Top-Level Competencies

Basic science, paraclinical and clinical knowledge

  • Mechanisms of disease
  • Clinical manifestations and treatment for common diseases
  • Normal function
  • Normal structure
  • Practicing profession


  • Business management
  • Regulatory laws
  • Veterinary practice environment

Communication skills

  • Client communications
  • Oral and written communication

Entry-level clinical skills

  • Analgesia
  • Welfare
  • Examining skills
  • Handling skills
  • History skills
  • Clinical pathology interpretation
  • Imaging interpretation
  • Medical interpretation
  • Nutrition interpretation
  • Anesthesia skills
  • Behavior skills
  • Clinical pathology skills
  • Dentistry skills
  • Emergency Medical Skills
  • Imaging skills
  • Medical skills
  • Nutrition skills
  • Ophthalmology skills
  • Pathology skills
  • Reproduction skills
  • Sample collection skills
  • Surgical skills
  • Medical records
  • Common problems
  • Diagnostic strategies
  • Individual animal wellness
  • Therapeutic strategies


  • Ethical treatment of animals
  • Ethical decisions
  • Veterinarian's role in society
  • Veterinarian's societal responsibilities
  • Animal's role in society
  • Human-animal bond
  • Accessing information
  • Evaluating information

Problem solving, critical thinking and life-long learning skills

  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Life-long learning


  • Professional behaviors
  • Interpersonal behaviors
  • Personal behaviors
  • Healthcare team

Public, environmental, and animal population health

  • Foreign animal diseases
  • Environmental impact on animal populations
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Disease transmission and control
  • Emerging issues
  • Food safety
  • Epidemiology
  • Veterinarian's role in animal and public health
  • Veterinarian's role in population health
  • Veterinarian's role in regulatory practice

Graduating Veterinarian Competencies

The Council on Education mandates that veterinary graduates must have the basic scientific knowledge, skills and values to practice veterinary medicine, independently, at the time of graduation. At a minimum, graduates must be competent in providing entry-level health care for a variety of animal species.

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Graduating Competencies

With input from both faculty and stakeholders, the school developed and adopted 365 veterinary competencies for a UC Davis entry-level graduate. Opportunities for each student to learn these competencies throughout the curriculum are tracked through the Competency Tracking System. The individual competencies are housed under top-level competencies (65) such that throughout the 4 years of the program students are examined multiple times in top-level competencies. In the clinical year, real-time assessment of important broad competencies provides students with feedback and allows the school to ensure that all students that graduate are competent.