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J Vet Med Educ. 2005 Winter;32(4):555-61.

Practice-based education at Michigan State University.

Author information

  • 1Food Animal Medicine and Surgery, Large Animal Clinical Sciences/Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA. kopcha@cvm.msu.edu


Practice-based large animal education at Michigan State University (MSU) was initiated in 1995. Urbanization of the area surrounding MSU and the declining number of livestock and farms to provide clinical experience under field conditions were the major reasons for adopting this educational model. Veterinary students, as a requirement for graduation from the professional program, must successfully complete a three-week clerkship in a private practice that has either a food animal or an equine emphasis. The objective of the practice-based program is to provide students with introductory on-the-farm experience, with emphasis on examination, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of common medical and surgical conditions of horses and/or food animals. Participating practices must be located in Michigan, have a sufficient case load, be interested in teaching senior veterinary students, and be willing to interact with the program coordinator and attend annual meetings. Sixty-nine practices are currently participating. The program coordinator matches students to practices based on the students' species interest and background, the personalities of the student and practitioner, and any special concerns or needs of the students (health conditions, child care). Assessment of students includes a practitioner's performance evaluation and review of written assignments (case log, clinical case reports, and a practice management assessment report) by campus faculty. A pass/no pass grading system is used. Overall, the Practice-Based Ambulatory Program represents a successful model for meeting the clerkship objectives. Additionally, exposing students to a high volume of commonly encountered conditions in a private business setting complements the referral cases seen in our large animal teaching hospital.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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