Creation and Evaluation of a Food Animal Curriculum Roadmap for Veterinary Students at the University of Minnesota

Less than 5% of US veterinary school graduates go on to practice predominantly food animal medicine, contributing to a serious shortage of veterinarians practicing in rural areas. Exposing students to clinical and farm experiences while in veterinary school is an effective way to recruit them to various types of veterinary careers. Students at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (UMN CVM) were not always aware of food animal course options within the curriculum. Additionally, food animal faculty had noted that while face-to-face mentoring was the most effective way to help students select courses, it was too dependent upon faculty availability and students' comfort level in reaching out for advice. Consequently, it was decided to develop an online catalog of course options focusing on food animal topics. This course catalog, called the Food Animal Curriculum Roadmap, was designed as an interactive roadmap similar to a map of subway lines, where each line represents a species of interest (beef, dairy, small ruminant, swine, and poultry) and each station is a course. The roadmap was made available to all students at the college. A user survey showed that 96% of the respondents (n = 30) indicated that they had a better understanding of course offerings after using the Food Animal Curriculum Roadmap.

Boyer P. Creation and evaluation of a food animal curriculum roadmap for veterinary students at the University of Minnesota. J Vet Med Educ. 2019 Jun. https://doi.org/10.3138/jvme.0418-048r