethical Decision Making
As part of our curriculum, all DVM students participate in interactive ethical scenario experiences. DVM faculty and local veterinarians come together to facilitate students working through these mock engagements.
Houston SPCA & TDCJ Rotations
DVM fourth-year clinical rotations at the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) expose students to large numbers of diverse clients with a large variety of animals, procedures, and caseload experiences.
DVM/MBA Joint Degree Program
5 years = 1 DVM degree + 1 MBA degree
This joint degree program is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Graduates will be prepared for leadership roles in many areas of veterinary medicine and business with MBA training in leadership, management, human resources, team building, communications, marketing, business, finance, and accounting. The DVM/MBA joint degree program has been producing strong business-minded veterinarians since 2005.
Undergraduate BIMS Curriculum
One of the university's goals is to "diversify and globalize the A&M community." Students graduating from Texas A&M University will be able to function effectively in their chosen career fields in an international setting.
Specifically, students who complete the BIMS International Certificate in Cultural Competency & Communication in Spanish will:
- be functionally bilingual and employ attained language skills in both social and formal settings,
- be able to perform linguistically and in a culturally sensitive manner within the medical and/or agricultural environment,
- gain experiential knowledge abroad, expanding their cultural sensitivities and functionality in a foreign environment,
- be able to compare and contrast Latin American and Spanish cultural ideas with those of the Anglo population within the US, and
- be able to recognize cultural differences, using language and social skills to interact effectively within a foreign environment.
- Students will be required to have a minimum of nine credit hours of Spanish.
- Students must choose one cultural competency course for a total of three credit hours.
- Students are required to complete a five-hour culturally diverse Spanish-speaking experience.
- Students are required to complete a minimum of nine consecutive days abroad in a Spanish-speaking country.
The CVM offers unique Veterinary and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Study Abroad opportunities through our International Programs' office. Such experiences not only provide students with the appropriate academic and professional training but also exposure to other cultures around the world.
Undergraduate BIMS students are encouraged to participate in a study abroad program during their academic career, and typically, students will participate in these programs once they reach their junior year.
134 undergraduate students participated in either a course or independent study through the CVM study abroad office in 2016. Additionally, the CVM supports Reciprocal Education Exchange Programs (REEP), Transfer Credit Programs, Research, Intern, Volunteer, and Conferences Aboard, and hosts Scholarship sites for student access.
Graduate & Postdoctoral Curriculum
Enhanced Student Experiences
Inclusive communication is one of the most useful skillsets a graduate can have. To improve student competency in this area, the CVM Office of Research & Graduate Studies regularly hosts a three-day intensive scientific writing workshop and a three-day grant-writing training facilitated by Bioscience Writer, LLC in Houston.
Graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, residents, and new faculty members participate in these events. The CVM also hosts a two-day manuscript development workshop, in which professional editors work with students and postdocs on draft manuscripts to improve scientific writing skills and prepare manuscripts for submission.
The CVM hosts etiquette dinners for BIMS graduate (primarily international) students to acquire etiquette rules that vary significantly from culture to culture. This experience provides an opportunity for students to practice in a safe environment and lead to greater confidence in future professional settings.
Conflict management workshops have been provided for graduate students and faculty mentors to build important leadership skill sets.
Global One Health
Global One Health is the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain sustainable optimal health for the ecosystem. The goal of the One Health concept is to use collaborative research to improve the health and well-being of humans and animals, as well as the environments in which they live. It is a cultural and behavioral concept with socioeconomic elements and impact.
With leadership provided by Dr. Gerald Parker, Jr., the CVM Associate Dean for Global One Health and Director of the Pandemic and Biosecurity Program at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at The Bush School of Government & Public Service, Global One Health has more than 25 national and international partners. Global One Health research initiatives are solving real-world problems.
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Inclusion makes research stronger, collaborations more viable, and education more proactive. Expanding the intersection between research and ideas becoming market reality is at the heart of the CVM Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. This is how veterinarians and biomedical scientists of the future will impact the world.
Solving problems in 48 hours, Aggies Invent is an intensive design experience offered at the Engineering Innovation Center (EIC), a 20,000 square-foot, rapid prototyping lab. The format of the experience is to engage 60 or more students in multidiscipline, multi-level teams in hands-on projects that will push their innovation, creativity, and communication skills. The end goal is to provide students with the opportunity to acquire skills essential to becoming successful innovation leaders and support them in founding startup companies. Veterinary students and faculty regularly participate in Aggies Invent: Veterinary Medicine events.
