The Perceived Importance, Emphasis, and Confidence in Veterinary Nutrition Education of First-Year Canadian and US Veterinary Students
- 9 Downloads
Veterinarians play a critical role in providing nutrition consultation and supporting clients to adopt healthy dietary habits for their pets; thus applicable, informative nutrition education in veterinary schools is essential. The aim of this study was to explore incoming veterinary students’ perceived importance, emphasis, and confidence in the veterinary nutrition education they will receive. First-year veterinary students at all 5 Canadian and 5 randomly selected US veterinary schools were invited to complete a 31-item questionnaire. Response rate was 34.6% (n = 326). Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression were performed. While most students (92%) considered nutrition education to be an important component of veterinary training, 64% felt it will not be a subject of great emphasis. Veterinary students at schools with a board-certified veterinary nutrition faculty were more likely to perceive higher emphasis on nutrition education (p < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, academic self-efficacy was a positive predictor of students’ perceived confidence in how well they anticipate their nutrition education that will prepare them for their clinical roles (p = 0.003). Examining the perceptions of veterinary students entering veterinary school is an important aspect to consider in the design and delivery of a veterinary nutrition curriculum and maybe equally important for students entering other professional health programs.
KeywordsVeterinary education Nutrition education Confidence Entering students Student perceptions
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed this study were approved by the University of Guelph Research Ethics Board (REB#16JA039) and are in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- 5.AAHA. The path to high-quality care: practical tips for improving compliance. American Animal Hospital Association: Lakewood, CO; 2003.Google Scholar
- 6.Kogan LR, Schoenfeld-Tacher R, Simon AA, Viera AR. The internet and pet health information: perceptions and behaviors of pet owners and veterinarians. Internet Med. 2010;8(1):1–19.Google Scholar
- 9.Flocke A, Thiemeyera H, Kiefer-Hecker B, ESVCN. Dog and cat nutrition practices of owners visiting veterinary clinics. In: Proceedings of the 17th Congress of the Ghent Belgium; 2013. p. 19–21.Google Scholar
- 10.Biele H. Dig into pet nutrition. Vet Econ. 2013;54(4):22–6.Google Scholar
- 11.Buffington CA, LaFlamme DP. A survey of veterinarians' knowledge and attitudes about nutrition. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1996;208(5):674–5.Google Scholar
- 12.Nutrition ACoV. Individualized consultation with a board certified veterinary nutritionist. 2019. https://secure.balanceit.com/info/acvnecvcn.php? Accessed March 2 2019.
- 21.Lombardi K. Self-efficacy and nutrition knowledge of parents in Western Australia [thesis]. Perth, Australia: Edith Cowan University; 2013.Google Scholar
- 23.AAVMC. Annual data report: a report of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges: NW; 2016.Google Scholar
- 26.Bandura A. Social learning through imitation. University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln; 1962.Google Scholar