New case development takes place during the first and middle parts of the summer. Most years about 5 students participate in the summer program. Students who participate are usually in Pullman for the majority of the summer as we have found it usually doesn't work well to do this from a distance.
Summer case development is an independent study wherein students work closely with a faculty advisor to put together a new DC case that will be used in the coming fall. Participating students are NOT expected to come up with the idea for the case, but you may very well have some ideas. He or she will also be able to help you decide what makes for a good DC case and how it can best be brought together. Please note that although it often works best when based on one actual case, you can take pieces from other cases and from retrospective studies in the veterinary literature to put together your DC case. Cases often get "tweaked" a bit to make them more interesting and better learning experiences.
You will usually meet with your assigned advisor weekly or semi-weekly during the summer to get ideas and update them on your progress. The ultimate goal is to get the case completed before the end of summer. Whoever is facilitating the case in the fall (usually your facilitator plus one other veterinarian) should be able to pick up your case, open the CD-ROM, and be prepared to run the case from beginning to end. All the pieces need to be in place.
At the onset, you will be sworn to secrecy regarding your case and other new DC cases, so that the diagnosis doesn't slip out to second year students prior to the exercise.
If you have a client or two in mind for your case, we usually have the funds to support their travel to Pullman in the fall and to cover some basic expenses. We welcome family members, spouses and friends - so long as they can make the necessary commitments to the exercise and have enough knowledge of animals to "play their role". It's ideal when a DC client is willing and able to come for 2 years ( i.e. your 3rd and 4th years) as that means the DC students get to interact with a more experienced client the second time around. For more information contact Dr. Steve Hines. He can also provide a link to the DC client web site - a resource for new and prospective DC clients.
There are only 2-3 group meetings.
Typically the group meets near the end of the spring semester to discuss expectations, collect some starting materials and receive some examples.
The second meeting is an informal gathering of students and advisors in mid-June-early July. There, students lay out the case at its current stage for group input. You and your advisor may also have some specific questions to pose to the rest of the group. Lots of good ideas and helpful feedback usually come out of this meeting.
The final, more formal meeting is in late July or early August, Here students present their case to the entire group. this is a PowerPoint presentation along the lines of DC Grand rounds and is followed by a final discussion. There may still be a few pieces that need to be added to the case, but it should be mostly done at this time.
You'll register for the class VPa 501 in the fall (so you won't have to pay for the credit) and also get a $600 stipend upon completion of the case.
In the past, students have really enjoyed the experience, thought they learned something, and liked seeing the class behind them work through their case.
For more information on the New DC Case Development Program (VPa 501) and/or nominating someone you know to act as a DC client, please contact Dr. Steve Hines.