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ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 121-128

Exploring fourth-year students' perceptions of the hidden curriculum of a doctor of veterinary medicine program through written reflections


1 Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA
2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Andrea J Kunze
Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_23_20

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Introduction: Hidden curriculum (HC) is embedded into interactions and learning opportunities involved with a formal curriculum. The curriculum of US-based Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Programs is still understudied. We explored how fourth-year students perceive the HC during their final clinical year in a US-based DVM program. Methods: We used a thematic analysis approach that involved iterative steps of coding and re-coding to explore fourth-year DVM students' perceptions of the HC. We analyzed 182 students' written reflections to a brief reading on HC in veterinary medicine and collected reflections from three cohorts of students during their clinical (4th) year. Results: The three features of the HC (individual development process [IDP], teaching–learning environment [TLE], and communication approaches) were well represented from the coding analysis of fourth-year student reflections. From the three larger features of HC, a total of twenty sub features emerged. The sub features were reported as different frequencies, with the IDP and TLE sub features being reported the most. The different features and sub features of HC are interdependent and further illustrate the complexities of HC. Moreover, findings show that HC is made up of various elements that create a unique HC of DVM programs. Conclusion: Student perceptions of the HC in veterinary settings are diverse and portray many interrelated themes that come together to form a unique HC culture that is supplementary to the formal curriculum of a DVM setting.


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