Self-perception of communication, leadership and critical thinking skills of first and fourth year veterinary students
Waldeck, Ariel Nicole
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Veterinary students are taught technical skills, but less emphasis is placed on soft skills (communication, leadership, teamwork, etc.) in veterinary school. This study evaluated first and fourth year veterinary students’ self-perceived importance and competence in communication, leadership and critical thinking skills. All first and fourth year veterinary students at the University of Georgia were contacted via email to participate in the survey. The researcher developed the communication and leadership constructs and used the EMI: Critical Thinking Disposition Assessment (Irani, et al., 2007). Responses were analyzed in SPSS and mean weighted discrepancy scores (MWDS) were calculated in Excel. Based on MWDS, first and fourth year students agreed their highest needs were communicating with owners, controlling their anxiety in stressful situations while maintaining their composure and focus, and being able to explain things in a clear and precise manner. Veterinary students should have a required communication course to improve these soft skills.
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