Principles of Professional Practice

Subject VETS70007 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

Year Long, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

This core subject in DVM3 is delivered across 2 x 14 week semesters. This subject commences in February and concludes in mid-November.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 182 hours
Total Time Commitment:

288 hours.


Passes in all subjects in Year 2 of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (i.e. DVM2)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Recommended Background Knowledge:

A sound understanding of Veterinary Bioscience, infectious agents as causes of disease in domestic animals, and the major animal production systems.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

Students should refer to the Core Participation Requirements statement for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine:


Dr Elise Boller, Dr Jennifer Carter




Subject Overview:

This subject adopts a cross-species comparative approach, and has a focus on student acquisition of “clinic readiness” in areas such as anaesthesiology, imaging, principles of surgery, oncology, emergency medicine, economics and business skills, and consultation technique. As some of these principles (for examples principles of imaging) will be required in other subjects studied during this year, they will be taught during an intensive period at the start of the year. Others (for example practice economics and business skills) may form part of the “transition to the clinic” program at the conclusion of DVM3. Students will be introduced to principles of the diagnostic process, consultation technique, history taking, clinical examination and emergency examination, surgery, anaesthesia & analgesia, principles of imaging, preventative medicine and nutrition, economics, business skills, ethics and the law (incl. medical records), emergency and notifiable diseases and comparative and wildlife medicine. Throughout the year students will be given opportunities to apply these principles in the context of particular species and disease states, and to acquire proficiency in a defined list of clinical skills. Students’ understanding of the evidence base of clinical practice will be enhanced by participation in a research project.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject aims to equip students with a thorough understanding of the principles of clinical and professional practice, such that they are prepared for their transition to the final year of clinic based teaching (DVM4). In addition, students successfully completing this subject will have demonstrated competency in a designated list of clinical skills, and have developed communication skills appropriate for clinic based interactions with clients and colleagues. Students’ understanding of the evidence base of good clinical practice will be enhanced by completion of a literature based research project.

  • 4 x formative online assessments to be completed during semester 1 with each assessment to be worth 1.25% of the total marks for this subject (i.e. 5% in total)
  • A 2-hour written examination covering the content of block one, held shortly after intra-semester break of semester 1 (30%)
  • Communication Project: presentation of an assigned research topic and peer review of colleagues’ seminars based on research topic, held in early semester 2 (10%)
  • Research Project: 1000 word literature review on a research topic in veterinary science, due in the middle of semester 2 (10%)
  • A 2-hour written examination covering content of year long teaching and block two, held during the end of year examination period (45%).

Hurdle requirement: Clinical skills proficiency test. Direct observational assessment of proficiency in completing set clinical and diagnostic tasks. To be completed by Week 14 semester 2 (ongoing throughout year). Successful completion of the clinical skills proficiency test is a hurdle requirement to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

A recommended reading list will be provided by the subject coordinator.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students completing this subject will have developed:

  • an in-depth understanding of specific veterinary clinical disciplines
  • manual dexterity and technical skills in the practical application of these disciplines
  • the ability to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting, to trouble-shoot technical difficulties and to seek accurate solutions to complex biological problems
  • the capacity to apply a rigorous, critical and logical approach to problem-solving
  • advanced experience in observation, interpretation of complex data, problem-solving, time management, record-keeping and communication in both written and verbal formats

Students will be able to research the scientific literature and to interpret reports in the scientific literature.

Related Course(s): Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

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