Alternatives in Veterinary Medical Education


What are possible hindrances to alternatives in veterinary medicine education?

Hindrances could include the following: some teachers are resistant to change, alternatives require the investment of time and money, information is not widely disseminated, and the quality of available material varies.  Also, when integrating new models into an existing curriculum, dealing with students who feel cheated at losing contact with animals can become an issue as well.

Can the 3Rs applied in laboratory research be applied in veterinary medical education?

In the past it was believed that, because the 3Rs originated in the use of laboratory animals for research and testing and not in knowledge and skills acquisition, that they were not appropriate for veterinary medical education. However, over time the 3Rs—Reduction, Refinement, and Replacement—have been widely accepted in many different areas and have proven applicable to include veterinary medicine as well.

How do alternatives in veterinary medicine education correlate to animal welfare?

Alternatives in education help better promote the welfare of animals by substituting animals with non-animal methods that can provide identical learning experiences. Such examples include models, mannequins, and stimulators as well as neutral and/or beneficial animal work instead of procedures that are harmful to animals. These alternatives ensure consideration for all aspects of animal wellbeing.  

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