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Teaching Day One Clinical Competencies Using Models

Veterinary clinical training has historically been subject to the availability of suitable patients. However, models allow educators to teach procedures without having to wait for a patient to present itself. They allow students to practice skills without risk to live patients, and they've taken the clinical skills training world by storm.

The educators who founded the Center for Innovation in Veterinary Education and Technology (CIVET) at LMU-CVM have created and validated numerous models for training veterinary students to perform critical clinical skills.

The LMUterus Spay Model

The LMUterus model is a spay model consisting of a reusable wood and PVC base with a replaceable 3-layer silicone outer layer. The LMUterus is used to teach 2nd year veterinary students how to perform a spay surgery from draping the patient to the final suture. Students must pass this practical examination before being permitted to move on to surgery on a live patient.

LMUterus 1

LMUterus 3

LMUterus 4

LMUterus 2

A study utilizing the LMUterus model was published in a Veterinary Surgery article:

The Canine Neuter Model

The canine neuter model is a silicone model with a reusable base and replaceable testicles. The model is used to teach 3rd year students how to perform a canine neuter surgery before they participate in live surgery.


Neuter Model 1
Neuter Model 2

Neuter Model 3

A study validating the canine neuter model was published in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education:

The Feline Medial Saphenous Venipuncture Model

Cats are among the least cooperative species to work with in the clinical skills laboratory, yet students require practice performing tasks on them in order to gain the proficiency required for clinical work. After noticing that our students were ill equipped to perform medial saphenous venipuncture on cats during our junior surgery program, we decided to create a model for teaching this skill. The model is used in conjunction with a live cat handling laboratory in students' 3rd year.

Feline Phlebotomy 1
Feline Phlebotomy 2

A study validating the feline medial saphenous venipuncture model was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

The Canine Dental Cleaning Model

The canine dental cleaning model is used in conjunction with students' Veterinary Dentistry course in 2nd year. Students learn to scale and polish the model's teeth using the ultrasonic scaler and low-speed dental hand piece. This model replaces a flat, two-dimensional model that didn't require students to manipulate the head in order to open the jaw or work around a three-dimensional tooth surface.

Canine Dental Model

A study comparing the canine dental cleaning model with two other dental cleaning models is currently in progress.

The Bovine Castration Model

The bovine castration model is a silicone model consisting of reusable testicles and disposable testicular cords and scrotum. The model is used for 3rd year students to learn this skill prior to performing it during their clinical year of veterinary school. The model can be used to teach surgical and non-surgical castration methods such as banding.

Bovine Surgery Model

A study validating the bovine castration model was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

The Equine Neck Model

The equine neck model was created to teach 1st and 2nd year students to perform jugular venipuncture, intravenous catheterization, and intramuscular injection. The model features a mix of lower-fidelity materials such as a fabric cover and latex character head as well as higher-fidelity materials such as silicone and flexible foam. The intramuscular injection pad and jugular vein are replaceable.

Equine Phlebotomy Model
Equine Phlebotomy

A study validating the equine neck model was published in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education:

Other Models We Have Made


Turtle Shell Repair

Chelonian (turtle) shell repair model

Canine Ear Exam

Canine otoscopic (ear) exam model

Horse Head Model

Equine Nasogastric intubation model

Bovine Dehorning Model

Bovine Dehorning model

Feline Neuter Model

Feline Neuter Model


Small ruminant dystocia (difficult birth) model


Canine fundic (retinal) exam model


Large animal uterine torsion model


Feline urethral obstruction (blocked cat) catheterization model


And many more.

We continue to build models with the goal of educating veterinary students who are capable of entering clinical practice with a robust and diverse skill set.

If you would like to collaborate on model-based research, please contact Dr. Julie Hunt at [email protected].