12:53 PM

Ohio State shapes future of veterinary education with primary care training clinic

Spectrum of care model will broaden private practice experience for students

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has opened the doors to the Frank Stanton Veterinary Spectrum of Care Clinic, one of the first primary care clinics of its kind designed to prepare students while serving as a new home to the existing community practice service. 

The 35,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building provides a rare opportunity to advance clinical training for Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine students. The goal of this “spectrum of care” educational model is to ensure that veterinary graduates entering private practice have the competence and confidence to provide more in-clinic treatment and to offer a variety of treatments for pets that belong to pet parents across a wide-ranging socioeconomic spectrum.

Ohio State veterinary medicine students will gain knowledge and mastery of a broad array of diagnostic, therapeutic, business and communication skills. This change to the college’s educational model was driven by input and feedback from faculty, students, practitioners and alumni. 

“The partnership between Ohio State and the Stanton Foundation runs deep,” said President Kristina M. Johnson during the clinic’s ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Sparked by its namesake 90 years ago, this relationship is anchored in our shared mission of uplifting those around us. And it is helping to transform the way our students learn, the environments in which they train and the opportunities they have to hone their skills – the benefits of which directly support our communities by helping countless pets and companion animals.”

The college has engaged veterinary partners across the state and beyond in the development of this concept since planning began, and those partners will also be actively involved in the coaching of students – another way the college hopes to provide a much broader private practice experience for students, ultimately producing practice-ready graduates who are highly sought-after by employers upon graduation. 

Traditionally, veterinary students at Ohio State have received much of their clinical training primarily by observing complex medical and surgical cases evaluated and treated in the Veterinary Medical Center by specialists using sophisticated and extensive diagnostic tests, imaging studies and treatment procedures. Although this traditional educational model contributes significantly to a student’s knowledge of how to manage cases, weaving the spectrum of care philosophy into each phase of the students’ four-year DVM curriculum emphasizes hands-on clinical opportunities across a broad range of cases, including more training in business, effective communication skills and other non-technical competencies. 

Few veterinary colleges provide an immersive clinical skills training program combined with a hands-on general practice program.

Approximately 80% of Ohio State’s veterinary medicine graduates enter general practice. The opening of the clinic provides an opportunity for every student to gain a breadth of experience in a realistic general practice setting starting in their first semester and culminating in their capstone clinical training during their fourth year. Students will be involved in all aspects of patient care and client service at the new facility and will be coached by faculty who are experienced private practitioners.

“The spectrum of care concept aims to address the growing problem of affordability of veterinary care by providing a continuum of acceptable care that considers available evidence-based medicine while remaining responsive to client expectations and financial limitations, thereby successfully serving an economically diverse clientele,” said Rustin Moore, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Ruth Stanton Chair in Veterinary Medicine. 

The Frank Stanton Veterinary Spectrum of Care Clinic is funded by a gift from the Stanton Foundation, which has supported the college’s goal to prepare even more confident and competent graduates for several years. A transformational gift in 2016 made it possible for the college to construct a state-of-the-art veterinary clinical and professional skills center, expand summer student externships and hire additional faculty and staff. 

“Frank Stanton was the longtime president of CBS, creator of the Kennedy-Nixon debates, lifelong dog lover and a proud alumnus of The Ohio State University. After his Corgi, Foxo, received critical care at a prominent east coast veterinary hospital, he realized that many pet owners could never afford the care that Foxo had received,” said Steve Kidder, spokesperson for the Stanton Foundation. 

“As an astute businessman, he also recognized that philanthropy alone could not solve this problem. He thus began a search for a more imaginative and sustainable approach that would help millions, not thousands, of animals. The Stanton Foundation is gratified that it has found in The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine a partner to begin translating his vision into reality.”

Added Roger B. Fingland, executive director and chief medical officer of the Veterinary Health System and the Frank Stanton Chair, “The Stanton Foundation has joined us along this path in almost every step, because visions and dreams aligned. This would not have happened without that alignment.

“We cannot even begin to adequately express our gratitude for what the Stanton Foundation has done to change the lives of so many pets and people – but what we can say with great humility, the utmost confidence, and with profound appreciation to the Stanton Foundation, is that Frank Stanton changed the world.”

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