International survey of veterinarians to assess the importance of competencies in professional practice and education

Harold G J Bok, Pim W Teunissen, Tobias B B Boerboom, Susan M Rhind, Sarah Baillie, John Tegzes, Henry Annandale, Susan Matthew, Anne Torgersen, Kent G Hecker, Christina M Härdi-Landerer, Esperanza Gomez-Lucia, Bashir Ahmad, Arno M M Muijtjens, Academic Medical Center University Amsterdam, Cees P M van der Vleuten, Peter van Beukelen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    OBJECTIVE: To determine the perceived importance of specific competencies in professional veterinary practice and education among veterinarians in several countries.

    DESIGN: Survey-based prospective study.

    SAMPLE: 1,137 veterinarians in 10 countries.

    PROCEDURES: Veterinarians were invited via email to participate in the study. A framework of 18 competencies grouped into 7 domains (veterinary expertise, communication, collaboration, entrepreneurship, health and welfare, scholarship, and personal development) was used. Respondents rated the importance of each competency for veterinary professional practice and for veterinary education by use of a 9-point Likert scale in an online questionnaire. Quantitative statistical analyses were performed to assess the data.

    RESULTS: All described competencies were perceived as having importance (with overall mean ratings [all countries] ≥ 6.45/9) for professional practice and education. Competencies related to veterinary expertise had the highest ratings (overall mean, 8.33/9 for both professional practice and education). For the veterinary expertise, entrepreneurship, and scholarship domains, substantial differences (determined on the basis of statistical significance and effect size) were found in importance ratings among veterinarians in different countries.

    CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results indicated a general consensus regarding the importance of specific types of competencies in veterinary professional practice and education. Further research into the definition of competencies essential for veterinary professionals is needed to help inform an international dialogue on the subject.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)906-13
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Data Collection
    • Education, Veterinary
    • Internationality
    • Professional Competence
    • Questionnaires
    • Veterinarians
    • Veterinary Medicine


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