Curriculum

Fall Semester First-Year Professional Veterinary Medical Curriculum

Course
Credit Hours
Course Description
Integrated
Animal Care I
3
This course provides a foundation in companion animal and large animal veterinary care; focus on day-one veterinary wellness and preventive care and herd-health concepts; exposure includes companion animal species, common large animal species, pocket pets, reptiles, camelids, miniature pigs and birds; clinical application of topics including neonatal care, husbandry practices, animal behavior, parasite prevention, immunization protocols and healthy animal nutrition.
Professional
& Clinical Skills I
3
Integration and reinforcement of foundational knowledge offered in concurrent courses through critical thinking exercises, professional skills application activities (ethics/contextual decision-making, leadership, skills for well-being, personal/practice financial literacy, core communication skills) and application of technical skills; opportunities for learning include didactic, hands-on and case-based interactions utilizing simulation, models, animals, actors and case scenarios; part I of a VI part series.
Small Animal
Anatomy
4
This course provides students the foundation knowledge base of fundamental anatomic principles and concepts for application in all domestic species. Students should gain appreciation for normal structure, function and relationships of clinically important anatomic structures using the dog and cat as anatomical models. This course will provide students the base of study for successful completion of radiology and surgery courses as well as clinical rotations in the fourth year.
Physiology I
6
This course offers a comprehensive understanding of normal mammalian physiologic function with emphasis upon application in the clinical setting. Through clinical case examples, the connection between physiologic knowledge and the practice of veterinary medicine is illustrated and basic mathematical and client education skills are practiced. Course content includes 1) basic cell and cell membrane function, body fluid compartments, water and the major electrolytes, transport processes and excitable tissues 2) neuromuscular physiology, 3) cardiovascular physiology, 4) endocrine physiology and 5) physiology of skin and temperature regulation. A series of laboratories provide students with practical experiences in physical examination, animal restraint, vascular access and the application of quantitative skills.
Veterinary
Immunology
2
This course provides an overview of the fundamental concepts of immunology, with an emphasis on the immune system of domestic animals and comparative immunology. Focuses on the interactions between the host and microbial pathogens and on mechanisms that underlie hypersensitivity reactions, autoimmune diseases, and immune deficiencies. Discusses the principles of vaccination and immunologic methods for diagnosis of disease.
Histology
1
Clinical application of histological content; basic tissues and major organ systems of common domestic species; normal microscopic appearance of cells, tissues and organs with the introduction of normal tissue and organ cytology; content correlates gross anatomy, microscopic anatomy and the physiological state of common domestic species.
Veterinarians
in Society
2
The breadth of career opportunities in veterinary medicine; the diversity of roles that veterinarians play in society including companion animal practice, large animal practice, public health, biomedical research, conservation medicine, emergency response and shelter medicine.

Spring Semester First-Year Professional Veterinary Medical Curriculum

Course
Credit Hours
Course Description
Integrated
Animal Care II
2
This course provides a foundation in companion animal and large animal veterinary care; focus on day-one veterinary wellness and preventive care and herd-health concepts; exposure includes companion animal species, common large animal species, pocket pets, reptiles, camelids, miniature pigs and birds; clinical application of topics including neonatal care, husbandry practices, animal behavior, parasite prevention, immunization protocols and healthy animal nutrition.
Professional &
Clinical Skills II
3
Integration and reinforcement of foundational knowledge offered in concurrent courses through critical thinking exercises, professional skills application activities (ethics/contextual decision-making, leadership, skills for well-being, personal/practice financial literacy, core communication skills) and application of technical skills; opportunities for learning include didactic, hands-on and case-based interactions utilizing simulation, models, animals, actors and case scenarios; part II of a VI part series.
Clinical Anatomy
of Large Animals
3
This course focuses on gross and topographical anatomy of domestic livestock. Students are provided opportunities to learn normal equine, ruminant, porcine, and avian gross anatomy and to further develop their knowledge of interrelationships among anatomical structures and functions of the animal body. By building upon previous knowledge of anatomy from Small Animal Anatomy, students will form a solid foundation of anatomical knowledge required for a career in veterinary medicine.
Agents of
Disease I
4
Introduction to the agents of infectious diseases: bacteria, fungi, viruses, prions, protozoa, helminths and arthropods; agents by general taxonomy and structural features as they relate to diagnosis and therapy, replication strategies, diagnostic procedures and mechanisms of disease production; infectious diseases representing each class of agents with emphasis on characteristics of infectious diseases for each body-system, establishing differential diagnoses for disease syndromes and developing a diagnostic approach.
Physiology II
5
This course offers a comprehensive understanding of normal mammalian physiologic function with emphasis upon application in the clinical setting. Through clinical case examples, the connection between physiologic knowledge and the practice of veterinary medicine is illustrated and basic mathematical and client education skills are practiced. Topics to be covered in this course include 1) renal physiology, 2) respiratory physiology, 3) acid-base physiology, 4) reproduction and molecular biology and 5) gastrointestinal physiology. Laboratory experiences provide opportunities for application of material addressed in lecture, application of quantitative skills and the practice of communication skills.
Pathology I
3
Structural and functional changes in cells, tissues and organ systems of animals; pathogenesis, mechanisms and morphologic features of diseases and their relationship to clinical signs; laboratory consists of studies of gross and microscopic pathology.

