Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences

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Introducing Problem-Based Learning for the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Programme

22 June 2018

Dr Richard Rawson (3rd from left) with a group of first-year DVM students
after a tutorial session of the Function and Dysfunction course,
Dr Akos Kenez (left).

Dr Akos Kenez, Assistant Professor for Veterinary Physiology at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, visited the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. During his three-month stay, he studied Cornell’s veterinary curriculum and teaching practices, with a special focus on problem-based learning concepts and techniques.

Cornell’s primary educational goal is to prepare students for a lifetime of productive activity in the veterinary medical profession and a core strategy to achieve this goal is to train future veterinarians in a student-centred active learning environment and in a problem-based curriculum. Being one of the first veterinary universities to introduce problem-based teaching in the early 90s, Cornell has accumulated considerable experience in implementing educational techniques that promote medical thinking, clinical reasoning, decision making and lifelong learning skills, in addition to transmitting scientific principles and clinical skills crucial to veterinary medicine.

Dr Blake Nguyen (right) explaining the educational services of
Cornell’s Teaching Dairy Barn.

Within the scope of the strategic partnership between Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and City University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, Dr Kenez was introduced to these educational concepts by Dr Marnie FitzMaurice, Director of Veterinary Curriculum, and by Dr Katherine Edmondson, Assistant Dean for Learning and Instruction. Furthermore, to get hands-on experience in teaching a highly multidisciplinary course in a problem-based format, he attended the integrative foundation course “Function and Dysfunction” which incorporates various aspects of physiology, pathology and pharmacology, and features case-based tutorial sessions, conceptual lectures, and simulation labs.

Dr Linda Mizer (left) demonstrating the anatomical units of
Cornell’s Modular Resource Center.

Since City University is implementing a veterinary curriculum which models Cornell’s problem based curriculum, Dr Kenez will use the experience gained during his stay at Cornell to contribute to developing problem-based courses, setting up and facilitating tutorial sessions, providing problem-based teaching resources, and enhancing the problem-based learning skills of Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine students at City University.