Internal Medicine: A Problem Solving Approach | Centre for Veterinary Education

Internal Medicine: A Problem Solving Approach

Advance your problem-solving skills to develop a rational, pathophysiologically-based approach to treating internal medicine cases.

This course will cover common clinical problems in small animal internal medicine. The emphasis will be on problem solving and developing a rational, pathophysiological approach to internal medicine.

It aims to increase your diagnostic accuracy and enable you to develop a problem solving framework that can be applied to all your cases. If you are interested in sitting the small animal medicine membership examinations for the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS), this is a wonderful preparation for you. Assignments consist of analysis of case studies provided by the tutor and clinical cases encountered in your own practice. This will encourage problem‑oriented thinking and logical case assessment that will carry through into more successful and rewarding management of your patients.

Past Participant:

"I loved this course. It has changed the way I practice as a vet – using a problem solving approach makes much more sense to me and I love it."

Jocelyn Bunny, Dardanup WA

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Develop a clear and logical approach to clinical problems

  • Broaden your knowledge base in small animal medicine

  • Gain a greater understanding and evaluation of clinical pathology, enabling you to diagnose more accurately

  • Improve your productivity through more expedient diagnoses

  • Improve the value of the service you provide to your clients

  • Gain confidence in your general approach to small animal medical cases


1.  Clinical reasoning, problem solving, vomiting

We introduce you to problem-based medicine and provide the basis for you to develop a rational and logical diagnostic and therapeutic approach to the problem of the vomiting patient.

2.  Diarrhoea

Develop a pathophysiologically sound diagnostic and therapeutic approach to the problem of diarrhoea in cats and dogs.

3.  Anorexia and Weight Loss

Develop a pathophysiologically sound diagnostic approach to the problem of weight loss in cats and dogs and to understand the principles important in the rational management of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and diabetes mellitus.

4.  Polyuria/Polydipsia and Urinary Incontinence

Understand the principles of renal function relevant to water, sodium and urea homeostasis, to develop a logical diagnostic approach to the patient with polyuria/polydipsia and to develop a pathophysiologically sound diagnostic approach to the patient with urinary incontinence.

5.  Jaundice, Pale Mucous Membranes and Pyrexia

Understand the principles of bilirubin metabolism and how this relates to the pathophysiology of jaundice and to develop a logical diagnostic approach to the jaundiced patient, the patient with anaemia and the problem of pyrexia of unknown origin.

6.  Epistaxis and Haematuria

Understand the basis of the coagulation process and to develop a logical diagnostic approach to the bleeding patient.

7.  Coughing, Sneezing and Effusions

Develop a logical diagnostic approach to the patient with respiratory dysfunction, in particular, by maximising the value of the history and physical examination in narrowing the diagnostic options, thus allowing you to gain the maximum advantage from selected diagnostic procedures.

8.  Episodic Weakness and Seizures

Develop a pathophysiologically sound approach to the diagnosis and management of the problems of seizures, syncope and weakness.

Course Delivery

This online course comes with:

  • A set of detailed written notes and journal articles

  • Self-assessment and self-reflection exercises to test your knowledge and deepen your understanding

  • A discussion forum and webinars for conversation, debate and sharing cases with your peers and tutors

  • A monthly assignment based on case studies. Individual feedback and explanations will be provided by your tutors

  • A 1 day workshop at the start of the course and a 2 day workshop towards the end of the course to embed the problem-based approach through case studies and group discussion


Pay as you learn

Choosing your DE course is a big commitment, so there’s no need to add further stress by paying your course up front. To pay as you learn, you will need a $1,000 deposit to secure your place, followed by 50% of the total course fee 10 days prior to course commencement date. We’ll arrange simple monthly direct debits from your credit card over 3 or 6 months.

Note: Payment Plan will incur an additional $250 administration fee, and Early Bird rates do not apply if you choose the payment plan option.

Distance Education

Thursday 1 February - Thursday 1 November 2018
1-Day Workshop +
2-Day Workshop
Dates TBC
Delivered Online
Super Early Bird
30 June 2017
Early Bird
31 October 2017



Jill is a graduate of the University of Sydney. She completed an internship at the University of Sydney, spent 18 months in full time private practice in Sydney then completed a residency in small animal medicine at the University of Guelph, Canada. She returned to Australia and completed a PhD entitled Neurochemistry of Hepatic Encephalopathy at The University of Sydney. She was a senior tutor and clinician in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the University of Sydney from 1987 and was a senior lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology. From 1990-2000 she also worked in general and specialist veterinary practice and was a consultant for a veterinary clinical pathology lab. In 2000 she became the Director of the Veterinary Science Foundation at the University of Sydney. Jill moved to the UK with her family in April 2001. From 2002 she was a veterinary clinician and lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College at the college’s first opinion practice and was appointed a Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge where she tutored in pharmacology. She is currently Professor of General Practice, BVetMed Course Director and Director of Professional Development at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). She is actively involved in undergraduate teaching and CPD at the RVC in the areas of small animal medicine, clinical problem solving and clinical pharmacology. Jill has published over 60 refereed papers in veterinary and medical journals and is the senior editor of Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology, the 2nd edition of which was published by Elsevier in 2008. She is also co-editor of Clinical Reasoning in Small Animal Practice published by Wiley-Blackwell in March 2015. She has lectured extensively around the world on clinical problem solving, small animal internal medicine and clinical pharmacology. Jill is coordinator for the clinical CPD streams at The London Vet Show. To keep in touch with the realities of private general practice she consults at a local veterinary practice and at the RVC’s first opinion practice, the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital.


Sue Bennett is a graduate of Murdoch University and spent the first half of her working life in general practice before training for specialist qualifications in Small Animal Medicine through the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists and the University of Melbourne, attaining the qualification in 2009. From 2007-2015, Sue worked as a Registrar and then as a Lecturer at Murdoch University. In many ways, Sue is a product of the Centre for Veterinary Education. Sue worked in NSW as a graduate and was a grateful participant in many of the Symposia, Workshops and Distance Education courses offered by the Sydney Postgraduate Foundation from which this current organisation has arisen. Sue is a co-tutor with Jill Maddison in the very popular CVE distance education course - Internal Medicine: A problem solving approach. 

Course Fees

Member TypeSuper early birdEarly birdFull rate
Non-member / eMember$6650$6960$7150
*Members include: Practice, Professional, Part-time, Recent Graduate, Academic and Student members

​Please note: All course fees will be charged in Australian dollars AND you must be a qualified veterinarian to enrol in this courses.

If you completed 2 or more Distance Education (DE) courses in the previous 5 years, you are eligible for a 10% discount on the next DE course/s. Contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 or to redeem this discount.

Further details

Have a question? Your answer could be on our frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find an answer for your question, please email us or call us on +61 2 9351 7979.