Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members have written a much-needed textbook designed to provide practical advice and guidance for educators teaching the next generation of veterinarians.

Now in its second edition, "Veterinary Medical Education: A Practical Guide" offers a detailed and practical resource for those teaching veterinary medicine, making it a valuable tool for instructors in different educational settings. 

Written by Jacquelyn Pelzer, assistant dean of student support and admissions for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program, and recently retired Jennifer Hodgson, previously the associate dean for the DVM program, the updated edition broadens its scope with new and enhanced content across twelve additional chapters. 

It expands on several key areas, including admissions, competency-based education, student support, eLearning, and more, making it a must-have for educators and faculty in veterinary colleges, continuing education instructors, and veterinarians involved in training programs.

Key topics covered include widening access to education, curricular innovations, learning theories and their application, teaching in different settings, assessment techniques, academic advising, professionalism, and the latest trends in global veterinary education.

Pelzer offers answers to several questions about the textbook below.

Q: What inspired the creation of the first edition, and why was a second edition necessary?

A: "Jenny and I started planning this book after a particularly tough semester. We realized a gap in veterinary education and decided to fill that void. The first edition was sketched right then out on a cocktail napkin, and from there, it grew into this comprehensive guide. For the second edition, we recognized the need to update and expand in response to changes in the field and to ensure the latest information is available for courses like the MSc in Veterinary Education at the Royal Veterinary College in London, which requires our book."

Q: How did you approach the selection of contributors for this edition?

A: "Fortunately, Jenny and I are well-connected in international veterinary circles, so we connected with established and emerging educators. We focused on individuals known for their ability to drive change and innovate within the field."

Q: What key advancements does the second edition cover?

A: "The second edition includes significant updates, particularly in assessment methods like Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), which evaluate clinical skills in real-time. We also focus on the growth of e-learning, a field that has become increasingly important for veterinary education."

Q: Who would benefit most from this book?

A: "While it's beneficial for young faculty starting their academic careers, it's also valuable for more experienced faculty looking to refresh their teaching methods or adopt new educational technologies."

Q: How does the book cater to educators in practical settings like clinics?

A: "Recognizing the busy nature of clinical settings, the book offers quick-reference tips and key messages for educators. It's designed to be easily accessible, allowing practitioners to implement effective teaching strategies daily. It's designed to be a quick reference that can provide immediate guidance."

Q: Can you expand on your journey and its influence on your approach to veterinary education?

A: "Throughout my career, I've faced challenges and learned the importance of resilience and evidence-based approaches. It's taught me that to bring about change in academia, one must be persistent, especially when introducing new ideas. You need to be able to back up your ideas with data."

Q: What is your vision for the future of veterinary education?

A: "I hope this book inspires educators to develop innovative ideas. It's about building a community where we continually share knowledge and techniques to enhance veterinary education. Our goal is to support educators in their mission to train the next generation of veterinarians, ensuring they're well-prepared for the diverse challenges of the profession." 

Written by Kevin Myatt, Senior Writer/Editor for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.


Andrew Mann
Director of Communications and Marketing