Progressive hands-on learning, a student-centered curriculum and team-based training take students out of the classroom. Interpersonal skills, business acumen, leadership and well-being are vital elements in a program that prepares day-one, career-ready professionals.
This course will utilize engaged learning in small groups to introduce essential foundations in anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and related diagnostic and therapeutic medical sciences (for example, radiology and pharmacology) to create a solid base of knowledge and skill that will enable students to excel in subsequent organ-system block courses. The key will be training in the engaged learning methods used throughout the Arizona CVM curriculum.
The Professional Skills coursework (VETM 802A, 802B, 802C, and 802D) represents four consecutive semesters of interactive learning designed to introduce students to critical occupational attributes required for success as veterinarians. Emphasis will be placed on interpersonal skills, including professional behavior, ethics, and communicating effectively with all veterinary team members (employers, colleagues, support staff, and veterinary clients). Instructional sessions on clinic conversations will introduce Calgary-Cambridge communication skills and allow students multiple opportunities to practice these skills in simulated encounters with standardized clients. Simulated encounters will include everyday clinic dialogues, such as comprehensive and focused history-taking, estimate sharing, explanation of physical exam findings, and review of the diagnostic and/or treatment plans in correlation to the systems-based courses. As students develop proficiency in foundational communication skills, their encounters with standardized clients will advance in difficulty to include such difficult conversations as cost of care and disease progression. In addition to oral communication skills, students will practice the art of written communication by learning how to construct concise medical records (SOAP notes) that hold up in courts of law. Other vital professional skills taught in depth include sessions on financial acuity and student debt, practice management, contract negotiation, work-life balance, mental health, and well-being.
The Clinical Skills coursework (VETM 803A, 803B, 803C, and 803D) represents four consecutive semesters of primarily experiential learning designed to create and build upon a foundation of core knowledge and techniques essential to the practice of veterinary medicine. Students will gain proficiency in the safety of handling and restraint. They will use their understanding of animal behavior and welfare to observe, approach, and examine canine, feline, production animals (bovine/ovine), and equine patients. Live animals will augment the use of non-animal teaching tools and simulators to practice minimally invasive techniques that facilitate diagnosis. This hands-on approach to learning will be fully integrated with the systems-based curriculum. For instance, when students are mapping the structure and function of the heart in anatomy and physiology, they will practice how to auscultate the heart and palpate femoral pulses in the Clinical Skills Laboratory. Critical skills that will be emphasized include, but are not limited to, physical examination, diagnostic sample collection (i.e., blood, urine, feces, and tissue), clinical pathology (complete blood counts, chemistry profiles, urine and fecal analysis), intravenous catheterization and fluid therapy, surgical instrument and tissue handling, aseptic technique and sterile prep, suturing, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Skills will be taught using a layered approach. The complexity of the introduced and ultimately assessed skills build upon one another and advance in difficulty throughout the curriculum.
The Clinical Logic in Doctoring coursework (VETM 804A, 804B, 804C, and 804D) represents four semesters focused on learning and refining skills in clinical diagnostic reasoning. Think of this as starting with a client presenting a patient with a clinical problem(s) and then following an ordered, logical path of asking diagnostic questions, ordering diagnostic tests, interpreting the patient’s data, and deciding what to do next—all to reduce the differential diagnosis possibilities, ultimately arriving at a working diagnosis.
The One Health in One World coursework series is part of a curriculum that is open only to admitted Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students in the UA College of Veterinary Medicine (VETM 805A, 805B, 805C, and 805D) and represents four consecutive semesters which will focus on veterinary public health issues at the local, national, and international level with emphasis on the role of the veterinarian within the One Health team. Students will apply their knowledge of the One Health concept to solve real-world problems in various contexts, including, but not limited to, zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food security/food safety, animal health regulations, and ecosystem health.
Utilizing collaborative learning techniques, students will learn about the defense mechanisms of the hemic-lymphatic system and skin barrier that protect an individual from infection, trauma, and other insults. In addition to normal structure and function, pathological processes of the hemic-lymphatic system and skin and the resulting disease presentations will be emphasized. Students will explore and acquire the critical thought processes needed to select and interpret relevant diagnostic tests and determine appropriate treatment plans for diseases involving these organ systems.
Students will engage in collaborative learning instruction to provide a basic comparative understanding of the musculoskeletal system. The course reviews the location and function of bones, muscles, peripheral nerves, and vessels common veterinary species and the structure and physiology of the basic tissues of the musculoskeletal system (cartilage, bone, joint, and muscle). In addition, the course will address common veterinary diseases, their underlying pathologic mechanisms, current diagnostic techniques, and therapeutic plans.
Students will engage in comparative examination and exploration of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal systems, the roles these closely related systems play in maintaining homeostasis and animal wellness, and how these systems can malfunction. The course will integrate how differences in the anatomy and physiologic needs of different species affect the function of these systems. Through peer instruction, team-based learning activities, and in-person gross anatomy labs, students will learn to promote competency in identifying and diagnosing cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal system disorders. Students will explore and acquire the critical thought processes needed to select, perform (when applicable), interpret relevant diagnostic tests, and determine appropriate broad treatment targets and approaches for diseases involving these organ systems.
