Basic Principles of the School
The Hokkaido University School of Veterinary Medicine aims to foster veterinarians who, based on veterinary medicine as a natural science that is responsible for all animal life on earth, can meet the diverse social needs of veterinary medicine; needs that go beyond the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases and that include the safe supply of animal food products, drug development, contributions to the development of biological science, the protection and management of wild animals, and the control of zoonoses.
The School of Veterinary Medicine provides students with specialized knowledge and skills in veterinary medicine to develop new generations of veterinarians equipped with a well-rounded character, a strong sense of ethics and international perspectives, as well as researchers who can take a pioneering approach to veterinary medicine. Graduates are expected to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of animal health, the improvement of public health, food safety and the development of life sciences. Specifically, the School of Veterinary Medicine helps students:
- to learn standards of conduct that are based on the logic and ethics needed for veterinarians in their duties;
- to acquire proficient knowledge and skills on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases, as well as on the maintenance and improvement of animal health and public health;
- to gain the international perspectives, expertise and specialized skills necessary to contribute to the solving of global issues such as food supply stability, the safety of livestock animals and their products, and the control of zoonoses; and
- to develop, through research experience on leading-edge life sciences, problem-solving abilities based on veterinary medicine and the ability to conduct international activities for new discoveries related to life phenomena and drug development.
- Students who love animals and are capable of observing animals from objective, scientific perspectives
- Students who have a sense of awe toward and are scientifically inquisitive about life phenomena
- Students with the desire to make social and international contribution through veterinary medicine
In line with Hokkaido University’s four philosophies (i.e., Frontier Spirit, Global Perspectives, All-round Education and Practical Learning), the School of Veterinary Medicine aims to educate new generations of veterinarians who are aware of the diverse social missions in veterinary medicine and are equipped with a strong sense of ethics regarding animal life, the ability to think and judge scientifically and international perspectives, as well as creativity and a well-rounded character.
The School of Veterinary Medicine has set degree conferral standards that ensure the specific abilities required of ideal veterinarians in the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program, VetNorth Japan, which is jointly offered by the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, and grants a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine to students who have developed the requisite abilities and acquired the necessary credits.
Degree Conferral Standards for VetNorth Japan
Based on the educational objectives of the School of Veterinary Medicine, VetNorth Japan awards a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine to students who have demonstrated the abilities and other characteristics outlined below:
- An understanding of standards of conduct that are based on the logic and ethics needed for veterinarians in their duties
- Proficient knowledge and skills on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases, as well as on the maintenance and improvement of animal health and public health
- The international perspectives, expertise and specialized skills necessary to contribute to the solving of global issues such as food supply stability, the hygienic management of livestock animals, the safety of livestock products, and the control of zoonoses
- Through research experience on leading-edge life sciences, problem-solving abilities based on veterinary medicine and the ability to conduct international activities for new discoveries related to life phenomena and drug development
The School of Veterinary Medicine offers the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program, VetNorth Japan, to achieve the educational objectives of developing new generations of veterinarians who are aware of the diverse social missions in veterinary medicine and are equipped with a strong sense of ethics regarding animal life, the ability to think and judge scientifically and international perspectives, as well as creativity and a well-rounded character. The Program provides a six-year curriculum consisting of general education courses, which are open to all Hokkaido University students, and a systematic series of specialized courses.
For the specialized courses of the School, a curriculum is drawn up and implemented in line with the curriculum policy to achieve the educational objectives.
Curriculum Policy of VetNorth Japan
VetNorth Japan formulates and implements a curriculum as outlined below to foster the development of experts with the abilities and other characteristics described in the degree conferral standards.
- The curriculum for general education courses is designed for first-year students to acquire the knowledge and skills required for all students regardless of their major, such as effective communication skills, an understanding of human and social diversity, critical and creative thinking skills, and social responsibility and ethics. Specifically, students take Liberal Arts Subjects(regarded as the core curriculum), which are divided into Freshman Seminar, Interdisciplinary Subjects, Specific Themes, Foreign Language Seminars, and General Subjects. The program also offers Basic Subjects, which are intended to prepare students for the study of specialized courses and highlight the basics.
- Specialized courses are offered in the second year onward to help students develop expertise in veterinary medicine. To impart advanced knowledge and skills in veterinary medicine, ranging from basic, pathobiology and applied veterinary medicines to clinical veterinary medicine, specialized courses consist of (1) four veterinary medicine subject groups (basic veterinary medicine subjects, veterinary pathobiology subjects, applied veterinary medicine subjects and clinical veterinary medicine subjects) and (2) the subject groups related to veterinary medicine (introductory subjects to veterinary medicine, introductory subjects for veterinarians, and animal husbandry-related introductory subjects). A part of introductory subjects to veterinary medicine begin in the first year of the program.
- In the second year, students take a range of subjects on basic veterinary medicines and veterinary pathobiology, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, genetics, immunology, radiobiology, microbiology and laboratory animal science, in order to gain basic knowledge on the structures of and responses in the animal body and on animal diseases.
- Students in the third year learn factors that cause diseases in animals and the basics of related analytic techniques through veterinary pathobiology subjects, including virology, bacteriology, protozoan diseases, parasitology, parasitic diseases, epidemiology and pathology, and wildlife zoology.
- In the fourth year, students enroll in animal husbandry-related subjects, such as food nutrition, grassland science and animal feeding, and farm animal management, as well as environmental and applied veterinary medicines, such as public health, toxicology, food hygiene, epidemiology and zoonoses, in order to develop the application skills necessary to play wide social roles and meet the needs of society. In addition, students also take subjects related to clinical veterinary medicine, such as surgery, internal medicine and theriogenology, to gain practical opportunities to provide medical care to animals based on veterinary principles.
- In the fifth and sixth years, emphasis is placed primarily on clinical veterinary medicine, and students undergo practical clinical training at the affiliated veterinary teaching hospitals and elsewhere to experience what it is like to provide medical care to animals. Students also learn animal welfare, veterinary ethics, and veterinary laws and regulations through introductory subjects for veterinarians. In addition, to help students develop a sense of responsibility and skills as future veterinarians and veterinary researchers, advanced courses are offered in areas that range from basic and applied veterinary medicines to veterinary pathobiology and clinical veterinary medicine, which students can choose in consideration of the study and research fields of their interests and their future occupations.
- From the second through fourth years, elementary seminars in biosciences (e.g., tutorial research, English seminars in veterinary medicine) are offered to develop problem-solving skills and the ability to conduct international activities.
- Students can also earn credits by engaging in practical clinical training at agricultural mutual aid associations and through the implementation of student-designed practical training, work experience and other programs at animal hospitals, ranches and other locations.
Assessment Policy and Assessment Checklist
The School of Veterinary Medicine established an assessment policy that defines the overall purpose, qualitative level to be achieved, and specific implementation methods for the assessment of student learning outcomes in December 2018.