Illinois Veterinary Curriculum

Clinical Skills Learning Center

“Achieving Proficiency through Practice”


Open 24-hours daily, staffed by experienced veterinary professionals, and equipped with models and mannequins to teach a wide range of clinical skills, the Illinois facility is among the most comprehensive in the world.

  •  Learn and practice fundamental technical skills early in the curriculum, under the guidance of experienced coaches.
  • Use manikins, models, and other simulators to reduce animal use and prepare students to perform real procedures at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital

First Year

First-year students experience a wide range of clinical skills including surgical prep, suturing, physical exams, restraint, communication, anesthesia, and many more.

Second Year

Second-year students continue to practice a variety of clinical skills while preparing for objective, structured, clinical examinations (OSCEs) administered at the Clinical Skills Learning Center.

Third Year

OSCEs are administered to all Illinois students during the second and third year of the curriculum. Objective, structured, clinical examinations at the Clinical Skills Learning Center assure achievement in competencies needed to successfully advance in the curriculum. During this time, students also experience communications electives, third-year labs, and maintain 24/7 access to the Clinical Skills Learning Center.

Fourth Year

Fourth-year students experience clinical rotations and participate in intern and resident welcome week training.

Tours, Outreach, and Collaboration

Tours of the Clinical Skills Learning Center are available to prospective students, faculty, and guests of the University. The College also engages in collaboration with other institutions of veterinary medicine during our summer research training program. 

Why Illinois?

For the past 5 years, when candidates were asked why they chose to apply to Illinois, the new curriculum (27.4%) was the most common answer given during interviews

  • Small animal models and skills: Feline and canine CPR mannequins, intubation trainers, models for venipuncture (jugular and cephalic), thoracentesis, bandaging, positioning for imaging, catheter placement, flexible and rigid endoscopy, and more.
  • Large animal models and skills: Equine colic simulator, dystocia calf model, equine and bovine pregnancy palpation simulators, dehorning, castration, restraint, animal identification, oral medication delivery, epidural and CSF tap, transtracheal wash, and more.
  • Surgical Prep: Sterile preparation for surgery, suturing simulators for large and small patients, anesthesia equipment.
  • Communications Skills Center: with four mock exam rooms equipped to record students as they respond to simulated encounters with clients.