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ILAR J. 2007;48(2):143-55.

Training strategies for laboratory animal veterinarians: challenges and opportunities.

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  • 1Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan, 018 Animal Research Facility, 1150 West Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0614, USA. lacolby@umich.edu


The field of laboratory animal medicine is experiencing a serious shortage of appropriately trained veterinarians for both clinically related and research-oriented positions within academia, industry, and government. Recent outreach efforts sponsored by professional organizations have stimulated increased interest in the field. It is an opportune time to critically review and evaluate postgraduate training opportunities in the United States and Canada, including formal training programs, informal training, publicly accessible training resources and educational opportunities, and newly emerging training resources such as Internet-based learning aids. Challenges related to each of these training opportunities exist and include increasing enrollment in formal programs, securing adequate funding support, ensuring appropriate content between formal programs that may have diverse objectives, and accommodating the training needs of veterinarians who enter the field by the experience route. Current training opportunities and resources that exist for veterinarians who enter and are established within the field of laboratory animal science are examined. Strategies for improving formal laboratory animal medicine training programs and for developing alternative programs more suited to practicing clinical veterinarians are discussed. In addition, the resources for high-quality continuing education of experienced laboratory animal veterinarians are reviewed.

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