Co-constructive Veterinary Simulation: A Novel Approach to Enhancing Clinical Communication and Reflection Skills

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Interpersonal communication is critical in training, licensing, and post-graduate maintenance of certification in veterinary medicine. Simulation has a vital role in advancing these skills, but even sophisticated simulation models have pedagogic limitations. Specifically, with learning goals and case scenarios designed by instructors, interaction with simulated participants (SPs) can become performative or circumscribed to evaluative assessments. This article describes co-constructive veterinary simulation (CCVS), an adaptation of a novel approach to participatory simulation that centers on learner-driven goals and individually tailored scenarios. CCVS involves a first phase of scriptwriting, in which a learner collaborates with a facilitator and a professional actor in developing a client-patient case scenario. In a second phase, fellow learners have a blinded interaction with the SP-in-role, unaware of the underlying clinical situation. In the final part, all learners come together for a debriefing session centered on reflective practice. The authors provide guidelines for learners to gain maximal benefit from their participation in CCVS sessions and describe thematic possibilities to incorporate into the model, with specific case examples drawn from routine veterinary practice. Finally, the authors outline challenges and future directions toward implementing CCVS in veterinary medical education toward the ultimate goal of professional growth and co-evolution as veterinary practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-139
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number2
Early online date22-Apr-2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2023


  • simulation model
  • communication skills
  • professional development
  • educational methods

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