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Preclinical Curriculum

In RUSVM’s curriculum, each subject area receives comprehensive, in-depth coverage commensurate with contemporary veterinary educational trends. The curriculum provides clinical correlation and examples of clinical relevance throughout the instructional program.


Preclinical Course Descriptions | Clinical Skills Lab

Note: Preclinical Curriculum subject to change.

DVM 2018 and beyond:

Semester

Course No.

Course Title

Credits

One

VMI 5102

Veterinary Professional Foundations I

1

One

VMI 5112

Essential Veterinary Skills A

1

One

VMS 5111

Microscopic Anatomy and Embryology

4

One

VMA 5113

Gross Anatomy I

4

One

VPP 5123

Physiology I

4

One

VMR 5132

Principles of Veterinary Research

1

Semester

Course No.

Course Title

Credits

Two

VMI 5212

Essential Veterinary Skills B

1

Two

VMA 5216

Gross Anatomy II

4

Two

VPP 5223

Physiology II

4

Two

VMP 5253

Immunology

3

Two

VMP 5265

Parasitology

3

Two

VMP 5252

Cased-Based Studies I

2

Semester

Course No.

Course Title

Credits

Three

VMI 5312

Essential Veterinary Skills C

1

Three

VPP 5332

Pharmacology I

3

Three

VPA 5341

Pathology I

4

Three

VMP 5351

Bacteriology and Mycology

3

Three

VPP 5355

Virology

3

Three

VMP 5352

Case-Based Studies II

2

Semester

Course No.

Course Title

Credits

Four

VMI 5412

Essential Veterinary Skills D

1

Four

VMP 5452

Case-Based Studies III: Mechanisms of Disease

2

Four

VPA 5443

Pathology II

5

Four

VPA 5448

Clinical Pathology

5

Four

VPP 5431

Applied Animal Nutrition

3

Four

VMS 5475

Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology

4

Semester

Course No.

Course Title

Credits

Five

VMI 5512

Essential Veterinary Skills E

1

Five

VPP 5538

Toxicology

3

Five

VMS 5573

Diagnostic Imaging

4

Five

VMS 5577

Anesthesiology

4

Five

VMS 5585

Small Animal Medicine I

5

Five

VMP 5552

Case-Based Studies IV

2

Semester

Course No.

Course Title

Credits

Six

VMS 5612

Essential Veterinary Skills F

1

Six

VMS 5698

Special Species Medicine

2

Six

VMS 5649

Small Animal Surgery

4

Six

VMS 5650

Surgery Laboratory I

2

Six

VMS 5687

Small Animal Medicine II

5

Six

VMS 5690

Large Animal Medicine I

5

Semester

Course No.

Course Title

Credits

Seven

VMS 5775

Theriogenology

4

Seven

VMS 5783

Introduction to Clinics

2

Seven

VMS 5793

Large Animal Medicine II

5

Seven

VMS 5795

Large Animal Surgery

4

Seven

VMS 5796

Surgery Laboratory II

2

Seven

VMI 5704

Veterinary Professional Foundations II

1

Preclinical Course Descriptions

SEMESTER 1

  • Veterinary Professional Foundations I (VMI 5102)
    Veterinary Professional Foundations I (1 credit)

    Provides entry-level DVM students with a strong grounding in professional skills. Students will be supported in developing core competencies, which contribute to success as a member of the veterinary profession. Topics include: communication skills, ethical decision-making, professionalism, financial planning, information seeking diversity, and multicultural awareness and goal setting.

  • Essential Veterinary Skills A (VMI 5112)
    Essential Veterinary Skills A (1 credit)

    A practical course providing multi-species instruction in foundational skills (animal handling and examination, hand skills, communication, professionalism) in a vertically-integrated fashion that builds in complexity over multiple semesters using live animal handling and examination as well as model and simulation-based experiences. Course continues through semesters 1-5.

