Veterinary Parasitology Teaching at London – Meeting the ‘Day-One Competency’ Needs of New Veterinarians

Fox, M T and Blake, D P and Jacobs, D E (2018) Veterinary Parasitology Teaching at London – Meeting the ‘Day-One Competency’ Needs of New Veterinarians. VETERINARY PARASITOLOGY, 254. pp. 131-134.

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Over the past four decades, there has been an exponential increase in veterinary parasitology knowledge, coinciding with the advent of molecular biology in research. Therefore, it is unrealistic for teachers to expect students to graduate with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject. As a result, a new curriculum was introduced at The Royal Veterinary College (University of London) in 2007, designed to meet the needs of our new graduates, i.e. RCVS Day-One Competences. The aims of this curriculum are, inter alia, to ensure that new graduates have an up-to-date body of core knowledge and are able to apply such knowledge and newly-acquired information to scientific and clinical problem-solving. Veterinary parasitology is taught primarily in Year 2, following a brief introduction in Year 1; clinical aspects are covered in Year 3, with original research projects undertaken in Years 4 and 5. Parasitology is taught in parallel with other subjects, enabling both horizontal and vertical integration. Core material is provided in lectures supplemented by directed learning (DL) in small groups and interactive, clinical scenario-based practical classes. Student learning is supported by Moodle 3.2 (Virtual Learning Environment [VLE], RVC Learn) which provides access to an on-line study guide (annotated using Adobe Reader), PowerPoint presentations with synchronized lecturer commentary (Echo Active Learning Platform [ALP]), detailed feedback for DL and practical classes, parasite ‘potcasts’ and CAL packages, and a Clinical Skills Centre. A parasitology textbook has also been published recently to support courses taught at the College. Assessment of student learning is achieved using a variety of written formats (essay, problem-solving questions [PSQ], multiple choice questions [MCQ] and extended matching questions [EMQ]), integrated oral examinations and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE).

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