WCM Signature Opportunity Core Curriculum

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is a leader among this country's veterinary schools in offering required core courses in comparative anatomy and zoological medicine. The core education ensures that all Cummings School graduates are exposed to the basics of wildlife health and are aware of the larger environmental issues that surround the animals in their care. This experience enables all of our graduates to act as knowledgeable resources and wildlife advocates for issues in their communities regardless of their chosen specialty.

The Wildlife and Conservation Medicine Signature Opportunity core courses underline the philosophical commitment to students and the public they will serve by helping to prepare future veterinarians for a vast range of veterinary activity.

Required courses and clinical rotations deal with disciplines related to Wildlife and Conservation Medicine in each of the four years at Cummings School. The following courses are incorporated in the DVM curriculum:

Comparative Anatomy and Physiology

This course utilizes a broadly comparative approach to illustrate basic evolutionary adaptations that exist across the animal kingdom, which helps to reinforce the concept of interconnectedness within an ecosystem and the individual importance of each species.

Introduction to Zoological Medicine and Zoological Medicine

The zoological medicine courses include non-traditional species such as wildlife, zoo species, companion exotic animals, pet birds, marine mammals, fish and domestic poultry as part of the avian section.

Wildlife Medicine Clinic Rotation

The fourth year core clinical rotation in wildlife medicine exposes all Cummings School veterinary students to the basic medical and surgical issues confronted by native wildlife species, and helps to put their future professional role and opportunities in perspective. Students learn how to interact with the public, how to handle, examine, diagnose and treat common problems of indigenous wildlife and how to make critical decisions for these animals.  In addition, students gain exposure to the rehabilitation procedures that are necessary in order for wildlife patients to be released back out into their natural habitat.

Students gain experience dealing with important zoonotic diseases and realize their key role in monitoring disease and interfacing with the general public and the human medical community. They also explore the relationship among local, state and federal wildlife and environmental agencies and learn how they might act as environmental or conservation advocates in their future communities.

In addition to these fundamental courses, material on wildlife and conservation medicine is integrated into other core courses at Cummings School, helping to broaden and redefine the traditional veterinary curriculum. These include but are not limited to:

  • International Veterinary Medicine
  • Accelerated Clinical Excellence
  • Emerging and Exotic Diseases of Animals
  • Ethics and Veterinary Medicine
  • Feeds and Feeding
  • Reproductive Physiology
  • Clinical Skills (Avian and Reptile Handling)
  • Clinical Reasoning