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Frontiers In Veterinary Medicine Seminar Series

Many Voices: Exploring Faculty, Staff and Student Views on Educating Professionals

On Friday March 21, Dr. India Lane from the University of Tennessee will be speaking to UCVM faculty and students. She will be summarizing the findings of a survey of veterinary faculty across North America regarding developing a variety of professional skills in veterinary students. Dr. Lane will interweave additional qualitative and quantitative research capturing faculty, staff and student voices regarding professionalism and clinical learning.

Dr. Lane currently is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and serves as the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success at the University of Tennessee. As Assistant Vice President, she facilitates online innovation projects, academic program proposals, policy review, Faculty Council activities and other collaborative initiatives at UT campuses across the state.  Dr. Lane continues to participate in teaching urology to veterinary students and to developing graduate student and faculty teaching skills in the veterinary college.

In conversation with Dr. India Lane:

In lay terms, tell us about your research and its impact.

My educational research has focused on the “other” things we teach veterinary students – professional skills that fall outside of biomedical knowledge and technical skills but are extremely important to the socialization and success of a veterinarian. Students may develop these skills (such as critical thinking, self-management, creativity, interpersonal and leadership skills) throughout their educational experience – with intention or not. In order to add to the voices of the policy makers on these issues, my research has sought perspectives from students, faculty, and staff, using survey methods and qualitative analyses of focus group dialogue and students’ reflective assignments as research tools.

What are the three take away messages you want the audience to leave with?

  1. Veterinary faculty members support the development of professional skills as an important element of veterinary education, but differ slightly by school, discipline and gender on when and how the skills should be developed.
  2. Veterinary faculty members often do not feel responsible or prepared to teach and assess professional skills in veterinary students; curricular planning and faculty development should take into account specific institutional and disciplinary views.
  3. Veterinary students have conceptions of professionalism that may be disconnected from the professional behavior expected during veterinary school; their thoughts on professionalism and their experiences in early learning experiences appear to be heavily influenced by faculty role modeling.

What else are you working on / researching?

I am continuing to work on analyses of students’ early clinical experiences and am beginning an exploration of the transferability of the veterinarian’s skill sets to other professional roles and career paths. In my current role with the University of Tennessee statewide system, I am also working on a study of faculty and staff members’ experiences building courses to be hosted on third-party platforms, such as the massive open online course platforms, either in online or flipped classroom designs.  Faculty development, clinical teaching methods and the teaching and learning environment in veterinary education are additional areas of interest.

Presented on March 21, 2014.