Fall Semester Second-Year Professional Veterinary Medical Curriculum

Course
Credit Hours
Course Description
Professional &
Clinical Skills III
3
Integration and reinforcement of foundational knowledge offered in concurrent courses through critical thinking exercises, professional skills application activities (ethics/contextual decision-making, leadership, skills for well-being, personal/practice financial literacy, core communication skills) and application of technical skills; opportunities for learning include didactic, hands-on and case-based interactions utilizing simulation, models, animals, actors and case scenarios; part III of a VI part series.
Agents of
Disease II
4
Continuation of Agents of Disease I: bacteria, fungi, viruses, prions, protozoa, helminths and arthropods; emphasis on characteristics of infectious diseases for each body system, establishing differential diagnosis for disease syndromes and developing a diagnostic approach.
Clinical Laboratory Medicine –
Clinical Pathology
5
Laboratory testing and data interpretation to support and/or confirm disease processes, assess prognosis and assist in determining treatment options and monitoring response to treatment; validation and accuracy of laboratory tests.
Public Health, Epidemiology & Evidence-based Medicine
3
Basic principles of epidemiology, public health, zoonoses and introduction to evidence-based medicine methodology, its application in clinical decision making; emphasis on synthesis of basic principles; application of evidence-based medicine; and epidemiological skills within the context of private and public veterinary practice.
Pathology II
3
Structural and functional changes in cells, tissues and organ systems of animals; pathogenesis, mechanisms and morphologic features of diseases and their relationship to clinical signs; laboratory consists of studies of gross and microscopic pathology.
Pharmacology
3
Drug disposition, pharmacodynamics, drug regulations, critical appraisal of evidence about use of drugs, drugs that affect respiratory, reproductive, gastrointestinal, endocrine, immune, urinary, integumentary, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems, and drugs for pain, anti-inflammatories, antineoplastics, antibiotics, and other antiinfectives in animals.
Elective
1
Elective opportunities appropriate for second-year veterinary students.
Elective
1
Elective opportunities appropriate for second-year veterinary students.

Spring Semester Second-Year Professional Veterinary Medical Curriculum

Course
Credit Hours
Course Description
Professional &
Clinical Skills IV
3
Integration and reinforcement of foundational knowledge offered in concurrent courses through critical thinking exercises, professional skills application activities (ethics/contextual decision-making, leadership, skills for well-being, personal/practice financial literacy, core communication skills) and application of technical skills; opportunities for learning include didactic, hands-on and case-based interactions utilizing simulation, models, animals, actors and case scenarios; part IV of a VI part series.
Principles
of Surgery
2
Surgical management of veterinary patients; focus on basic surgical equipment, techniques, procedures and preparation of the surgeon and patient.
Introduction to
Diagnostic Imaging
2
Fundamentals of diagnostic evaluation of radiographic and ultrasonographic images in companion animals; focus on importance of diagnostic and therapeutic imaging.
Principles of
Anesthesia & Analgesia
3
Clinical practice of veterinary anesthesia and analgesia; equipment for administration of inhalant anesthetics, evaluation and preparation of patients for anesthesia, equipment and techniques for monitoring anesthetized patients; methods for controlling pain during the perianesthetic period; anesthetic principles for management of various species; anesthetic principles for management of patients with coexisting disease.
Organ Dysfunction:
Recognition, Diagnostics
& Supportive Care
4
Recognition and diagnosing disorders of various body systems using clinical scenarios and laboratory data analysis; introduction to evaluation and implementation of basic treatment options to provide supportive care to animals given a disorder(s) of the body systems.
Integrated
Animal Care III
4
In-depth exploration of the purpose and function of animal species cared for by veterinarians and the roles veterinarians play in the health of animals, humans and the environment; career-focus tracks include companion animal, equine, food animal, public health & research, and exotics, zoo & wildlife medicine.
Elective
1
Elective opportunities appropriate for second-year veterinary students.
Elective
1
Elective opportunities appropriate for second-year veterinary students.

