A Survey of Established Veterinary Clinical Skills Laboratories from Europe and North America: Present Practices and Recent Developments

Marc Dilly, Emma K Read, Sarah Baillie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
428 Downloads (Pure)


Developing competence in clinical skills is important if graduates are to be able to provide entry-level care but is dependent on having had sufficient hands-on practice. Clinical skills laboratories provide opportunities for students to learn on simulators and models in a safe environment and supplement teaching with animals. Interest in veterinary clinical skills facilities has increased in recent years as many veterinary colleges face challenges in supporting the development of clinical skills proficiency using traditional methods alone. A survey was designed to gather information from established veterinary clinical skills laboratories with the aim of assisting others considering opening or expanding their own facility. Data were collated from sixteen veterinary colleges in North America and Europe about the uses of their laboratory, the building and associated facilities, staffing, budgets, equipment and supporting learning resources. The findings indicated that having a dedicated veterinary clinical skills laboratory is a relatively new initiative and there have been a range of approaches to implementing and running the laboratory, teaching and assessments. Major strengths were the motivation and positive characteristics of the staff involved, providing open access and supporting self-directed learning. However, it was widely recognised that an ongoing challenge is the increasing demands placed on the facility to provide more space, equipment and staff. There is no doubt that veterinary clinical skills laboratories are on the increase and provide opportunities to enhance student learning, complement traditional training and benefit animal welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-589
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number4
Early online date23 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Structured keywords

  • Veterinary Education Research Group


  • clinical skills
  • clinical skills laboratory
  • clinical skills center
  • simulator


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