The CVM hosts the summer curriculum-based Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy (VEA) with students from multiple veterinary colleges. These students are paired with industry partners to create new veterinary and biomedical solutions and inventions. The program allows students to work with early-stage startup companies with applications in veterinary fields. The companies that partner with the academy are innovators, and working with them allows students to have a hand in shaping how technology impacts the future of veterinary medicine.
In the summer of 2017, the CVM hosted the first Veterinary Innovation Summit (VIS). Dedicated to sparking and fostering ingenuity, VIS annually offers a combination of unique programming, a diverse attendee pool, and an immersive learning environment for the veterinary profession.
The CVM has a cutting-edge Clinical Skills Lab, offering students high-impact learning opportunities necessary to become successful in their future veterinary careers. These opportunities include critical thinking exercises, surgical skills, and clinical medicine techniques. Students are encouraged to hone their techniques using mannequins, models, simulators, and various types of technology paired with immediate feedback from experts and peers.
Center for Educational Technologies (CET)
Today’s students need more than just textbooks. Technology and innovation are equal partners in the CVM’s teaching methodology. The college has some of the most innovative faculty in the nation with a support system helping them to bring their teaching vision to life.
The Center for Educational Technology (CET) is a special unit within the college with a mission to create innovative teaching materials for the veterinary community on campus and around the world. Creating and using cutting-edge technologies, the CET provides methods and materials that bridge educational gaps from all perspectives in the veterinary field. The center is investing in transformative teaching methods for CVM.
StepStone is a content authoring software that allows educators to create a variety of learning experiences accessible from any Internet-enabled device. StepStone was born out of a desire to empower instructors to develop e-learning materials more quickly and cost-effectively. StepStone utilizes a unique customizable template approach to e-learning.
Built as a web app, StepStone functions across platforms in modern desktop browsers. The content authoring process allows users to map a learning path using an intuitive navigation system in a responsive environment. Users have the flexibility to customize their content, from a single-screen, multiple-choice question to a branching, comprehensive, narrative journey. Once the content has been entered into the software, StepStone is used to publish a standards-based, SCORM 1.2-compliant, responsive HTML5 learning package. The learning material can be loaded into any Learning Management System (LMS), and be accessed on an assortment of desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
StepStone is a great example of the educational innovation happening at Texas A&M. We now have a scalable solution that allows us to rapidly produce e-learning materials and enhance every course in our veterinary program.
Z-space© is a virtual anatomy learning tool for medical education. Students can manipulate learning objects within three-dimensional visualization and interactive models provide an advanced level of comprehension of complex structures and systems. Through three-dimensional modeling, scanning, texturing, and compositing, we can bring educational materials to life
CET has developed the first 360-degree, virtual reality video for veterinary education. When a viewer wears a VR headset, that viewer is able to see the entire surgical suite by a simple movement of the head, as if present in the room. While there are many programs utilizing surgical videos to better prepare veterinary students for surgery, to our knowledge, this is the first use of VR in veterinary surgical training.
The medical field is already using 3D printing for surgical preparation and research. 3D printers can create intricately realistic surgical models to practice on before actual surgery. The CVM is adapting this technology into skills labs, research studies, and customized surgeries.
Hiring Diverse Faculty & Administrators
One role of leadership is to instill genuine respect for the diversity of intellectual opinions, ideas, and the community at our university. A diverse faculty and their unique contributions to our mission are essential parts of what makes us able to discover, teach, and learn. Research demonstrates that diverse faculty and curricula are essential to improving the educational experience for all students. These faculty can provide mentorship and intellectual opportunities to ensure that all CVM students can succeed in this intense academic and social environment.
- The Texas A&M CVM is the only veterinary college to have an Executive Associate Dean as the Director for Climate and Diversity.
- Recruiting and hiring a more diverse faculty remains a strategic and dedicated initiative for the college. Diversity elements are required for all CVM searches.
- Providing mentoring to junior faculty to ensure their professional success.
- The college is dedicated to helping our faculty be successful, by offering numerous professional development opportunities such as mediation training, leadership experiences, grant-writing seminars, faculty release time, research and publishing initiatives, external training opportunities, etc.
- Ensuring equal opportunity and pay through merit-based salary adjustments. The college reviews faculty salaries annually and makes equity adjustments as needed.
- Diversity accountability is documented as a required element in annual performance evaluations of all individuals reporting to the Dean.
- The CVM continues to nurture the inclusive and welcoming environment of our college through the support of individuals, organizations, and new initiatives.