Synthetic models for teaching farm animal technical and clinical skills to veterinary undergraduates

Lissie Gerke, David C Barrett, Connie Arnold, Lorrie Hale-Mitchell, S Baillie

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


There are many technical clinical skills in farm animal practice required by veterinary students. However, it is not always possible for external placements and clinical rotations to provide sufficient opportunities for students to practice. The development of specific farm animal models, for use in Clinical Skills Laboratories (CSL), will allow students to learn in controlled, un-pressured and safe environments. Students will have opportunities to grasp the basic principles and then practice skills repeatedly in order to increase competence. Synthetic models also remove the need for supply, storage and handling of animal tissues. A range of models has been developed and re-usability has been an important factor in the design to allow large numbers of students to practice as often as required. Instruction booklets have been written to accompany each model and describe the technique, some helpful tips and how to reset the station ready for the next student. The use of models is not intended as a replacement for cadavers or live animals, but to enhance the practical teaching already available. The aim is that veterinary students, having had the opportunity to develop skills
on models, will have a better experience during farm animal placements, with benefits for animal welfare and for both themselves and the supervising practitioner.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalCattle Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Clinical skills, veterinary education, farm animal, simulator


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