Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version


Document Type



Galles, Beth, 2023. "VMED 589: Anesthesiology & Small Animal Surgery Faculty-Led Inquiry into Reflective Scholarly Teaching (FIRST) Project". UNL Faculty Portfolios.


Copyright © 2023 Beth Galles


A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree requires a strong background in basic and clinical sciences. Clinical sciences are typically presented as laboratory-heavy courses, ideally with experiential learning components. Veterinary surgery and anesthesia are a high-stakes disciplines that requires a foundation of didactic instruction followed by repeated hands-on practice. VMED 589 Anesthesiology and Small Animal Surgery is the first course in anesthesia that students encounter in their four-year curriculum and the second course in surgery. It is designed to deliver the basic principles of anesthesia, followed by repetitive practice to ensure the safety of the veterinary patient. Anesthetic risk assessment, induction, maintenance, recovery, monitoring, problem-solving, domestic species’ differences, and legal record-keeping are covered. Many students find the anesthesia part of the curriculum to be the most challenging part of the class, as it involves the convergence of knowledge from several previous basic sciences courses in a short timeframe. Assessment for this course uses traditional exams consisting of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), post-anesthesia section exams for students before and after anesthesia, student surveys following Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs), and student reflections following anesthetic events. Student performance on traditional exams was comparable to previous years. Students' performances on the post-anesthesia exam appeared to be affected by time since the last material but not by the experience of the anesthetic events. Students indicated satisfaction with the OSCEs and opportunities for preparation, and students also noted that they derived confidence from the ability to perform two anesthetic events as part of the class. This portfolio describes the anesthesia portion of VMED 589, including the design, implementation of materials, and outcomes of interest to identify strengths and areas for improvement.