  • Microscopic Anatomy and Embryology (VMA 5111)
    Microscopic Anatomy and Embryology (4 credits)

    Concentrates on the study of cell biology, cell physiology and the microscopic structure of cells, tissues, and organs of domestic animals. Students use dual-viewing microscopes and digital images in laboratories to study the structure of basic tissue types and their integration into organs and organ systems. The lectures correlate microscopic and gross anatomy with function and development of organ systems. Selected embryology topics focus attention on common developmental anomalies encountered by veterinarians.

     

  • Gross Anatomy I (VMA 5113)
    Gross Anatomy I (4 credits)

    Focuses on the comparative gross anatomy of domestic animals including canine, equine and ruminant, with minor emphasis on feline and porcine. Laboratories utilize embalmed canine cadavers for dissections. Prosections are used for other species. Also integrated into the course are normal radiographic anatomy, and instrument handling labs. The lectures provide overviews of the main concepts or hard-to-explain details. Topics covered in the first semester include osteology and muscle systems of the limbs, anatomy of the thorax and abdomen and nervous system.

  • Principles of Infectious Diseases (VMA 5114)
    Principles of Infectious Diseases (2 credits)

    The main purpose of the class is to introduce students to introductory principles in infectious diseases as they apply to Veterinary Medicine, and to study how microbes interact with the animal host, mechanisms of infection, and resulting disease manifestations. This includes an understanding of microbial structures, virulence and pathogenicity, host defenses against pathogens, transmission of pathogens, zoonoses, and microbial genetics. In addition, diagnostic techniques will be discussed as well as antimicrobial therapy and antimicrobial resistance.

  • Physiology I (VPP 5123)
    Physiology I (4 credits)

    This course will be focused on homeostatic functions of the body at the cellular level, including nerve and muscle function. We will discuss cardiovascular physiology, with emphasis on electrical activity of the heart and integrated cardiovascular responses and also learn about blood cell formation and coagulation mechanisms. Our approach to respiratory physiology will include physical and mechanical aspects of respiration and gas transport in the blood. Whenever possible basic pathophysiological mechanisms will be emphasized and correlated with clinical topics.

  • Principles of Veterinary Research (VMR 5132)
    Principles of Veterinary Research (1 credit)

    Designed to help students learn about fundamentals of research, including experimental planning and design, research bias, alternatives to animal use and animal welfare, the One Health concept, granting agencies, the components of grant writing and review process, types of research, IACUC, IRB, post-award considerations, how to conduct a research project, analysis of data and interpretation of experimental results, types of data presentations, manuscript preparation, critical evaluation of the scientific literature and on-line resources, and how this knowledge is used in the practice of evidence-based medicine. Students are exposed to active RUSVM research faculty and student research associates throughout the course.

SEMESTER 2

  • Essential Veterinary Skills B (VMI 5212)
    Essential Veterinary Skills B (1 credit)

    A practical course providing multi-species instruction in foundational skills (animal handling and examination, hand skills, communication, professionalism) in a vertically-integrated fashion that builds in complexity over multiple semesters using live animal handling and examination as well as model and simulation-based experiences. Course continues through semesters 1-5.

  • Gross Anatomy II (VMA 5216)
    Gross Anatomy II (4 credits)

    Continues the Gross Anatomy I course. Comparative gross anatomy of the domestic animals focusing on canine, equine and ruminant as well as the avian species, with minor emphasis on the feline and porcine. Laboratories utilize embalmed canine cadavers for dissections. Prosections are used for other species. Also integrated into the course are normal radiographic anatomy. Topics covered in the second semester include anatomy of the pelvic cavity/reproductive tract, innervation and vasculature of the limbs, anatomy of the head/neck, avian anatomy and a clinical neuroanatomy component.

  • Physiology II (VPP 5223)
    Physiology II (4 credits)

    This course will be a continuation of homeostatic mechanisms introduced in Physiology I with broader focus on renal and acid‐base physiology and the gastrointestinal system. Additional emphasis will be on mechanisms and control of the endocrine system, endocrine and exocrine secretions, regulation of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, and the reproductive system, including pregnancy and parturition.

  • Immunology (VMP 5253)
    Immunology (3 credits)

    Covers basic defense mechanisms, diseases of the immune system and the role of immunity in diseases of domestic animals. Serological and other immunological tests, and their application in laboratory diagnosis of diseases, are covered.

