Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine Western University of Health Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine

1st and 2nd Years overview

Years 1 and 2 are conducted primarily from campus, and include 5 courses conducted in series over the two academic years.

 

Veterinary Basic & Medical Sciences Courses

The veterinary basic & medical sciences courses are the core to preparing graduates in veterinary medicine. These courses integrate the basic and medical sciences, and learning is approached through engagement and problem-solving. The primary format for delivery of these courses is through problem-based learning. Learners are divided randomly into groups of 6 or 7 and assigned a faculty facilitator for an eight week block. Each week a clinical case vignette is delivered through a series of small group meetings. The case vignette provides the background structure through which learners identify and define patient problems, and subsequently identify what they need to learn/know in order to resolve the patient’s problems. Through individual and group study time, and faculty led laboratories and seminars, learners gain knowledge from the basic and medical sciences. They then apply this newly learned knowledge to the clinical case of the week, helping to cement learning in a meaningful and lasting way. While content is not limited to these basic sciences, learners are guided by faculty to focus on these 12 basic sciences: Anatomy, Behavior, Epidemiology, Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, Nutrition, Parasitology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Toxicology.

 

Content is delivered in eight week blocks, with a ninth week devoted to assessments. Learner assessments include written exams, practical exams, and problem-solving application assessments. Once a block has ended, learners are reassigned randomly to a new group with a new faculty facilitator. In this way, learners will work closely with nearly all members of their class, and with eight faculty members over the two academic years. Additionally, all CVM faculty have active roles as content experts in their areas of expertise, and help guide and coach students to long-lasting learning. A total of 16 credits are allotted per semester.

 

Molecular & Cellular Biology

This course most closely resembles a graduate level seminar course.  Utilizing current scientific literature, this course augments and reinforces molecular and cellular biological processes of key basic science concepts that stem from the current weeks VBS case.  MCB meets once a week for a 2h period, during which the discussion of the selected literature may take many forms, including faculty-led presentation, student-led lecture, or student-group activity.  MCB is a 1 credit course; however, concepts brought forth enhance and are interrelated with VBS learning.

 

Veterinary Issues Courses

This course meets for one two-hour session each week.  This course addresses professional, ethical, legal and public policy topics, trends and issues related to human-animal interactions or the future of the veterinary profession.  Learning occurs through individual student and group assignments and presentations, guest speakers, relevant reading materials and class discussions.  Guest speakers include a wide variety of veterinarians, academics and civic and industry leaders. 

Two credits per semester will be allotted for the Veterinary Issues course. Evaluations will be by written assignments and examinations. Examples of topics which may be developed for the Veterinary Issues course include:

 

 

 

Clinical Skills & Sciences Courses

This course provides supervised as well as student-initiated mastery of veterinary clinical skills in the context of common clinical procedures in domestic animals. The course series will be administered during the first four semesters of the DVM curriculum. Various instructional arenas will be employed to accomplish these required skills: these include, but are not limited to, the Multidisciplinary Classroom; Hill’s Wellness Center and Banfield, the Pet Hospital (enrolled wellness care); the Veterinary Ambulatory Community Service (VACS) vehicle; Cal Poly University- Pomona Animal Units, Mt San Antonio Community College facilities, and various ambulatory experiences. 

 

Patient-Centered Care; An Interprofessional Approach

This is a required university seminar course series for all first year health professional students, including Dental Medicine, Graduate Nursing, Optometry, Osteopathic Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Podiatric Medicine, Veterinary Medicine. These courses prepare students to practice health care services through a team approach.  Working in small interprofessional teams, students will explore cases representing conditions across the patient’s life span.  The cases will integrate elements common to all professions such as ethical, behavioral, social and psychological issues.  These courses lay the foundation for future collaboratively coordinated care of patients.