Modern Veterinary Graduates Are Outstanding, But Can They Get Better?

May, S A (2008) Modern Veterinary Graduates Are Outstanding, But Can They Get Better? JOURNAL OF VETERINARY MEDICAL EDUCATION, 35 (4). pp. 573-580.

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Abstract

Despite periodic debate Implying that modern veterinary graduates are less competent than their predecessors, analysis of educational Inputs and learning outcomes suggests that they continue to qualify with an excellent knowledge and skill set. However, Increased public expectations of veterinarians have led to the need for better-designed, more Integrated curricula with Increased attention to communication and other professional skills and to elements of individual specialization. The need for revision of curricular content will continue. A more overriding reason for reducing content, however, Is the effect this has on students' learning. Content overload in all disciplines leads to a superficial acquisition of facts, which overwhelms any drive toward understanding and extracting meaning. Unfortunately, many modern assessment methods permit replication to masquerade as problem solving, leading to short-term gains In grades at the cost of the development of Information sourcing and application and other lifelong learning skills. All involved in education must be clear that our task is to develop the independent professional person. Such a person is much more than the possessor of a collection of facts and a set of individual competences. To facilitate the development of this overall capability, educators must pay as much attention to students' engagement in the learning process, and to how they understand and make meaning of our discipline, as to the specific scientific and species content of their school's Individual degree programs.