  • Case-Based Studies I (VMP 5252)
    Case-Based Studies I (2 credits)

    Using a case-based approach, this course integrates basic and clinical sciences by incorporating conditions commonly seen in the practice of Veterinary Medicine to emphasize topics of anatomy, immunology, physiology, parasitology and infectious disease. Students progressively enhance their critical thinking and problem solving skills as they generate problem lists, formulate differenital diagnoses, develop diagnostic plans and critically review the scientific literature.

  • Parasitology (VMP 5265)
    Parasitology (3 credits)

    Emphasizes major parasite taxonomic groups by host species. Helminthic, arthropod and protozoan parasites that affect domestic animals in North America are covered. Lectures are organized by host species and stress parasite identification, life cycles, pathogenesis and lesions, clinical signs, diagnosis and prevention and treatment of parasites. Laboratories focus on identification of the parasites and lesions they produce. Lectures and laboratories are integrated to achieve course objectives.

SEMESTER 3

  • Essential Veterinary Skills C (VMI 5312)
    Essential Veterinary Skills C (1 credit)

    A practical course providing multi-species instruction in foundational skills (animal handling and examination, hand skills, communication, professionalism) in a vertically-integrated fashion that builds in complexity over multiple semesters using live animal handling and examination as well as model and simulation-based experiences. Course continues through semesters 1-5.

  • Pharmacology (VPP 5332)
    Pharmacology (3 credits)

    Focuses on general principles of pharmacology, together with drugs acting on the autonomic and central nervous systems, muscle relaxants, local anesthetics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Pathology I (VPA 5341)
    Pathology I (4 credits)

    Introduces the terminology of disease, mechanisms of disease from both causal and tissue-response aspects, systemic pathology based on etiopathogenesis, and gross and microscopic appearance of lesions. Lectures, histopathology slides (real and virtual), necropsies and abattoir specimens are employed.

  • Bacteriology and Mycology (VMP 5351)
    Bacteriology and Mycology (3 credits)

    Concentrates on diseases in domestic animals caused by pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Lectures emphasize basic properties of microorganisms, including identification and pathogenesis. Laboratory instruction includes basic bacteriology/mycology laboratory techniques, with hands-on application of identifying those organisms in the form of standard staining and microscope techniques, plating of cultures and simple methods of identification of bacteria.

  • Virology (VMP 5355)
    Virology (3 credits)

    Covers the basic properties of animal viruses including classification, genetics, pathogenesis and diagnosis of viral diseases using laboratory methods. Control and prevention of viral diseases are discussed.

  • Case-Based Studies II (VMP 5355)
    Case-Based Studies II (2 credits)

    Using a case-based approach, this course integrates basic and clinical sciences by incorporating conditions
    commonly seen in the practice of Veterinary Medicine to emphasize topics in pathology, bacteriology,
    virology, and pharmacology, in addition to disciplines presented in other semesters. Students progressively enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they generate problem lists, formulate differential diagnoses, develop diagnostic plans, and critically review the scientific literature.

SEMESTER 4

  • Essential Veterinary Skills D (VMI 5412)
    Essential Veterinary Skills D (1 credit)

    A practical course providing multi-species instruction in foundational skills (animal handling and examination, hand skills, communication, professionalism) in a vertically-integrated fashion that builds in complexity over multiple semesters using live animal handling and examination as well as model and simulation-based experiences. Course continues through semesters 1-5.

  • Case-Based Studies III (VMP 5452)
    Case-Based Studies III (2 credits)

    Using an active integrative learning approach, this course integrates the basic and clinical sciences by
    incorporating conditions commonly seen in the practice of Veterinary Medicine to emphasize topics in
    pathology, clinical pathology, public health, nutrition, and pharmacology/therapeutics, in additional to
    disciplines presented in semesters 1, 2, and 3. Students progressively enhance their critical thinking and
    problem-solving skills as they generate problem lists, formulate differential diagnoses, develop diagnostic
    and therapeutic plans, and critically review the scientific literature.

