Development andvalidation of a canine castration model and rubric

Julie A. Hunt, Matthew Heydenburg, Christopher K. Kelly, Stacy L. Anderson, John J. Dascanio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Veterinary educators use models to allow repetitive practice of surgical skills leading to clinical competence. Canine castration is a commonly performed procedure that is considered a Day One competency for a veterinarian. In this study, we sought to create and evaluate a canine pre-scrotal closed castration model and grading rubric using a validation framework of content evidence, internal structure evidence, and relationship with other variables. Veterinarians (n = 8) and students (n = 32) were recorded while they performed a castration on the model and provided survey feedback.A subset of the students (n = 7) then performed a live canine castration, and their scores were compared with their model scores. One hundred percent of the veterinarians and 91% of the students reported that the model was helpful in training for canine castration.They highlighted several areas for continued improvement. Veterinarians' model performance scores were significantly higher than students', indicating that the model had adequate features to differentiate expert from novice performance. Students' performance on the model strongly correlated with their performance of live castration (r = .82). Surgical time was also strongly correlated (r = .70).The internal consistency of model and live rubric scores were good at .85 and .94, respectively. The framework supported validation of the model and rubric.The canine castration model facilitated cost-efficient practice in a safe environment in which students received instructor feedback and learned through experience without the risk of negatively affecting a patient's well-being.The strong correlation between model and live animal performance scores suggests that the model could be useful for mastery learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-90
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Assessment
  • Canine castration
  • Clinical skills training
  • Model
  • Surgical skills
  • Validation
  • Veterinary education
  • Veterinary simulation
  • Veterinary students


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