Pre-clinical pharmacology training in a student-centered veterinary curriculum.J Vet Med Educ. 2009 Fall; 36(3):260-70.JV
The appropriate use of therapeutics is important to both human and animal health. The field of pharmacology is rapidly progressing such that it is impossible to convey to students every possible piece of information they will need to know throughout their veterinary careers. Instead, it is more important to train students for lifelong and self-directed learning so that they will be able to adapt to the ever-changing pharmaceutical landscape. Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine teaches pharmacology using a student-centered and problem-based curriculum designed to teach students not only the basics of pharmacology and clinical pharmacology, but also the personal skills needed to continue to learn beyond their formal education. The aim of this manuscript is to document the pharmacology curriculum during phase I of the veterinary curriculum. Review of the graduating class of 2010's exposure to pharmacology learning issues reveals broad-based coverage of major functional and mechanistic drug classes as well as peripheral topics, including pharmacokinetics, legal and ethical issues, and dosing regimen calculations. Previous classes have scored well on external examinations leading to a belief that this pharmacology curriculum provides adequate training for graduate veterinarians.