Using a community engagement program to promote veterinary medicine while helping veterinary students improve their communication skills and increase their cultural understanding and well-being

Published:2021, J Am Vet Med Assoc
Authors:McDavid L, San Miguel SF
, PMCID:PMC8515836

Engagement, veterinary, STEM, role model, career, elementary

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To date, we have collected comments from only a subset of veterinary students who participated in the This Is How We “Role” program. Importantly, the program was designed to meet learning objectives and academic standards for participating community children; however, it clearly also included elements that support veterinary student academic and personal growth. The comments we have received suggest that veterinary medical student community-engagement and service-learning experiences focused on clinical skill or pipe-line development can be intentionally leveraged to add learning objectives that address competencies listed in the AAVMC’s Competency-Based Veterinary Education Framework domains of communication, collaboration, and professionalism and professional identity. In summary, community-engagement experiences are opportunities for veterinary students to cultivate professional skills, cope with stress, and impact communities, while increasing the visibility and positive impact of the veterinary profession.