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Training method and other factors affecting student accuracy in bovine pregnancy diagnosis

Annandale, A., Annandale, C.H.ORCID: 0000-0002-0525-8954, Fosgate, G.T. and Holm, D.E. (2018) Training method and other factors affecting student accuracy in bovine pregnancy diagnosis. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 45 (2). pp. 224-231.

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To optimize bovine pregnancy diagnosis (PD) training, factors influencing student performance were investigated. The objective was to determine whether training method, gender, background (farm, urban, or mixed), previous experience in bovine PD, and current career interest influenced the accuracy of bovine PD by trans-rectal palpation (TRP). Fourth-year (of a 6-year program) veterinary students (n=138) received one PD training session in groups using either simulator training on Breed'n Betsy (BB) or training on live cows (C). Students completed a questionnaire on gender, background, and career interest. Students' PD accuracy (pregnancy status and stage) was determined after training when each student palpated six cows with known pregnancy status. Students' accuracy in determining pregnancy status was measured as sensitivity and specificity (the ability to correctly identify the presence and absence of pregnancy respectively). Factors that influenced overall accuracy with a higher student sensitivity of bovine PD by TRP were training method, farming background, an interest in a mixed animal career, and stage of gestation. Gender of students and previous experience in bovine PD did not have an influence. Training on BB simulators was associated with lower student sensitivity for pregnancy detection in cows <6 months pregnant. Student sensitivity for pregnancy detection in cows >6 months pregnant was similar for training on BB simulators and live cows. No evaluated factors were significantly associated with specificity of PD. Teaching efforts focusing on specificity of PD and repeated simulator-based training in conjunction with live cow exposure are recommended.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
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