Working to hybridize infectious disease training in the veterinary school

I have taught bacteriology to vet students for the past ~12 years. I am not a veterinarian and thus my training is more basic than they would probably expect. Over the years I have tried to tweak my course every year to add relevance to most of the DVM students.

This year my tweak is going to be a bit larger. I plan to hybridize my course by integrating all my material into four different terms of their training. I hope to link all of my lecture material to specific lectures that the clinical faculty present, such that my discussions of basic bacteria will be applied to the specific disease that other faculty are talking about in their course. For example, if a clinician is going to talk about canine skin diseases, there might be an online lecture attached that addresses what Staphylococci are and how they work to cause disease in a host. This will be continued throughout the early training of these students (years 1 and 2) such that their understanding of basic microbiology will dovetail with the nature of a specific disease.

The in-class aspects of my course will include the laboratory portion which will be required to stay where it is. I will also coordinate case study presentations in a variety of settings that will be presented in full-class settings, again across the first two years of the curriculum.

The challenges that I expect mainly deal with my ability to get faculty to buy into the approach. I think I can make the lectures work online, though this will reduce my direct contact with the students, which I enjoy. I will have to get other faculty to transfer some of their material to a different term, as we will be adding information to each of their courses.  this is primarily because of the course-and-a-half concept. This might be a deal-breaker, as it is tough to expect a lot of people to make these kinds of adjustments. I hope to begin the process just after the holidays, with a goal of implementing in Spring of next year.

We will see how it goes. I am committed to making this work, but I expect there will be both anticipated and unanticipated challenges as I work to integrate my course material across the veterinary curriculum.

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About Doublebluff

Faculty in Biomedical Sciences, CCVM
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