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Clinical Year

At the Lincoln Memorial University-Richard A. Gillespie College of Veterinary Medicine our pre-clinical students are carefully taught the science behind the practice of veterinary medicine, which supplies the knowledge base they need to succeed. 

Here at the LMU-CVM, we challenge our students to apply their knowledge, and they learn by doing. It is the cornerstone of our hybrid workplace-based model, involving predominantly one-on-one education for each of our 4th-year students at high-quality clinical site veterinary practices. We continually witness our students obtaining the real-world, hands-on experiences not afforded to the average student in standard, brick-and-mortar veterinary teaching hospitals. 

The goal of this approach to learning is that it allows for a mutually beneficial collaborative partnership between the veterinary college and community professionals. The students observe, assist, and perform (under supervision) veterinary procedures, which they will see regularly once they have graduated and have joined the profession. In essence, they will have learned to identify commonly seen conditions and have the means to approach and treat them uncommonly well. 

The LMU-CVM has created an exciting veterinary medical education program that graduates confident and competent career-ready veterinarians. Leaders in our profession, including the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium (NAVMEC), have called for an innovative, collaborative, and sustainable model for the delivering 21st-century veterinary education. By building on the success of the institutions that came before us and incorporating innovations from across other disciplines in medical higher education, the LMU-CVM is committed to preparing the next generation of veterinarians to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving society.

Clinical Year Curriculum

LMU-CVM applies a hybrid workplace-based model involving one-on-one education for each student entering their clinical year. Our well-prepared 4th-year veterinary students obtain real-world learning experiences from highly qualified veterinary professionals in the practice of Veterinary Medicine in various types of veterinary practices across multiple geographies in the United States.

The typical 52-week LMU-CVM Clinical Year Curriculum consists of 48 (forty-eight) weeks of hands-on, immersive clinical experiences. Various clinical experiences comprise a total of 11 (eleven) four-week rotations for each student; an additional four-week block is comprised of self-directed study in preparation for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE).

  • An accounting of the clinical experiences follows: All students attend 20 weeks of Foundation Courses designed to give all students solid building blocks upon which to build. They occur with a select group of private practices, University Laboratories, and virtual spaces. 
  • All students take 28 weeks of elective courses, including Small Animal, Large Animal, and Mixed Animal practices. These practices may be general, specialty, exotic, and zoo animal practices in 45 states. As part of these elective courses, students may take up to 8 weeks of Student Proposed Electives. 
  • Four weeks of Required Experience consist of a three-week window to take the NAVLE examination. The final week of the clinical year is “Launch Week,” a series of experiences designed to launch students into successful careers in Veterinary Medicine.