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Clinical Competency Requirements for Class of 2015

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On-Line Competency Tracking


Skills must be signed off by an NCSU faculty or staff member unless a practice training program has been approved or the skill is starred.  Approved practice training programs are listed on the Clinical Competencies  website.  Starred skills may be signed off during any extramural practice experience.

Husbandry/Restraint/Routine Client Education skills

Physical exam skills

Orthopedic (lameness) exam on a small animal patient and a horse, including naming and identification of all major joints, recognizing  normal angles and range of motion for major joints and the hoof, use of a goniometer, use of a hoof tester , use of a hoof pick, use of a hoof gauge, flexion tests, thigh circumference measurement in dog

Neurologic exam small animal patient, horse, must demonstrate:
Patellar reflex
Withdrawal reflex
Panniculus reflex
Deep pain assessment
Menace response
Palpebral reflex
Pupillary light reflex
Conscious proprioception
Bladder palpation/expression
Ophthalmic exam, including use of direct and indirect ophthalmoscope, ocular pressure measurement, small animal patient, horse.  Must demonstrate:
Menace response
Pupillary light reflex
Dazzle reflex
Schirmer tear test
Fluoroscein staining
Dermatologic exam, as appropriate for patient, Must demonstrate:
General dermatologic exam
Recognize primary and secondary dermatological lesions
Otic examination
Skin scrapings - deep / superficial
Skin cytology - tape/swab/aspiration
Otic cytology
Appropriate methods of collection of samples for bacterial / fungal culture
Woods lamp examination

Cardiovascular exam, including identifying, describing, and assessing the clinical significance of transient heart sounds and murmurs, examining arterial and venous pulses,  obtaining a resting standard 6-lead EKG, accurately measuring noninvasive arterial blood pressure in small and large animal patients

Oncologic exam, including identification of peripheral lymph nodes in the dog or cat and performance of fine needle aspiration of a lymph node or mass

Reproductive exam

Sample taking

Radiology, Necropsy, Clinical Pathology, Parasitology

Basic medicine skills, experience, problem solving and case management

Anesthesia and pain management, patient welfare


Basic surgery skills, experience, and case management

Emergency and intensive care case management

Health promotion, disease prevention, zoonosis and food safety

Client communications and ethical conduct



Strong appreciation for the role of research in furthering the practice of veterinary medicine.

Each DVM student is required to have one research-related educational experience before graduation, including those students with a graduate degree.  Such experiences could include, but are not limited to:

1.   Being in the Clinician Scientist Focus Area, with completion of its research  requirements.
2.   Performing a summer of approved research at NCSU or another institution. (Previous      research work will not qualify.)
3.   Research thesis option within Zoological Medicine Focus Area.
4.   Successful completion of a research-related selective (i.e. Intro to Research at the CVM, Molecular Medicine Initiative selectives, research selectives personally arranged or already existing such as Advanced Pathology)
5.   Attending a research-related conference and supplying a three-page report to your advisor on the experience.
6.   Attending the annual CVM Research Forum and supplying a three-page report to your advisor on the experience.
7.   Attending a research seminar at the CVM, elsewhere at NCSU or at another institution and writing a three-page report on the seminar and one related publication. (Attending clinical conference is not included.)  Hand in the report to your advisor.
8.   Writing and submitting a research proposal to an extramural funding agency.
9.   Research experiences in Special Topics courses (i.e. Swine Medicine).
10. Being an author on a research paper (not a case report) while in veterinary college


The following skills will be checked off in
Health Maintenance and Animal Production I, II, III
Teaching Animal Unit

Must Learn Skills


Approach, catch and halter a horse
Lead and turn a horse at the walk
Lead a horse at the trot
Pick up and hold a forelimb and hind limb of a horse
Groom a horse
Use hoof testers
Tie a quick release knot
Use a weight tape
Perform physical exam on adult horse
Perform physical exam on neonatal foal
Perform ocular exam
Place nose twitch
Perform skin fold twitch
Perform ear twitch
Place chain shank over nose
Place chain shank over lip
Complete written physical exam form
Collect blood into a vacutainer
Collect blood using a needle and syringe
Administer an oral medication
Administer an intramuscular injection
Administer an intravenous injection
Administer a subcutaneous injection
Fill out and complete a Coggins test form
Complete a health certificate
Perform lameness exam (including all flexion tests)
Perform neurological exam (including cranial nerve and movement exam)
Pass nasogastric tube

Herding Animals
Correctly halter a cow
Tie a quick release knot
Cast a cow with a rope
Perform a Physical exam
Identify methods of identification of animals
Body condition scoring and relation to life cycle
Collect blood sample from jugular
Collect blood sample from the tail vein
Perform and interpret a TB test
Injection site identification (Beef Quality Assurance)
Identify and perform an intramuscular injection
Identify and perform an intravenous injection
Identify and perform subcutaneous injection
Identify needle sizes for IM, SQ, and IV injections
Administer an oral bolus to at least 2 cows
Pass a stomach tube and administer oral fluids
Processing calves:
Know how to perform all procedures
Actively perform at least two procedures (tattooing, castration, dis-budding, implanting)
Pregnancy check > 5months
Collect a sterile milk sample
Perform a CMT test
Interpret a CMT test
Properly use a hoof knife
Restrain and lift a foot for trimming or lameness evaluation


Know and use FAMACHA system for parasite control
Blood collection from jugular vein 
Identify jugular landmarks, lung fields, rumen location
Determine age of goats or sheep
Perform vaccinations
Perform intramuscular injection (identify sites)
Perform subcutaneous injection (identify sites)
Perform a foot trim
Body condition score a goat or sheep
TB test a goat or sheep
Disbudding procedures and nerve blocks (goat only)
Perform an ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis
Interpret an ultrasound diagnosis
Perform a physical exam 
Interpret ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis
Restrain a sheep or goat
Administer an oral medication to a sheep or goat


Safely restrain suckling, nursery, and finisher pigs
Safely move nursery or finisher pigs between pens or sort within pen
Identify which TAU pig housing facilities are for what age groups
Interpret average/expected litter size data
Be able to list pros and cons of breeding herd housing systems
Identify the major feed ingredients in pig rations
Describe and recognize normal feeding behavior
Perform pregnancy diagnosis in female pigs using different methods
Identify signs of estrus in the female pig
Complete physical examinations on individuals and groups of pigs
Restrain and collect blood from nursery and/or finishing age pigs
List the key criteria for selection of optimal pigs for diagnostic testing
Identify these key diagnostically significant anatomic structures:
Tonsils, turbinates, region of stomach prone to ulcers, ileum, spiral colon, lung lobes, lymph nodes



Catch and safely restrain a turkey for physical examination
Catch and safely restrain a chicken for physical examination
Perform a basic physical examination on turkey
Perform a basic physical examination on a chicken
Evaluate general health status of a turkey flock
Evaluate general health status of a chicken flock
Perform a cloacal swab on a turkey
Perform a cloacal swab on a chicken
Perform a tracheal swab on a turkey
Perform a choanal swab on a turkey
Collect a blood sample via wing vein on a turkey 
Collect a blood sample via wing vein on a chicken
Perform a subcutaneous injection on a turkey
Perform an intramuscular injection on a turkey