The University of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine offers an elective rotating clerkship for junior and senior veterinary students, placing them with an approved small animal general practitioner for 2 weeks. Our goal is to provide students with additional clinical experience in a practical real-world setting. 

A study was conducted to determine the difference in student expectations and actual experiences on the Practice Based Small Animal Clerkship (PBSAC) in categories including educational relevance as well as communication and procedure opportunities. Methods:  Students enrolled in the PBSAC were asked to participate in a survey prior to and following their clerkship.  The survey questions were intended to compare student expectations with actual experience on the clerkship. 

Of the survey questions with statistically significant positive changes, 3/4 reflected a more positive personal interaction between student and practitioner than was expected.  Of the questions with statistically significant negative changes, all reflected that students had less client interaction than expected.  Written comments from students also focused largely on a desire to gain more experience with client communication. 

The findings of this study suggest that students on the PBSAC experienced a better student-mentor relationship than they expected, and that students were less likely to have the opportunity to practice communication skills than they expected prior to their clerkship.  By sharing this information with practitioners, an effort can be made to provide more client communication opportunities to PBSAC students.  

*MANDESE, Wendy DVM Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA; BEHAR-HORNSTEIN, Linda PhD, Colleges of Dentistry, Education, and Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA; 
FENG, Xiaoying3, PhD candidate, College of Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA