2012 Keates

Congresos de la SEBBM

Clinical teaching and assessment in veterinary science: How effective are we?

Helen Keates

  • University of Queensland, Australia

As with all tertiary education, a high order of achievement is expected of veterinary science students. A newly graduated veterinarian is expected to be confident and competent in practice, able to make good clinical judgements in a timely fashion. It is imperative that our students are both good ‘learners’ and good ‘thinkers’. Mere rote learning does not make a good clinician.

In the past two decades, there has been a shift of focus from the process of teaching clinical students (teaching what and how) to the assessment of outcomes (are students developing the desired competences).[1] New graduates need to have moved well beyond knowing the facts to being able to apply knowledge efficiently in uncharted situations. As with any field of education, assessment in veterinary science begins with defining the desired outcomes. Some outcomes, e.g. developing ‘clinical acumen’ are difficult to define and consequently, difficult to assess.

The next level is to assess the success of the assessment – are we really measuring what we mean to? There is a lot of interest in the variety of assessment tools used to determine clinical competency in veterinary science and medical students and it is likely that multiple methods must be applied for achievement of a valid measure.
In this presentation, I will discuss the pitfalls in teaching and assessing veterinary science students and will describe the approaches that we have considered, including oral exams and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), to ensure that our students are life-long learners and fully prepared for clinical practice.

[1] C. Scott Smith JVME 35(3) 2008 375-381.

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