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Skills of the future might need to include studies in ecosystems, comparative medicine, bio-informatics, genomics, proteomics and the ability to "interface between science and policy."

The process looked 25 years down the road and identified a series of paths veterinary medicine could march down.

Hot-button issues today like escalating student debt, shortages of rural area veterinarians, hopefully will be solved, Prasse says. So, the report recognized the issues but didn't seek to address them.

Tracking, however, "would be a direct assault on student debt. I believe that the student who would take that professional area of focus and have greater depth of learning in that chosen area is going to command a higher starting salary." The bigger the starting salary, the easier to pay down educational loans, Prasse contends.

Reflecting on the future: You can't predict it, but you can build an educational system that responds to society's changing demands, says Dr. Keith Prasse, a key player in the Foresight Project from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.
The concept is a fundamental educational shift that will better prepare veterinary students interested in small-animal medicine to enter small-animal practice.

The objective, Prasse says, is to "ensure exposure to a broad expanse of expertise that veterinarians are expected to deal with.

"There are a lot of aspects to the report that dealt with alliances, partnerships, funding and business models. All of it is important, but ultimately the discussions were in the context of what this will mean for veterinary medical education," Prasse adds.

Key recommendations of the foresight report
"For me personally, it is an opportunity to build on the positive experience we have had for providing students with...electives that they can focus in an area of emphasis and tracking as it exists today."

The report adds, "This is a pivotal time for the profession. Leadership, collaboration and a shared vision will determine its destiny."


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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