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The veterinary education in Germany should be completed in five years and six months. It is divided into a pre-clinical and a clinical part. Contents and structure of the veterinary programme at the Freie Universität Berlin are regulated by the German Tierärztliche Approbationsverordnung (TAppV).
The education in buiatrics starts in the 3rd year with courses on clinical examination techniques. Lectures and clinical case demonstrations are held in the course of organ-centred modules. At the Clinic for Ruminants and Pigs most of the lectures include Blended Learning, increasing the active participation of the students. As the students are able to prepare for the lectures and clinical case demonstrations using the E-Learning platform ?Blackboard?, there remains more time for an in-depth discussion of otherwise neglected issues, such as practice management, economics and cost-benefit analysis of certain therapies. This kind of approach offers the opportunity for active contribution from students beneath the usual one-way lectures.
An E-learning project funded by the Freie Universität Berlin includes an interdisciplinary approach and patient case studies. This design goes well beyond just the disease, thus teaching anatomical and pathophysiological background in a direct thematic connection. The problem solving capacity of the students is encouraged. The students welcome this open form of teaching, even if it appears to be new and unfamiliar. After an adjustment period, there is intensive collaboration and lively discussion between students and teachers. Therefore the teaching efficiency, measured in knowledge that can be retrieved later on, is increased.
Besides mandatory education students are offered elective subjects which cover various topics, e.g. pain management in ruminants or different aspects of herd health management. In the 5th year, the students join extramurals as well as rotations in clinical and pathology departments. The clinical rotations focus on the development of a professional attitude and the application of previously acquired knowledge and practical skills. Clinical and laboratory diagnostics, drug targeting, pain management and surgery are some technical and vocational skills which will be consolidated or learned. With graduation students should be able to handle emergency patients appropriately and to respond adequately to potential dangers to the health of humans and animals.