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ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 70-76

Identification of student lifestyle characteristics associated with training choices to drive targeted admissions in veterinary medicine


1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
2 Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
3 Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Margaret V. Root Kustritz
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 1352 Boyd Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_2_20

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Background: There is an identified need for practicing veterinarians with a focus on food animal work in the United States. Students at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine track by species (food animal, equine, mixed, and small animal) or discipline (research) in the latter part of their training. Identification of life experiences that are associated with students choosing the food animal track would permit the college to better target admissions to meet societal needs. Aims and Objectives: To identify lifestyle characteristics and activities associated with choice of the food animal track and to evaluate how student choice of track varies across their training. Materials and Methods: Students from three consecutive classes were surveyed to identify factors influencing track choice. Fisher's test was used to compare data and Clopper–Pearson “exact” confidence intervals computed. Results: Students who declared interest in the 1st year in small animal, equine, or food animal as a track were highly likely to choose that at their final track later in the curriculum. Eightyfive percent of students in a food animalfocused early admission track chose the food animal track; the remainder chose the mixed track with cattle as one of their species of interest. Students were more likely to choose the food animal track if their undergraduate major was animal science, if they grew up in a rural area, lived on a farm, were in 4H or were in Future Farmers of America, or had shown or worked horses or cattle, or shadowed a large animal veterinarian. Students valued mentoring from within the college and from outside veterinarians. Conclusions: Knowledge of how students choose their tracks will permit the college better to promote admissions of students who are more likely to track food animal and to plan for adequate clinical year experiences for all students.


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