How a disaster preparedness rotation helps teach the seven NAVMEC professional competencies: the Texas A&M University Experience.
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Changing societal expectations provide new challenges and opportunities for the veterinary medical profession. These changing expectations and approaches to the education of veterinary students in the future are reflected in the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium's report "Roadmap for Veterinary Medical Education in the 21st Century: Responsive, Collaborative, Flexible." They are also reflected in the expectations of the populace, who no longer find it acceptable that animals are not included in both planning for and responding to natural or manmade disasters. In response to the changing needs of society and the veterinary profession, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine has developed a required rotation in the fourth-year curriculum on emergency planning and response. The unique requirements of emergency preparedness and response and the design of the rotation provide an ideal platform for providing this valued public service while simultaneously addressing the seven professional competencies outlined in the NAVMEC roadmap. This article describes an overview of the rotation and its content and identifies opportunities for students to practice these important professional competencies using the tools introduced in this new rotation.