  • Pathology II (VPA 5443)
    Pathology II (5 credits)

    Continues systemic pathology of food and companion animals. Disorders are categorized by organ system emphasizing etiopathogenesis, gross and microscopic lesions, and sequelae. Lectures, histopathology slides (real and virtual), necropsies and abattoir specimens are employed.

  • Clinical Pathology (VPA 5448)
    Clinical Pathology (5 credits)

    Students learn how to use laboratory data to make a diagnosis. They are expected to understand the underlying pathophysiology of laboratory abnormalities, understand how tests are selected, the technology used to generate data, and most importantly, how to interpret and integrate test results, including hematology, cytopathology, and clinical biochemistry.

  • Applied Animal Nutrition (VPP 5431)
    Applied Animal Nutrition (3 credits)

    Applied Animal Nutrition deals with classification and functions of nutrients and characterization of feedstuffs, domestic animal feeding guidelines and major nutrition-associated problems. In this course, we will consider all aspects of nutrition for domestic animals, from feeds and feeding to the practical guidelines in animal feeding. A special emphasis will be given to basic nutrient requirements, feeding guidelines and common clinical problems associated with animal nutrition (e.g. nutrient deficiencies and metabolic diseases). These principles apply to the most important domestic animal species: equine, swine, cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas, chickens and turkeys as well as pet animals such as cats and dogs. Feeds, feeding strategies and associated management practices most commonly used in North America will be given particular importance.

  • Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology (VMS 5475)
    Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology (4 credits)

    Provides students with the fundamentals of epidemiologic theory as a means of understanding how epidemiology can be used in veterinary medicine. Introduces the concepts of emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism and disaster medicine, as well as the epidemiology of various zoonotic diseases. Important aspects of public health such as milk hygiene, humane slaughter, meat inspection and food-borne diseases are also discussed.

SEMESTER 5

  • Essential Veterinary Skills E (VMI 5512)
    Essential Veterinary Skills E (1 credit)

    A practical course providing multi-species instruction in foundational skills (animal handling and examination, hand skills, communication, professionalism) in a vertically-integrated fashion that builds in complexity over multiple semesters using live animal handling and examination as well as model and simulation-based experiences. Course continues through semesters 1-5.

  • Toxicology (VPP 5538)
    Toxicology (3 credits)

    Studies toxicants and poisonous plants of significance to livestock and companion animals, including their source, properties, toxicity, toxicokinetics, mechanism of toxicologic damage, detection, diagnosis and treatment.

  • Case Based Studies IV (VMP 5552)
    Case Based Studies IV (2 credits)

    Using a case-based approach, this course integrates basic and clinical sciences by incorporating conditions
    commonly seen in the practice of Veterinary Medicine to emphasize topics presented in 5th semester as
    well as in previous semesters. Students progressively enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving
    skills as they generate problem lists, formulate differential diagnoses, develop diagnostic and therapeutic
    plans, and critically review the scientific literature.

  • Diagnostic Imaging (VMS 5573)
    Diagnostic Imaging (4 credits)

    Provides an overview of the physics of diagnostic radiology, the principles of veterinary radiography and quality control of radiographs. Normal radiographic findings and anatomy in small animals plus radiographic features and patterns as they relate to diseases are also covered. An introduction to equine radiography and diagnostic ultrasound is included, along with an introduction to alternate imaging techniques.

  • Anesthesiology (VMS 5577)
    Anesthesiology (4 credits)

    Introduces the principles of general and local anesthesia of small and large animals. The etiology, diagnosis and treatment of fluid and acid-base disorders are discussed, as well as the recognition, treatment and prevention of anesthetic emergencies. Laboratory sessions provide students with experience in small animal anesthesia, in addition to demonstrations of monitoring equipment, mechanical ventilation and large animal general anesthesia.

  • Small Animal Medicine I (VMS 5585)
    Small Animal Medicine I (5 credits)

    Focuses on disorders of the cardiovascular, endocrine and neurological systems as well as selected infectious diseases. The important conditions of dogs and cats are discussed according to their pathophysiology, clinical signs, diagnosis, differential diagnoses, treatment and prognosis.

