Clinical Skills Training Center

The Clinical Skills Training Center (CSTC) is a space dedicated to enhancing the development of basic and advanced clinical skills for our veterinary medical students, interns, and residents. The nearly 2200 square foot lab is equipped with a video microscope and monitors, life-size horse and cow models, IV catheter trainers, restraint models, CPR mannikins and suturing pads among other learning tools.


  • To provide a dedicated space and resources where students from all four years of the curriculum can learn, practice and refine clinical skills utilized across multiple species and specialties
  • To provide access to essential equipment and demonstration models in a flexible, convenient, and low-stress environment
  • To augment the didactic curriculum and clinical case material with relevant, hands-on psychomotor skills training


Students have the option during their first year to enroll in the Clinical Skills for the Veterinarian elective course. The course is taught by various clinical faculty and covers a variety of skills that are taught in a case-based format.

Curriculum development for the CSTC is an ongoing process that involves individual faculty or specialties creating exercises or modules that represent core skills for that specific service or rotation. Examples of clinical rotations that have a CSTC component include the small animal surgery bandaging lab, cadaver enucleation lab for senior students on the ophthalmology rotation, surgical instrument handling and suturing practice for students on the soft-tissue surgery service.

It is anticipated that the number of labs conducted in the CSTC for senior veterinary medical students will increase as more clinical faculty become aware of how to integrate the CSTC into their teaching efforts.


Courses with Current CSTC Component

Fundamentals of Anesthesiology

  • IV catheter placement


  • Canine intubation
  • Anesthesia machine use and maintenance


Fundamentals of Surgery

  • Surgical instrument identification
  • Surgical instrument handling
  • Suturing practice
  • Suture pattern examples
  • Suture pattern coloring book
  • Gowning, gloving and draping



  • Dystocia training using calf simulator

Small Animal Surgery Laboratory

  • IV catheterization
  • Intubation
  • Anesthesia machine and monitor use
  • Suturing
  • Gowning, gloving, draping
  • Surgical instrument identification

Dentistry and Oral Surgery

  • Surgical tooth extraction lab


  • Enucleation and lid surgery lab

Soft Tissue Surgery

  • Laparoscopic trainer

Anesthesiology and Emergency and Critical Care

  • CPR trainer

Large Animal Surgery

  • Chest tube model
  • Equine palpation model
  • Tracheostomy model
  • Equine jugular catheter model

Small Animal Internal Medicine

  • Canine esophagostomy model

The CTSC and AVMA Clinical Competency Guidelines

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has issued a series of guidelines relating to the clinical competencies that veterinary medical students must possess upon graduation. Graduates are required to have the basic scientific knowledge, skills and values to practice veterinary medicine independently and be able to provide entry-level health care for a variety of animal species.

The University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine has developed relevant measures in each clinical competency area to ensure that graduating students posses this essential knowledge. These competencies include:

  • comprehensive patient diagnosis (problem solving skills), appropriate use of clinical laboratory testing, and record management
  • comprehensive treatment planning including patient referral when indicated
  • anesthesia and pain management, patient welfare
  • basic surgery skills, experience, and case management
  • basic medicine skills, experience and case management
  • emergency and intensive care case management
  • health promotion, disease prevention/biosecurity, zoonosis, and food safety
  • client communications and ethical conduct
  • critical analysis of new information and research findings relevant to veterinary medicine.

Other Institutions with Clinical Skills Labs