Creating measurable, practice-relevant day-1 competencies for swine veterinary education

In this open-access publication in the Education in the Health Professions journal, Dr. Perle Zhitnitskiy and faculty from the University of Minnesota describe their process to create day-1 competencies for veterinary graduates interested in swine practice.

Key points

  • The University of Minnesota collaborated with swine practitioners, faculty from other Universities and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians to develop relevant day-1 competencies.
  • Three levels of expertise were defined: basic, intermediate and defined.
  • 109 competencies were developed in nine domains: pig handling, swine husbandry, sample collection, record keeping, treatment and prevention, biosecurity, communication and regulatory.
Figure 2: Representation of the three levels of expertise in the Day-1 list of swine competencies


Background: Veterinary education (VE) is increasingly transitioning toward a competency-based model with a focus on educational outcomes. The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges published a framework of competency-based veterinary education (CBVE) to provide guidance to veterinary educators in creating a curriculum that would graduate proficient veterinarians, capable of carrying out activities central to the profession, without supervision. Aims and Objectives: Swine Faculty at a Midwest Institution aimed to create a subset of competencies anchored in the CBVE framework for graduates aspiring to practice swine medicine. Methods: Using the Delphi process and the collaboration of swine practitioners and educators around the country, the team developed a list of 109 competencies divided into nine domains and three levels of expertise. Results: The list was designed as an online, interactive, savable tool, available at
Conclusion: Following this work, the swine faculty plans to evaluate the swine curriculum at the college level with the intent to incorporate additional opportunities for the students to practice and be assessed on the activities listed.

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