SEMESTER 6

  • Essential Veterinary Skills F (VMI 5612)
    Essential Veterinary Skills F (1 credit)

    The core program objective is the development and demonstration of foundational veterinary skills (medical, surgical, diagnostic, critical thinking, communication and professional). This utilizes systematic, strategic, progressive instruction through use of models, simulations and live animal experiences over the course of several semesters.

  • Special Species Medicine (VMS 5698)
    Special Species Medicine (2 credits)

    Allows students to gain insight into the roles and responsibilities of veterinarians with respect to diseases, husbandry, surgery and medicine, as well as aspects related to public health in the context of pet birds and non-traditional species, including reptiles, rodents, ferrets and rabbits.

  • Small Animal Surgery (VMS 5649)
    Small Animal Surgery (4 credits)

    Focuses on the major pathophysiologic changes, diagnostic procedures and treatments of surgical diseases and conditions of the dog and cat. Emphasis will be on the integration and utilization of this information in clinical decision-making. Instruction is based on lectures and reading assignments.

  • Surgery Laboratory I (VMS 5650)
    Surgery Laboratory I (2 credits)

    Comprises one laboratory period and one hour of lecture or discussion each week. The laboratories cover aseptic technique, instrument handling, surgical knots and suturing, as well as bandaging and cast application in multiple species. A review of anesthesia is conducted and a competency examination is administered. Students must also demonstrate competency during a practical examination, using the ROSSIE model of canine ovariohysterectomy. Students must pass these competency examinations to pass the course. Additional practice hours are available in the Clinical Skills Laboratory throughout the semester. This is a pass/fail course.

  • Small Animal Medicine II (VMS 5687)
    Small Animal Medicine II (5 credits)

    Utilizes a problem-oriented approach to study common diseases of the eyes, kidneys, urinary tract, skin, gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, respiratory system and blood as well as basic oncology for dogs and cats. Knowledge will be built on pre-clinical studies such as anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology and will draw heavily on clinical pathology, pharmacology and toxicology. Medical diseases are arranged to coincide chronologically with surgical diseases of the same systems being taught in Small Animal Surgery.

  • Large Animal Medicine I (VMS 5690)
    Large Animal Medicine I (5 credits)

    Using a problem-oriented approach, the course focuses on the examination and diagnosis of diseases of particular relevance to the horse. The etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, clinical pathology, diagnosis therapy and control of diseases of horses are discussed. As much as possible systems are arranged to coincide chronologically with Small Animal Medicine and Small Animal Surgery.

SEMESTER 7

  • Theriogenology (VMS 5775)
    Theriogenology (4 credits)

    Integrates reproductive pathology, endocrinology, physiology, and pharmacology as they apply to the clinical diagnosis, treatment and prevention of reproductive disorders in domestic animals. Breeding soundness evaluation of males and females is also covered. By the end of the course, the student should be able to approach an obstetrical situation in any of the domestic animal species with the necessary background to diagnose, manage and resolve the condition. Students are also introduced to procedures and technologies used in pregnancy diagnosis, artificial insemination, and semen collection and evaluation.

  • Introduction to Clinics (VMS 5783)
    Introduction to Clinics (2 credits)

    Focuses on the techniques necessary to obtain clinical data, with emphasis on thorough physical examination and problem-oriented veterinary medical records. Clinical practical sessions utilize referral and general appointment cases. Students gain experience in common veterinary diagnostic techniques. Mandatory rotations include: equine, bovine 1 & 2, small animal clinics, emergency, clinical pathology, and grand rounds. Elective rotations include: small animal surgery, anesthesiology, communications, animal behavior, theriogenology, rehabilitation therapy, acupuncture, diagnostic imaging, advanced clinics, primate research, dentistry, ambulatory.

  • Large Animal Medicine II (VMS 5793
    Large Animal Medicine II (5 credits)

    Focuses on the recognition, treatment and prevention of diseases of food-producing animals and camelids. The etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, clinical pathology, diagnosis, therapy and control of diseases of food producing animals are discussed. Management of the herd unit is emphasized.

