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.
Kustritz MV, Malone E, Rendahl A. Identification of student lifestyle characteristics associated with training choices to drive targeted admissions in veterinary medicine. Educ Health Prof 2020;3:70-6.
Root Kustritz, Margaret V; Malone, Erin; Rendahl, Aaron.
Identification of Student Lifestyle Characteristics Associated with Training Choices to Drive Targeted Admissions in Veterinary Medicine.
Education in the Health Professions.
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