Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum
Table 1 below illustrates the curriculum overview. Clinical Practice courses (rotations, in blue) in each year allow increased experiential learning in the hospital and diagnostic laboratory. Rotations are intended to facilitate integration of pre-clinical sciences (didactic lectures and laboratories in peach, purple, and orange blocks) with spontaneous clinical material. The Professional Development period at the end of the 4th year (green) is designed to provide more focused (by species and discipline) clinical experiences immediately prior to graduation (capstone courses).
Table 1: Overview of the Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum
(Click on the grid for a larger view)
In VM 601, Clinical Practice I, new first-year students rotate weekly through 23-to-27 diverse clinical experiences for a total of 8 weeks. They also attend colloquia and complete on-line learning modules.
A major component of the new curriculum is the Clinical Skills Learning Center. In this new 1600 square foot facility, students learn, practice, and refine clinical skills under the guidance of experienced coaches. Skills pertain to anesthesiology, animal handling, clinical pathology, critical care, medicine, radiography, surgery, and ultrasonography of both large and small animals. To read more about the CSLC and to see some of the models, mannequins, and simulators, see http://vetmed.illinois.edu/asa/cslc/index.html . We are currently developing a communications laboratory as part of the Clinical Skills Learning Center where we can teach communication skills as students rotate throughout the curriculum.
In the remainder of the first year of the new curriculum, we have created what is essentially a quarter system rather than semester system where courses are only 8-weeks long. Courses are organized to present anatomy, physiology, and histology of the same body systems simultaneously to allow better correlation and integration of pre-clinical sciences with one another and with clinical material experienced during VM 601. A typical daily and hourly schedule for VM 603 is illustrated in Table 2 below:
Table 2: Weekly Schedule: VM 603 (First Half Spring Semester, January-to-March 2012). Core hours are in light blue, and elective courses are in yellow with italic print.
Similar courses have been developed for all of the first three years of the new curriculum as outlined in Table 1.
To complement the core courses, a series of elective streams (follow link to see the elective details) has been developed for the following species and areas of interests: equine medicine and surgery; wildlife, zoological medicine, and ecology; small animal medicine and surgery; food animal; all-species specialties (diagnostic imaging, laboratory animal, ophthalmology, clinical pathology, gross pathology, and therapeutics); business and communication; public health/one health.
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