Western University College of Veterinary Medicine

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College of Veterinary Medicine
at Western University of Health Sciences
Western University College of Veterinary Medicine logo.jpeg
Type Private, non-profit
Established 1998; 19 years ago (1998)
Dean Phillip Nelson, DVM, PhD
Students 400

Pomona, CA,

 United States
Coordinates: 34°03′31″N 117°44′33″W / 34.0587°N 117.7425°W / 34.0587; -117.7425
Campus Urban, 22 acres (8.9 ha)
Website www.westernu.edu/veterinary

The Western University College of Veterinary Medicine (WesternU CVM) is a non-profit, private, veterinary medical school at Western University of Health Sciences located in Pomona, in the US state of California. The college consists of about 400 veterinary medical students, and confers the degree Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The college was established in 1998 as the first veterinary school to open in the country in 20 years. The college is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.[1]


The College of Veterinary Medicine opened in 1998, after some difficulties with accreditation through the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education.[2] It was the first veterinary medical school to open in the United States since 1983,[2] and at the time, no member on the AVMA's Council on Education had ever been involved in accrediting a new veterinary medical school. The inaugural class began courses in 2003,[3] and the college earned full accreditation in 2010.

WesternU CVM was the first veterinary medical school in the United States to appoint a female to the position of dean.[4][5]

In 2008, the Banfield Pet Hospital on campus was opened to the community, providing primary care services such as vaccinations, spaying and neutering, microchiping, surgery, dental exams and cleanings, as well as flea, tick and heartworm control.[6] The hospital includes a surgical suite, an x-ray room, a half dozen exam rooms and isolation facilities. The hospital is housed in a 6,000 square-foot facility on campus, and provides first and second year students with early exposure to clinical care.[7]


The College of Veterinary Medicine has an entirely problem-based curriculum,[8] rather than lecture-based. This style of curriculum, with its emphasis on small group work and research, is purported to improve skills that may be less-developed in a lecture format and provide students with more flexibility in determining their study schedule and style. Critics of problem based learning argue that a more structured curriculum is more effective, especially in the beginning portions of program while students are developing active learning skills. Public health is also emphasized throughout the veterinary medicine curriculum.[8]

Veterinary students at WesternU complete clinical rotations at any of more than 300 teaching sites, which contrasts with the traditional model of veterinary education in the US, where students rotate primarily at a large, single, teaching hospital.[9]

Along with students from the other colleges at Western University, students at WesternU CVM participate in interprofessional education. The program is intended to improve understanding of other health professions and to provide and promote a team approach to patient-centered care and health care management, leading to improved patient care.[10] Some evidence supports the effectiveness of interprofessional education in encouraging collaborative practice, although it is not firmly established.

The College of Veterinary Medicine has nearly 400 students; in the fall of 2011, the college received nearly 740 applications for 105 positions.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Veterinary Colleges Accredited by the AVMA". American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Weiss, Kenneth R. (March 6, 2001). "First Veterinary School in Southland Approved for Pomona". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Dolan, Jill (Spring 2004). "Western University Opens Newest College of Veterinary Medicine In Pomona, California" (PDF). The Animal Guardian. 
  4. ^ "Western U names dean, graduates first class". DVM 360. July 1, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ Sarah Schweitzer (August 22, 2007). "Veterinary schools turn increasingly female". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ Monica Rodriguez (October 10, 2009). "Pomona's Western University offering pet care to the public". PomonaNow. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ Verdon, Daniel (Sep 1, 2003). "Western University to Build Primary Careteaching Hospital Courtesy of Banfield". DVM 360, Advanstar. Retrieved Dec 30, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Schmidt, PL; Trevejo, RT; Tkalcic, S (Summer 2008). "Veterinary Public Health in a Problem-based Learning Curriculum at the Western University of Health Sciences.". Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 35 (2): 212–8. PMID 18723806. doi:10.3138/jvme.35.2.212. 
  9. ^ Fiala, Jennifer (February 26, 2010). "Accreditation under fire in veterinary medicine". The VIN News Service. 
  10. ^ Pumerantz PhD, Philip. "About IPE". Western University of Health Sciences. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  11. ^ Niedziela, Ken. "Western University Grows Up Fast". Veterinary Practice News. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Fuentealba, Carmen; Mason, RV; Johnston, SD (Spring 2008). "Community-based clinical veterinary education at Western University of Health Sciences.". Journal of veterinary medical education. 35 (1): 34–42. PMID 18339954. doi:10.3138/jvme.35.1.034. 

External links[edit]