Basic Science in veterinary education is important because it provides the foundation for a comprehensive understanding of animal health and disease. Basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and microbiology constitute veterinary medical education’s cornerstone.
The veterinary basic science curriculum provides a solid understanding of the anatomy of animals, how they respond to disease, and how different treatments and medications affect them. Veterinary medicine deals with diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases in animals, including domestic pets, livestock, and wildlife. It comprises a wide range of medical specialties, including small animal medicine, large animal medicine, exotic animal medicine, and laboratory animal medicine.
Without a solid foundation in the basic sciences, it would be difficult for veterinarians to diagnose and treat animal health problems effectively. The basic sciences semesters in veterinary education typically precede the clinical ones that prepare for a clinical career. The knowledge gained in these areas helps veterinarians make informed decisions about which tests to perform, which treatments to prescribe, and how to monitor their patients’ progress.
Basic Science consists of the following topics:
- Veterinary Anatomy I
- Veterinary Histology and Embryology
- Veterinary Physiology I
- Veterinary Immunology
- Professional Development I
- Veterinary Anatomy II
- Veterinary Physiology II
- Veterinary Parasitology
- Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology
- Veterinary Pharmacology I
- Veterinary Pathology I
- Veterinary Virology
- Veterinary Public Health/Epidemiology
- Professional Development II
- Veterinary Clinical Skills I (Companion Animals)
- Animal Welfare and Behavior
- Veterinary Pharmacology II
- Veterinary Pathology II
- Veterinary Clinical Pathology
- Veterinary Ethics and Communication
- Veterinary Clinical Skills II (Livestock)
- Veterinary Anesthesiology
- Principles of Veterinary Surgery
- Veterinary Toxicology
- Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging
- Veterinary Clinical Nutrition
- Small Animal Medicine
- Food Animal Medicine & Surgery
- Exotic Companion Animal Medicine
- Veterinary Clinical Skills III (Clinical Rotations)
- Small Animal Medicine II
- Small Animal Surgery
- Large Animal Medicine & Surgery
- Professional Development
In addition, the basic science curricular track in veterinary education helps students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills and a strong foundation in scientific methodologies. These skills are essential for researching, developing new treatments, and finding solutions to complex animal health problems.
Prepares for NAVLE
The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) is a comprehensive exam required for licensure as a veterinarian in the United States and Canada. Basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and microbiology are covered on the NAVLE and are essential components of preparation for the exam.
A strong foundation in basic sciences is necessary to pass the NAVLE, as the exam tests a candidate’s understanding of the underlying mechanisms of animal health and disease. For example, knowledge of anatomy and physiology is critical for understanding how different systems in animal bodies work, how they respond to disease, and how to diagnose and treat diseases affecting those systems.
It also helps to develop an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of animal health and disease requires analyzing and synthesizing large amounts of information. The skills developed in the basic sciences courses are valuable in this process.
The basic sciences in veterinary school play a critical role in NAVLE preparation and developing the skills necessary for successful clinical practice. A solid foundation in these subjects is essential for passing the NAVLE and providing high-quality animal care.