Perceptions of fourth-year veterinary students about the human-animal bond in veterinary practice and in veterinary college curricula

Susan Williams, Carolyn Butler, Mary Ann Sontag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective - To assess veterinary students' perceptions regarding the importance of addressing the human-animal bond in veterinary practice and their perceptions about the adequacy of curricula on the human-animal bond as presented in US veterinary colleges. Design - Survey. Procedure - Data were collected via a brief questionnaire mailed during the summer of 1996. Questionnaires were returned by 552 senior veterinary students representing 21 of 27 veterinary colleges in the United States. Results - Senior veterinary students believed that the human-animal bond should be a concern of practicing veterinarians, but most did not believe they were receiving adequate instruction about the human-animal bond in their veterinary colleges. Gender was significantly related to differences in perceptions; female students appeared to have more interest in addressing the human-animal bond than male students. Students in small animal programs viewed the human-animal bond differently than those in large animal programs. Finally, students attending schools with extensive human-animal bond or human relations curricula were more likely to believe they were receiving adequate instruction in this area than students in other schools. Conclusions and Clinical Implications - Curricula addressing the human-animal bond need to be developed and implemented in veterinary colleges in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1428-1432
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume215
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 1999

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