Dairy reproductive management: assessing a comprehensive continuing education program for veterinary practitioners.

Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Education (Impact Factor: 0.65). 01/2010; 37(3):289-98. DOI: 10.3138/jvme.37.3.289
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Comprehensive continuing veterinary medical education (CVME) programs are critical for veterinary practitioners to update their knowledge and improve their skills and services. CVME must offer an educational environment in which veterinarians can effectively rejuvenate their knowledge and skills and learn about new practices. The Ohio Dairy Health and Management Certificate Program is a comprehensive CVME program for practicing dairy veterinarians that was developed to provide advanced training on previously identified needs of the dairy industry. Our objectives in this article were (1) to provide a description of a comprehensive CVME program designed to enhance the flow of applied, research-based knowledge from educators and researchers to dairy veterinary practitioners and (2) to provide an assessment of outcomes achieved and experiences gained after the delivery of the first two modules on advanced dairy reproductive management. Findings from the two reproductive modules suggested that (1) the designed dairy reproductive management program was able to meet the participants' educational needs, (2) the implemented delivery methods significantly increased participants' knowledge level, and (3) additional educational needs should be addressed with future programming. In conclusion, results from the participants' self-reports suggested that both reproductive modules were relevant and effective, offering new information with immediate field application. These types of educational programs are important for dairy veterinary practitioners because they are a vital source of information and service providers for dairy producers. For the program to be considered completely successful, a detailed follow-up assessment of participants' behavior change, adoption of new practices and skills, and their on-farm impact is needed.

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a team-based educational program designed to enhance the flow of applied, research-based, nutrition information to dairy veterinarians. A comprehensive dairy cattle nutrition curriculum was developed and participants from 11 veterinary practices located in 5 states (IN, NY, PA, NM, and OH), serving an estimated 186,150 dairy cattle in 469 herds, attended the 2 advanced nutrition modules (∼2.5 d each and ∼40 h of learning) held in 2009. Nutrients, feeding transition cows, calves, and heifers, dry matter intake, feed storage, metabolic diseases, evaluating cows (scoring body condition, manure, and lameness), metabolic blood profiles, and feeding behavior were discussed. Educational materials were delivered through in-class lectures, followed by case-based learning and group discussions. A farm visit and out-of-class assignments were also implemented. Attendees were assessed using pre- and post-tests of knowledge to determine the level of knowledge gained in both nutrition modules. Participants evaluated the program and provided feedback at the conclusion of each module. Veterinarians (100%) reported that the overall program, presentations, and discussions were useful. Attendees found the presented information relevant for their work (agree=60% and strongly agree=40%) and of great immediate use to them (neutral=6.5%, agree=56%, and strongly agree=37.5%). The presented materials and the implemented educational delivery methods substantially increased the knowledge level of the attendees (16.9% points increase from pre-test to post-test scores). Importance of feed particle size, ration evaluation, interpreting feed analysis, balancing carbohydrate components, and metabolic profiling in fresh cows were listed as learned concepts that participants could apply in their practices. Results suggested that both nutrition modules were relevant and effective, offering new information with immediate field application. This program has important implications for dairy veterinarians because they serve as a vital source of information for dairy producers.
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