Fall Semester Third-Year Professional Veterinary Medical Curriculum

Course
Credit Hours
Course Description
Professional &
Clinical Skills V
3
Integration and reinforcement of foundational knowledge offered in concurrent courses through critical thinking exercises, professional skills application activities (ethics/contextual decision-making, leadership, skills for well-being, personal/practice financial literacy, core communication skills) and application of technical skills; opportunities for learning include didactic, hands-on and case-based interactions utilizing simulation, models, animals, actors and case scenarios; part V of a VI part series.
Small Animal
Diagnostics
& Therapeutics I
4.5
Medical and surgical diseases in dogs and cats including pathophysiology, diagnosis and therapeutic management; understanding of self-directed continued study and appropriate use of referral; disorders of the reproductive, respiratory, hemolymphatic, dermatologic, urinary, neurologic, gastrointestinal, ophthalmic, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, orthopedic and endocrine systems; includes neoplastic, nutritional, infectious and metabolic disorders.
Large Animal
Diagnostics
& Therapeutics I
3.5
Foundational content for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of common diseases and conditions of horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry; promotes successful entry into large animal and rural practice.


Career-Focus Tracking I
(students choose 1 course)
Companion Animal
2
Advanced medical and surgical disorders of the dog and cat; history-taking and problem-solving skills; physical examination findings; laboratory/imaging results; formulation of diagnostic and therapeutic plans.
Equine
Application of advanced topics in pathophysiology, diagnostics, medical and surgical management and prevention of equine diseases; emphasis on case-based learning and problem-solving skills.
Food Animal
Promote integration of previous and concurrent curricular content to diagram successful approaches to developing herd health plans, investigating and controlling herd production shortfalls and investigating disease outbreaks; opportunities to gain experience in communicating effectively with producers in written and verbal formats; didactic and hands-on observation of production systems on farms to offer interactions with producers and veterinary professionals; primary focus on domestic livestock production system components which may be applied to any species population system.
Surgery
5
Essential skills needed to anesthetize and perform surgery on animals; focus on administering anesthesia, mastering techniques of abdominal exploratory and basic procedures involving the integumentary, gastrointestinal and urogenital systems.
Diagnostic Imaging
& Interpretation
2
Fundamentals of diagnostic evaluation of radiographic and ultrasonographic images in small and large animals; focus on importance of diagnostic and therapeutic imaging.
Career Selectives
4
Students select two selective courses (2 credits each) from a variety of small animal, exotics, large animal and laboratory-based courses.

Spring Semester Third-Year Professional Veterinary Medical Curriculum

Course
Credit Hours
Course Description
Professional &
Clinical Skills VI
3
Integration and reinforcement of foundational knowledge offered in concurrent courses through critical thinking exercises, professional skills application activities (ethics/contextual decision-making, leadership, skills for well-being, personal/practice financial literacy, core communication skills) and application of technical skills; opportunities for learning include didactic, hands-on and case-based interactions utilizing simulation, models, animals, actors and case scenarios; part V of a VI part series.
Small Animal
Diagnostics
& Therapeutics II
4.5
Medical and surgical diseases in dogs and cats including pathophysiology, diagnosis and therapeutic management; understanding of self-directed continued study and appropriate use of referral; disorders of the reproductive, respiratory, hemolymphatic, dermatologic, urinary, neurologic, gastrointestinal, ophthalmic, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, orthopedic and endocrine systems; includes neoplastic, nutritional, infectious and metabolic disorders.
Large Animal
Diagnostics
& Therapeutics II
3.5
Foundational content for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of common diseases and conditions of horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry; promotes successful entry into large animal and rural practice.

Career-Focus Tracking II
(students choose 1 course)
Companion Animal
2
Advanced medical and surgical disorders of the dog and cat; history-taking and problem-solving skills; physical examination findings; laboratory/imaging results; formulation of diagnostic and therapeutic plans.
Equine
Application of advanced topics in pathophysiology, diagnostics, medical and surgical management and prevention of equine diseases; emphasis on case-based learning and problem-solving skills.
Food Animal
Problem-solving of clinical herd and individual animal cases for beef and dairy cattle and small ruminants; builds on medical and surgical diseases of the ruminant, swine from large animal diagnostics and therapeutics and food animal career-focus tracking I.
Clinical Experience
3
Introduction to the art and practice of clinical veterinary medicine in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) by rotation through services linked to the selected career-focus track (companion animal, equine, food animal); opportunities for clinical experience including integration of didactic content to clinical cases; participation alongside senior veterinary students for clinical case evaluation and treatment; understanding of VMTH policies for sample submission and associated requirements.
Career Selectives
4
Students select two selective courses (2 credits each) from a variety of small animal, exotics, large animal and laboratory-based courses.

