Oral Presentation International Veterinary Immunology Symposium 2016

Teaching immunology by stealth: Embedding immunology into a new DVM curriculum at the University of Melbourne  (#36)

Wayne Kimpton 1
  1. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Veterinary immunology for many years has been the poor cousin to other major veterinary disciplines such as pathology, surgery, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, cell biology and the like.   In recent years however with our increased understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the workings of the immune system it has been recognised as one of the most important basic and clinical sciences in veterinary science.

In 2011 the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne moved to a graduate entry four–year Doctor of Veterinary medicine (DVM) replacing the old 5 year BVSc. The first DVM students graduated in 2014. A major renewal of the veterinary curriculum was undertaken following a period of extensive consultation with faculty and stakeholders. Learning outcomes specific for each subject were documented down to the level of class learning activities (lectures, case study, practical classes) in order to link the content and learning activities of each subject to the overarching course objectives that were developed.

A particular challenge for the immunologists within the faculty was that with the reduction of time from five to four years and the advent of only clinical rotations in the final year, how do we teach veterinary immunology in a very crowded DVM curriculum. Overall lecture content in the entire DVM was reduced from over 1200 lectures to approximately 900 hours. Another ongoing challenge was and still is how to move on from “mouse immunology “ that has dominated the literature and teaching texts for a generation and is often interpreted as applicable to all species.

The information about the veterinary immunology curriculum, scope and sequence at Melbourne DVM will be presented via a mapping program Atlas Rubicon curriculum mapping platform –a tool that enables key word searching, with links to learning materials as well as course analytics.