  • Large Animal Surgery (VMS 5795)
    Large Animal Surgery (4 credits)

    Focuses on surgery of farm animals, with emphasis on cattle and horses. In cattle, the alimentary, locomotor and reproductive systems are covered in detail. In the horse, the healing and treatment of wounds, lameness, dentistry, colic and the respiratory, urinary, male and female reproductive systems are covered.

  • Surgery Laboratory II (VMS 5796)
    Surgery Laboratory II (2 credits)

    Provides training in preoperative planning, anesthesia, surgical techniques, operating room decision-making, and postoperative care via supervised procedures. Students entering this course should have a thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, as well as basic surgical skills and anesthesiology.

  • Veterinary Professional Foundations II (VMI 5704)
    Veterinary Professional Foundations II (1 credit)

    Provides an introduction to the subjects of veterinary professional ethics, law and business management relating to veterinary practice. Students are made aware of laws and regulations that control various aspects of veterinary medicine as well as the legal obligations involved in veterinary practice. Students are also given information concerning their career as a veterinarian that includes employment options within the profession, preparation of a resume, negotiating an employment contract, and options for internships and residencies. The importance of communication skills within veterinary practice is emphasized.

  • Licensing Exam Preparation (VLE 5701)
    Licensing Exam Preparation (2 Credits)

    This course provides opportunities to practice test- taking skills and enhance confidence necessary to take computer-based veterinary licensing exams. This course utilizes a flipped classroom delivery in which participants review material and complete online multiple-choice practice tests. Instructors lead weekly review sessions targeting selected topics.

ELECTIVE COURSES

  • Introduction to Veterinary Animal Behavior (VMS 5384)
    Introduction to Veterinary Animal Behavior (1 credit)

    Introduces the principles of animal learning, and the application of behavior-modification techniques based on these principles. Includes an overview of the most common behavioral problems seen in companion animals and current treatment recommendations, designing an effective and feasible treatment plan, and integrating behavior into your practice.

  • Lab Animal Medicine I (VMS 5498)
    Lab Animal Medicine I (1 credit)

    This course will introduce students to the field of laboratory animal medicine. The first of two courses, the material presented here will be introductory in nature and will include a review of the specialty, regulations and accreditation bodies involved in biomedical research, and a review of commonly used species, their biology, and common diseases. The course will provide an overview to well prepare students for a career in the field of laboratory animal medicine and biomedical research.

  • Lab Animal Medicine II (VMS 5499)
    Lab Animal Medicine II (1 credit)

    Course provides an in-depth study into the field of laboratory animal medicine and science building upon the foundations of Lab Animal Medicine I.

  • Clinical Nutrition (VMS 5531)
    Clinical Nutrition (1 credit)

    This course is an introduction to the concepts of canine and feline clinical nutrition.

  • Basis of Animal Production (VMS 5390)
    Basis of Animal Production

    This elective course covers the basic notions on animal production, specifically the major characteristics regarding husbandry and management in the different food producing animals: Poultry, Swine, Dairy and Beef cattle, Sheep, Goat, and unconventional species. The course includes an overview on how different production systems work, what are their main characteristics and their productive cycle year round and will also address existing differences between animal production systems. The elective will confer the students with animal production knowledge that will be of high importance to other courses like theriogenology or animal nutrition.

Clinical Skills Lab

The clinical skills lab at RUSVM provides an environment for students to learn and practice psychomotor skills associated with veterinary medicine. Students start as early as first semester learning basic veterinary skills on models. Utilizing models allows for students to practice repetitively in the lab, as well as at home. Instructors and media provide constant feedback, helping to instilling proficiency and confidence in our students.

Teaching Faculty

Dr. Eric Pope

Dr. Larry Betance

Dr. Jennifer Huck

Dr. James Dundas

Dr. Jennifer Huck

Dr. Stacy Tela

Dr. Helle Bork-Larsen

Clinical Skills Lab Staff

Verda James, Senior Program Coordinator

Janel Rose, Senior Laboratory Technician

Kevin Hanley, Senior Laboratoy Technician

Yazid Francis, Laboratory Technician

Lorna Francis, Laboratory Technician Assistant

Sheneece Meade, Laboratory Technician Assistant