National and School Level Competencies

National Veterinary Clinical Competencies Provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association

The college must have processes in place whereby students are observed and assessed for having attained each of the following competencies:

  1. Comprehensive patient diagnosis (problem solving skills), appropriate use of diagnostic testing, and record management
  2. Comprehensive treatment planning including patient referral when indicated
  3. Anesthesia and pain management, patient welfare
  4. Basic surgery skills and case management
  5. Basic medicine skills and case management
  6. Emergency and intensive care case management
  7. Understanding of health promotion and biosecurity, prevention and control of disease including zoonoses and principles of food safety
  8. Client communications and ethical conduct
  9. Critical analysis of new information and research findings relevant to veterinary medicine.

Cummings School Clinical Competencies for Graduating DVM Students

Patient Care

  1. History and Physical examination: Perform a history and physical examination and collect and record information needed to evaluate medical and surgical conditions
  2. Differential diagnosis: Develop a differential diagnosis list by interpreting and synthesizing findings from the examination and diagnostic tests
  3. Diagnostic plan: Develop a problem list and diagnostic plan and interpret laboratorytests
  4. Medical record: Prepare a medical record summarizing relevant patient information that effectively communicates information to the health care team
  5. Treatment plan: Develop a therapeutic plan that addresses the problems identified. The plan may include patient referral for specialty care
  6. Treatment outcomes: Evaluate treatment outcomes and manage potential complications of treatment choices
  7. Sedation and anesthesia: Recognize the need for sedation or anesthesia and develop an appropriate protocol for local or general anesthesia, including maintenance and recovery of patients
  8. Pain management: Recognize and manage signs of pain, anxiety and apprehension in any species
  9. Surgical interventions and treatment plan: Recognize the need for surgical intervention appropriate for the given patient and communicate potential benefits, complications, and cost.
  10.  Basic surgical skills and case management: Perform basic surgical procedures, including preparation for aseptic surgery, appropriate tissue handling, suture pattern and material using appropriate instruments. Demonstrate appropriate bandaging technique.
  11. High quality postoperative patient care: Develop a postoperative patient plan including appropriate patient monitoring, adequate hospitalization, and an effective home-care plan. Effectively communicate the plan and follow-up monitoring.
  12. Medical treatment plan and response: Describe common diseases for each of the domestic species, develop a comprehensive treatment plan based on patient findings, and predict potential complications.
  13. Medical procedures: Select and perform basic medical procedures safely and effectively.
  14. High quality patient care and follow-up: Implement a comprehensive treatment plan and monitor response to medical treatment. Effectively communicate the plan and follow-up monitoring with owners.
  15. Stabilization of emergency patients: Recognize patient emergencies and stabilize a patient using common medical procedures and therapeutic products. Formulate a treatment plan and communicate effectively with owners, including the option for euthanasia.
  16.  Emergency procedures, treatment plan and communication: Perform basic emergency procedures and implement a comprehensive treatment plan. Communicate treatment options including risks and prognosis.
  17.  Intensive care treatment, monitoring and communication: Recognize the need for and develop an intensive care treatment plan and monitoring. Communicate treatment options and risks with owners, including the need to refer.

Health Promotion and Biosecurity

  1. Multispecies clinical expertise for health promotion: Recognize risk factors for medical conditions in common domestic species, including methods for mitigating or eliminating risk factors for disease
  2. Preventive medicine and biosecurity for individual animals and animal populations: Recognize common infectious diseases, immune responses and therapeutic veterinary products important in animal disease prevention. Formulate a comprehensive species-appropriate preventive medicine plan using principles of biosecurity.
  3. Prevention of zoonotic disease: Recognize clinical signs and pathogens associated with common zoonotic diseases and develop and communicate a disease prevention plan.
  4. Food supply safety: Recognize important foodborne pathogens, recommend diagnostic measures for identification, and formulate a prevention plan incorporating state and federal food safety regulations.
  5. Prevention of food supply contamination: Recognize risks for animal feed contamination and formulate appropriate treatment plans demonstrating judicious use of antimicrobials. Communicate effectively with clients to promote compliance with food safety standards.
  6. One health understanding and participation: Understand the interaction of animal and human health with the environment and provide leadership in the community around health issues related to agriculture. Help develop and implement disaster preparedness plans.

Interpersonal Communication and Ethical Conduct

  1. Client, colleague and staff communication: Develop an effective client communication plan with instructions for patient care using language appropriate for the level of education and experience of the client.
  2. Ethical and professional conduct: Demonstrate professional behavior and identify and resolve situations that pose an ethical dilemma
  3. Leadership in ethical considerations for animals: Provide leadership to society on ethical considerations involved in the use and care of animals by humans

Informatics and Financial Literacy

  1. Evidence-based medicine: Review and critically evaluate biomedical literature and apply it to the practice of contemporary evidence-based medicine
  2. Research and professional development: Recognize the role of basic and applied research in the advancement of veterinary medicine and opportunities for professional development

Financial literacy and business management: Manage personal finances, determine the elements required to provide high-quality customer service, and analyze a business plan to plan for equipment purchases.