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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-12

Lack of correlation between pre-veterinary school experience hours and DVM course performance: Pros and cons of veterinary work experience as a prerequisite for admission to veterinary school


Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M Katie Sheats
Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1060 William Moore Dr., Raleigh, NC 27607
United States
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_25_21

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In this article, we explore the issue of prerequisite veterinary experience hours as a requirement for veterinary school applications. Our interest in this topic began with an investigation into the correlation between species-specific animal experience hours reported in Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) applications and third-year grades in companion animal, equine, and ruminant medicine courses for 288 veterinary students. We hypothesized that species-specific experience hours prior to veterinary school would correlate with grades in species-specific courses, particularly in equine and ruminant-focused courses. Using an isometric-log regression analysis, we found no significant association between final course grades and total, or species-specific, veterinary experience hours reported in VMCAS applications. We propose that these data support the assertion that students with wide ranges of pre-veterinary animal experience hours can be successful in third-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) species-specific medicine and surgery courses. With this finding in mind, we discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of veterinary work experience as a prerequisite for DVM program admission. Although additional studies are needed, we suggest that DVM program admissions criteria should be carefully reexamined with particular consideration for unintentional barriers to equity and inclusivity within the veterinary profession.


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