Fourth-Year Professional Veterinary Medical Curriculum*

All five training tracks require 30 weeks of identical core rotations (including two rotations of externship and two weeks of vacation). Each rotation is two weeks in length. With free electives, students may repeat a rotation, choose a rotation outside of their training track, or choose a free elective not listed below, which may be performed on or off campus. Intersemester rotations occur during holiday times when the university is closed. 48 credit hours are earned during the fourth year of the professional veterinary medical curriculum.

*The fourth-year curriculum is under evaluation and subject to change; career training tracks as listed will not change.
**Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) – Shelter medicine experience
***Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) – Field medicine experience caring for dogs and livestock at TDCJ units

Companion Animal
Track
Rural/Mixed Animal
Track
Equine
Track
Food Animal
Track
Alternative
Track
General Surgery
General Surgery
General Surgery
General Surgery
General Surgery
Small Animal
Emergency
Small Animal
Emergency
Small Animal
Emergency
Small Animal
Emergency
Small Animal
Emergency
Primary Care
Practice
Primary Care
Practice
Primary Care
Practice
Primary Care
Practice
Primary Care
Practice
Small Animal
Internal Medicine
Small Animal
Internal Medicine
Small Animal
Internal Medicine
Small Animal
Internal Medicine
Small Animal
Internal Medicine
Anesthesia I
Anesthesia I
Anesthesia I
Anesthesia I
Anesthesia I
Anesthesia II
Anesthesia II
Anesthesia II
Anesthesia II
Anesthesia II
Equine Medicine
Equine Medicine
Equine Lameness
Equine Lameness
Equine Medicine
Food Animal
Med-Sx-Field /
Zoo Med
Food Animal
Med-Sx-Field /
Zoo Med
Food Animal
Med-Sx-Field
Food Animal
Med-Sx-Field
Food Animal
Med-Sx-Field /
Zoo Med
Veterinary
Radiology
Veterinary
Radiology
Veterinary
Radiology
Veterinary
Radiology
Veterinary
Radiology
Diagnostics
Diagnostics
Diagnostics
Diagnostics
Diagnostics
Community
Connections
Community
Connections
Community
Connections
Community
Connections
Community
Connections
Houston
SPCA**
Houston
SPCA
Houston
SPCA
Houston
SPCA
Houston
SPCA
Externship
Externship
Externship
Externship
Externship
Externship
Externship
Externship
Externship
Externship
Vacation
Vacation
Vacation
Vacation
Vacation
Each training track requires an additional 16 weeks of species-directed rotations and one rotation where students choose a free elective.
Small Animal
Internal Medicine
Derm / Cardio /
Onco / Ophth
Equine Soft
Tissue Surgery
Equine Soft
Tissue / Ortho
Alternative
Dermatology /
Dentistry / Ophtho
Derm / Cardio /
Onco / Ophth
Equine
Orthopedic Surgery
Food Animal
Med-Sx-Field
Alternative
Cardiology
Soft Tissue Sx /
Ortho Sx / Neuro
Equine
Community Practice
Food Animal
Med-Sx-Field
Alternative
Oncology
Soft Tissue Sx /
Ortho Sx / Neuro
Equine Field
Service
Diagnostic
Lab (e.g., TVMDL)
Alternative
Soft Tissue
Surgery
Equine Surgery
(choose Equine
Soft Tissue / Ortho)
Equine Internal
Medicine &
Ultrasound
Feedlot / Swine /
Poultry / Dairy


These four rotations
are customized
based upon
focus area and
consultation
with mentor
(eight weeks total).
Orthopedic
Surgery
Equine
Medicine
Food Animal
Med-SX-Field
Feedlot / Swine /
Poultry / Dairy
Neurology
TDCJ***
TDCJ
TDCJ
Dermatology /
Dentistry / Ophtho
Food Animal
Med-SX-Field /
Zoo Medicine
Equine Therio /
Dairy Repro /
Small Ruminant
Small Ruminant
Practice
Free Elective
Free Elective
Free Elective
Free Elective
Free Elective
Intersemester
Intersemester
Intersemester
Intersemester
Intersemester
Intersemester
Intersemester
Intersemester
Intersemester
Intersemester