The Department of Clinical Sciences continues to meet its goals by:
- providing the students with a qualified and dedicated faculty who are interested in supplying quality instruction at every level;
- providing a curriculum that advances the teaching-learning process and the pursuit of knowledge in patient healthcare, diagnostic services, client communication, human-animal bond and behavioral medicine, problem-oriented veterinary medical records, ethical hospital management, herd health management, public health, preventive medicine and research opportunities;
- exposing the students to didactic courses, laboratory courses, video teaching materials, computer-assisted learning programs, elective courses and client owned animals so as to meet the needs of the twenty-first century veterinarian and to promote lifelong learning;
- providing an environment that fosters student learning, human-animal bonding and animal welfare issues;
- providing guidance and support to encourage students to build confidence in their communication, diagnostic, surgical and clinical skills and to develop a desire for lifelong learning;
- creating an environment that fosters high ethical standards for faculty, students and staff in the veterinary profession;
- providing an elective summer and spring semister externship program in an effort to strengthen the students' educational experiences;
- developing an intern program for recent graduates who are interested in further enhancing their educational experiences;
- developing and promoting a referral service in order to insure an adequate caseload for teaching;
- hiring faculty with an interest in research and encouraging current faculty to become involved in clinical research; and
- maintaining current and developing new outreach programs.
PROJECTED TIME TABLE
Implementation of the above objectives is currently in force and will continue to be strengthened and expanded in the future. During the last four years, several additional faculty and staff have been hired to improve the quality of the teaching, research and outreach programs in the DCS. All new faculty are expected to complete their board certification. Two certified veterinary technicians have been added to the Department and additional veterinary technician positions will be added within the next few months.
The present curriculum adequately prepares the students in clinical veterinary medicine. Course syllabi are current and objectives are well defined. Classroom instruction is of high quality. Both in-house and ambulatory caseloads are adequate for effective teaching. The expansion of the herd health management programs will add a new dimension to thecurriculum. The new small animal ambulatory service will be educational for the students and will improve our outreach service. Small group discussions, grand rounds, independent discussions with faculty, visiting faculty and computer-assisted learning all add to the knowledge base of the student. Current faculty are highly motivated and dedicated to the students' total learning process and welfare.
The summer externship, although not required, has proven to be a viable learning experience for professional students. The current internship program in the DCS is a valuable learning experience for recent graduates. The interns are exposed to all aspects of clinical veterinary practice through seminars, continuing education courses and preparation and publication of papers.
The addition of faculty with research interests has strengthened research efforts in the School. Current outreach programs, such as the small animal ambulatory service, healthcare plan, caprine service, and the West Alabama Herd Health Management Project continue to strengthen the School's community service
An increase in the referral practice has provided excellent teaching cases for the students, especially in the surgical area. Internal medicine and dermatology cases are also on the increase. These numbers are expected to continue rising because steps have been taken to market the clinics. With the addition of an equine surgeon, an equine internal medicine clinician and a food animal clinician, large animal in-house cases have increased. Depressed cattle prices and extreme weather conditions have prevented the expected increase in ambulatory numbers, but the present numbers are adequate for effective teaching.