Photo: Curriculum
Class of 2014 during first week orientation.

Curriculum: Classes of 2013-2014

The professional curriculum at UC Davis is a four-year program leading to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. It is designed with a view to flexibility. Each student is provided with a foundation of core knowledge and skills in comparative veterinary medicine that is broad-based and an elective component that allows either exploration of diverse, non-traditional areas of veterinary science or specialization in species-specific advanced veterinary medicine.

Broadly defined, the curriculum provides:

a. Fundamental concepts and knowledge of veterinary science and training in basic clinical skills sufficient to enable graduates to enter a chosen area of veterinary medicine with an entry level of professional competency, and to enable them to effectively pursue life-long learning in the field of veterinary medicine.

b. An individual program of study for each student that reflects the student’s interests with regard to the breadth, depth, and practice emphasis of the student’s professional training.

The core (75%) is discipline-based and provides material that is essential for the understanding of basic principles or concepts and that is, for the most part, not species-specific. The core material is more concentrated in the early years with students gaining a solid understanding of normal structure, function and homeostasis (Year 1), pathophysiology and mechanisms of disease (Year 2) and manifestations of animal diseases including history, diagnosis, therapeutic and prevention strategies (Year 3). The elective curriculum (25%) provides students with an opportunity to explore diverse veterinary-related interests and also to tailor their learning towards career goals. Consistent with the goals of life-long learning, the elective requirement increases throughout the curriculum the majority in the third year.

The senior clinical year (48 weeks) is the laboratory setting for developing problem solving skills that result in making and applying medical judgment on an individual or herd basis. Most of the time is spent in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH), although satellite UC Davis Veterinary Medical Centers provide opportunities for specialized rotations such as dairy production medicine at the Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center (VMTRC) and zoological medicine and pathology at University of California Davis Veterinary Medical Center – San Diego (UCDVMC). These provide a rich environment for students to integrate reason and knowledge and develop the diagnostic and therapeutic skills necessary for clinical proficiency. The senior year mirrors the curriculum objectives by providing students the opportunity to focus on areas of interest (tracks). Eight species-oriented clinical tracks and one individual track allow students to develop entry-level knowledge and skills within selected areas of veterinary practice. Within each track, core rotations provide the fundamentals while elective rotations, including externships, provide students the opportunity to individualize their instruction.