From a clinical perspective, this course will deepen knowledge of the gastrointestinal tract and the three main accessory organs (Pancreas, Liver, and Gallbladder). This course will include collaborative learning and instruction to enable students to synthesize signalment, history, and physical exam into a differential list from most to least likely for a patient/flock/herd with gastrointestinal signs. Students will outline and implement an iterative diagnostic plan prioritizing high-yield tests over lower-yield tests, understanding the rationale, risks and benefits, results and information gleaned from each test. Students will begin to formulate and implement a treatment plan that may include medical, pharmacological, nutritional, and surgical interventions based on the owner's budgetary restrictions (understanding the role of the primary & referral veterinarians), and adjust these plans based on the patient's response and disease progression, financial and emotional limitations of the owner, as well as additional information that may result from more advanced testing. Rare facts or processes are not emphasized in a daily clinical setting. Instead, the course aims to give students a process by which to approach clinical signs of illness in the GI tract and accessory organs. The knowledge will provide a solid basis for future multi-systemic, internal medicine and surgery courses and electives in the student's area of interest.
Foundational knowledge of the endocrinological anatomy and physiology and clinical applications of endocrinology in equine, bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine, feline, and canine species. Additionally, reproductive anatomy, physiology, and clinical applications of equine, bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine, feline, and canine species reproduction. This course will include collaborative learning and instruction to enable students to synthesize signalment, history, and physical exam into a differential list from most to least likely for a patient/flock/herd with reproductive clinical signs and breeding management of these species. Students will outline and implement an iterative diagnostic plan prioritizing high-yield tests over lower-yield tests, understanding the rationale, risks and benefits, results and information gleaned from each test. Students will begin to formulate and implement a treatment plan that may include medical, pharmacological, nutritional, and surgical interventions based on the owner's budgetary restrictions (understanding the role of the primary & referral veterinarians) and adjust these plans based on the patient's response and disease progression, financial and emotional limitations of the owner, as well as additional information that may result from more advanced testing. Rare facts or processes are not emphasized in a daily clinical setting. Instead, the course aims to give students a process to approach clinical signs of illness in the endocrine system, reproductive system and accessory organs. The knowledge will provide a solid basis for future multi-systemic, internal medicine and surgery courses and electives in the student's area of interest.
Using collaborative learning instruction, students will be introduced to the structure and function of the normal nervous system and learn pathophysiology, pharmacology, diagnostic procedures, and treatments of common neurological diseases. In addition, students will learn normal behavior and how to recognize, prevent, diagnose and treat unwanted and abnormal behaviors. Students will explore and acquire the critical thought processes needed to select and interpret relevant diagnostic tests, determine appropriate treatment plans, and apply the most current clinical knowledge.
In your practice of veterinary medicine, you will find that there are very few single-system diseases. Organ systems are all part of a whole organism, and each is necessary. When a patient is ill, the historical and clinical findings may point you toward one primary malfunctioning organ. Still, more often than not, additional clinical and clinicopathological findings suggest secondary dysfunction in one or more organs. In this course, you will be presented with diseases, some of which you have seen before and some new to you, that routinely affect multiple organ systems. These diseases will require consideration of the primary and secondary pathophysiological processes in interpreting diagnostic tests and treating the disease.
The Sum of the Parts provides the finale to the organ systems courses and will use collaborative learning strategies to analyze diseases in which multiple organ systems are affected. In this course, students will recall the structure and function of the normal systems and apply knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, diagnostic procedures, and treatments to common conditions in which more than one organ system is impacted. Students can also use the critical thought processes learned in Clinical Logic in Doctoring to select and interpret relevant diagnostic tests, apply clinical knowledge acquired in the systems courses to complex pathophysiological processes, and develop differential diagnoses.
The Companion Animal: Advanced Clinical Management course, which focuses on small companion animals, extends and adds clinical complexity to the organ systems courses and to Sum of the Parts (VETM 812), by expanding the scope of emphasis to include a more holistic approach to patient care and disease management. This includes, but is not limited to, life stage, nutritional, therapeutic and long-term patient management, public health, fiscal, client considerations, and disease prevention.
The Large Animal Advanced Clinical Management course extends and adds clinical complexity to the organ systems courses and to Sum of the Parts (VETM 812) by expanding the scope of emphasis to include a more holistic consideration of the patient and the patient’s disease(s). This includes, but is not limited to, fiscal concerns, life stage considerations, nutritional considerations, therapeutic and long-term patient management considerations, and public health considerations.
The courses VETM 814A and 814B are designed to build upon the knowledge students have gained during the preceding four semesters of preclinical courses, building to a more clinical context. Learning events will consist of TBL/PI sessions combined with immersive simulation exercises, clinical skills activities and live animal surgical procedures. Successful completion of the course will prepare students for their 3rd-year clinical rotations.
The Advanced Professional Skills coursework (VETM 815A and 815B) represents two consecutive semesters of scaffolded learning that builds upon an introductory longitudinal series (VETM 802A, 802B, 802C, and 802D) to prepare students for their final clinical year. Students will be provided with the next layer of communication skills regarding case management, suboptimal patient outcomes, client-centered goal setting, unanticipated diagnoses and prognoses, chronic illness, terminal disease, end-of-life: the medical aspects of euthanasia, anticipatory grief and the interpersonal aspects of euthanasia, euthanizing patients with treatable conditions, economic euthanasia, death notification, unmet expectations for care, and boundary setting. This course will allow for professional growth, inquisitive and lifelong learning, perspective-taking and seeking, interactive processing of information, engagement in dialogue, evidence-based decision-making, delivery and receipt of feedback, and individual and collective reflection.
Students will have the opportunity to explore various facets of veterinary medicine using collaborative learning instruction, which is more in-depth and focused than is feasible in the regular course curriculum. Students will have five three-week blocks of time to concentrate on their topics of interest. The student will individually tailor the selective course to maximize their exposure to their areas of interest within 15 weeks.
Education during the clinical year will involve rotations through a vast network of clinical affiliates. Students will have access to routine and diseased animals in various clinical settings.
How to Apply
As you begin the application process, make sure you are on track to meet CVM prerequisites and discover financial resources available to you.