Students participating in role play.
Innovative Education
Diagnostic Challenge
Students take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to a real medical case. 

Diagnostic Challenge

Next Diagnostic Challenges

October 7-11, 2024

November 18-22, 2024

The Diagnostic Challenge is an innovative way for second-year veterinary students to develop communication and listening skills early in the curriculum. Unlike in human medicine, our patients cannot speak for themselves, so practicing proper client communication techniques is essential for diagnosing and treating the animals entrusted to us. 

During the week-long challenge, students will diagnose patients and work with volunteer clients in a simulated setting, much like what they will experience one day in their own practice. The simulated setting improves a student’s knowledge and understanding by answering client questions and explaining the medical aspects of the case. It is a unique opportunity for our students to begin thinking as veterinarians before they reach their clinical rotations in fourth year.

The Diagnostic Challenge gave me the tools and support to grow not just as a student, but as a professional clinician. Every day, I was excited to see how my skills and knowledge were applied.”

Sarah Beebe, second-year veterinary student

Already signed up to be a DVM facilitator or volunteer client?

For our current facilitator and volunteer clients, visit our training materials site.

Interested in becoming a veterinary case facilitator or volunteer client?

Contact Dr. Jeff Abbott or Dr. Rachel Halsey.

Each year, dozens of volunteers, most of whom are WSU veterinary alumni, return WSU to be veterinary case facilitators.

Diagnostic Challenge news

Questions about giving? Contact Lynne Haley or 509-335-5021.