The Communication Skills Attitudes Scale (CSAS) published in 2002 by Rees, Sheard, and Davies has been used in medical schools for measuring medical students' attitudes towards learning communication skills.  No such instrument has been implemented in veterinary medicine to collect perceptions of veterianary students.  The University of California,  Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has a structured curriculum for communication skills spanning all four years.  The CSAS was used as one tool to collect data to determine if the perceptions of student's concerning communication and communication skills in the field of veteirnary medicine changed as he/she progressed through the program and the communication curriculum.  

The objectives of this study were two-fold.  First, this study focused on establishing the appropriateness of using the CSAS in a veterinary medical school curriculum.  Second, the instrument was used to establish a data collection protocol for a longitudinal study collecting data to determine if students' attitudes change as they progressed through a 4-year veterinary program with a structured communication curriculum.

The sample for this study was students enrolled in the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in years 1, 2, 3, and 4.  The CSAS was first given via an electronic invitation in the Summer of 2016 with the Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.  At this time, the Class of 2016 were graduates and the Class of 2020 were entering into the veterinary program. Additional data collection intervals with the CSAS were established each summer with the incoming Class and the current classes.   

Findings: Data is being analyzed for the first two data collection intervals and will be presented in March.   

*Chigerwe, Munashe University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology Davis, California, USA   
*Boudreaux, Karen University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine Academic Programs Davis, California, USA  
Clark, James University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine Davis, California, USA