The course structure, articulated into 5 years with 2 semesters of lessons per year (10 semesters in total), aims at enhancing the quality of the necessary knowledge background of a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine.
The quality of a programme is very often centred on the problem-solving and evidence-based competences and skills developed by the students during their career.
The essential competences students acquire are subdivided into three important areas:
A) General professional competences: specific characteristics of doctors in veterinary medicine;
B) Basic knowledge and learning: level of knowledge and learning skills required for the profession of veterinarian and other professional opportunities in any area of veterinary medical science;
C) Basic practical competences: necessary basic practical competences for a) the final examination for the attainment of the degree; b) subsequent professional training.
Students must gradually acquire the specific knowledge and competences to autonomously choose professional careers in the field of diagnostics (for living or dead animals) or of control, treatment and eradication of diseases. Healthcare education allows students to acquire useful notions for the protection of animal well-being and for the role of veterinarians in the protection of public health.
Students will develop managerial skills concerning veterinary urban hygiene (such as the fight against strays), livestock/ zootechnic hygiene, animal diet and nutrition. Students must also acquire specific competences on the hygiene, quality and safety of animal origin foodstuffs.
The course is not too demanding in terms of workload, in order for average students to gradually and constantly acquire theoretical notions and practical skills. Attendance to the course and observance of the pre-requisites are compulsory.
A guidance activity (corresponding to 15 credits) in view of the practical training internship (valid for 30 credits) will take place in the first four years and in the first semester of the fifth year of course. The aim of such activity is to allow students to acquire the so-called “one-day-skills”, namely the required professional skills and competences to be immediately able to perform as a veterinarian after obtaining the state licensing qualification.
The abilities and competences acquired during the guidance activity and the internship will be adequately reported/documented in a student “portfolio”; such competences will be periodically verified through practical aptitude tests orienting students to the clinical, zootechnical or inspectional disciplinary field.
The portfolio is currently being examined by a designated commission, in order to rationalise the number and scheduling of the practical experiences students have to undertake during the course. This analysis is coordinated by the Director of the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences with the President of the Degree Course, and will presumably be completed by June 2014. The analysis activity will first take into account the suggestions of the professors whose subjects of teaching include practical activities to be registered on the portfolio.