Veterinary students across the country will have the opportunity to learn more about preventive care through resources created by the Center for Educational Technologies (CET) at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) beginning this fall.
Working with the Primary Care Veterinary Educators (PCVE) and Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP), the CET designed and developed five modules on preventive health care topics such as vaccines and parasites, dentistry, nutrition, and low-stress handling as part of an initiative to create materials that could be used by veterinary colleges.
The PCVE and PHP, which introduced the modules at a launch party on June 23 during the Veterinary Educator Collaborative (VEC) meeting in Ithaca, New York, came to the CET to implement the program.
To begin creating the curricula, the CET received input from individuals at more than 20 colleges of veterinary medicine internationally; the team also is working to ensure the curricula meets the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) competencies and the new Competency Based Veterinary Education entrustable professional activities (EPAs).
“All of the modules we are creating have been mapped to those competencies, which is a fairly universal language among the AAVMC schools now; that helps each college know where they can use it in their individual curriculum,” said Dr. Jordan Tayce, CET associate director and instructional assistant professor.
“One of the challenges, which I think is going to be fun, is figuring out how this can be used for different schools that each have unique curricula. We have been working to create a program that is modular—one school can pick and choose the parts that fill gaps in their curriculum, while another school can choose different parts that fit for them,” he said
The goal, Tayce said, is to create materials that will augment instruction, not necessarily replace any existing materials.
Each learning module has an online component and in-class lesson plans for instructors to use or modify, to customize the content for their own purposes; the curriculum also provides an instructor’s guide for rapid implementation into an existing CVM curriculum. Interwoven into the curriculum are professional skills topics such as communication, internet marketing, social media, and practice management.
“We have unique activities in our modules, through which students can practice what they’re learning,” he said. “We have some pre-designed lesson plans with ideas for faculty. If they want to use something, we’re saying, ‘here is a way in which you can use it in your own classroom.’”
An example of one of the activities the CET is developing includes a dentistry module that includes more than 110 dog and cat photos that students will use to practice numbering teeth.
“The activity starts out very simple, and then the plan is it’s going to get very complex—maybe it’s on a timer to increase pressure, because in the real world, veterinarians don’t have all day to examine an animal’s mouth; the animal is going to move,” Tayce said. “The activity gets steadily more difficult as students advance through it.”
Tayce said he hopes these modules will be useful to any veterinary college that chooses to implement them into their curriculum; all of these resources are free to use by any college.
“I think it’s really important that we were able to get so much buy-in from so many different schools; to be able to get 20 colleges to participate, through their input, is really big,” Tayce said. “I am encouraged that this course will help them put more emphasis on preventive health care in their curricula.”
For more information, or to receive the free resources, contact Tayce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Information: Megan Palsa, Executive Director of Communications, Media & Public Relations, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; email@example.com; 979-862-4216; 979-421-3121 (cell)