Three cohorts of senior veterinary students (n = 50) from seven United States (US) colleges of veterinary medicine took an 8-week dairy production medicine course at the Dairy Center of Excellence in Production Medicine Education for Veterinarians (DCE) between 2012 and 2014. Participants completed a questionnaire before and after the course and 1 to 2 years after graduation. Objectives were to determine the prior academic training and livestock experience of course participants, to compare students f career aspirations before and after taking the course, and to identify factors associated with post-graduate position. Response rates were 58%.96%. Most students had taken undergraduate animal science courses (83%), worked (76%) and/or lived (52%) on a livestock operation, participated in youth livestock activities (63%), worked at a mixed practice (71%), taken production medicine-related elective courses (65%), taken other food animal rotations (91%), and/or done dairy externships (65%) before taking the DCE course. Students who were very likely to pursue a dairy-focused position before taking the course (36%) remained committed after the course, whereas students who were not likely initially (39%) were not further motivated by the course. Students who had worked with a dairy veterinarian were more likely to pursue a dairy-focused position than those who had not. Most course alumni accepted positions in mixed practice, with a ≥ 50% (54%) or < 50% (23%) dairy component, and post-graduate positions were consistent with students f predictions. Students who held an undergraduate degree or had worked for a dairy veterinarian were more likely to accept a dairy-focused practice position than those who did not.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge Maung San Myint for assistance with statistical analysis. This project was funded by a USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant: Development and Implementation of a National Center of Excellence in Dairy Production Medicine Education for Veterinarians: Award Number 2011-38411-30617. Grant period: September 1, 2011 to August 31, 2013.
- Career aspirations, anticipatory experience
- Dairy production medicine
- Food supply veterinary medicine
- Post-graduate employment
- Veterinary education
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article