AVS and IVSA Election Results 2019

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AVS and IVSA Election Results 2019

AVS and IVSA Election Results

Following a week of voting, we are pleased to announce that the following people have been elected onto the AVS and IVSA UK & Ireland committees. Well done to all the successful candidates, and commiserations to those that missed out.
There was a great turnout in line with previous years with well over 1,500 students taking part!

AVS Junior Vice President: Izzie Arthur
AVS Welfare Representative:
Hannah Fitzsimmonds
AVS Secretary:
Antonia Leech
AVS JAVS Editor: Katie Kirk
AVS Communication Officer: Eliza Clark

IVSA President: Laura Turner
IVSA Exchange Officer: Jack Chan
IVSA Promotions Officer:
Victoria Kwok
IVSA Veterinary Public Health Officer
: Alyssa Cramb

We are looking forward to meeting the successful candidates on the 27th April 2019.

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AVS and IVSA Elections 2019

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AVS and IVSA Elections 2019

AVS and IVSA Elections 2019

We are delighted to announce the candidates running for the AVS and IVSA elections 2019. Their manifestos can be read by clicking on the photos below.

AVS Junior Vice President

Izzie Arthur

Izzie Arthur

Calum McIntyre

Calum McIntyre

IVSA President

Laura Turner

Laura Turner

 

AVS Secretary

Antonia Leech

Antonia Leech

Pippa Luckhurst

Pippa Luckhurst

AVS JAVS Editor

Katie Kirk

Katie Kirk

 

AVS Welfare Representative

Hannah Fitzsimmonds

Hannah Fitzsimmonds

Becca Grace

Becca Grace

Henry Deakin

Henry Deakin

AVS Communications Officer

Eliza Clark

Eliza Clark

 

IVSA Promotions Officer

Vicky Kwok

Vicky Kwok

Keeley Orrin

Keeley Orrin

IVSA Exchange Officer

Jack Chan

Jack Chan

Kirstin Lehman

Kirstin Lehman

IVSA Veterinary Public Health Officer

Alyssa Cramb

Alyssa Cramb

 

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AVS and VDS Announce Inaugural AVS EMS Grants Winners

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AVS and VDS Announce Inaugural AVS EMS Grants Winners

AVS and VDS Announce Inaugural AVS EMS Grants Winners

Following the launch of the inaugural Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) Extra Mural Studies (EMS) Grants sponsored by VDS Training in October 2018, the AVS and VDS Training are proud to announce the winners. Applications were received from students, from across the vet schools of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Students were looking to fund a variety of placements, from large animal placements to specialist small mammal placements and everything in between!

The awards will provide £200 a year to five deserving students, chosen by a committee of AVS and VDS Training committee members. The awards aim to bridge the financial gap, allowing students to complete EMS placements that they would otherwise not be able to. An AVS/British Veterinary Association (BVA) survey in 2016 found that the average expenditure for a two-week large animal placement was £152; three of the award winners, Jordan Egan and Molly Garbutt from the RVC and Eleanor Robertson from Liverpool University, are using the award to fund a placement at either farm or equine veterinary practices.

The award will also help students to see practice in an area of veterinary medicine which they are passionate about: Jamie Enright (RVC) will use the award to further his interest in veterinary dentistry at Eastcott Referrals and Stephanie Gowing (Liverpool) will complete a placement at VetsNow concentrating on Emergency and Critical Care Medicine. The awards will be presented by AVS and VDS Training at the AVS National Congress 2019, to be held at the beginning of February at the Royal Veterinary College.

The awards were announced after the AVS/BVA Survey found that cost was the biggest limitation for vet students whilst completing their 26 weeks of compulsory clinical EMS.

David Charles, AVS President, said: “Supporting students on EMS has been the theme of my presidential year and we’re thrilled to have had so many strong applications for the AVS EMS Grants. The winning applicants had all clearly thought about the benefits of the placement they were applying for funding for, set strong objectives and identified how the placement could further their veterinary education and complement their university teaching. I look forward to meeting the five recipients at our congress to award them their grants, and to seeing the grants continue to support more students in future years.”

Carolyne Crowe, VDS Training Consultant, said, “VDS Training are delighted to be supporting and enabling veterinary students to gain access to otherwise unaffordable EMS placements. Such placements can help and empower undergraduates along their career pathway, and provide valuable experience and insight into their future career. We look forward to following their progress."

 VDS Training have committed to fund the first two years of the grants, as a pilot scheme, and AVS have promised to review the offering based on demand after two years.

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' I am so grateful to be awarded an AVS EMS Grant as it has allowed me to undertake a placement that has enabled me to, not only work with expert equine clinicians, but also take the opportunity to develop my research skills. I am passionate about the social importance of animal health and welfare and have loved building experience which will complement future endeavours. In particular I am fascinated by the intricate social and financial roles of working equids, and how the welfare of these animals can be protected.'
Eleanor Robertson (Liverpool)

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Receiving this grant enables me to return to a placement I really enjoyed, and I believe this experience will be a really positive one in my desired career as a large animal vet
Molly Garbutt (RVC)





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Thank you to AVS and VDS Training for selecting me as a grant recipient this year. The support will allow me to attend a world-class, UK-based referral hospital, and will help cover the associated accommodation costs and travel expenses whilst on EMS. With this financial assistance, I now have the opportunity to develop and enhance my skills in a unique and highly specialised area of veterinary medicine, which I am both very excited and thoroughly grateful for. 
Jamie Enright (RVC)


The Association of Veterinary Students (UK & Ireland) is the representative body for veterinary students at the 9 vet schools in the UK & Ireland. AVS has over 5,500 members, approximately 97% of vet students in the UK & Ireland and represent the views of our members at all levels. AVS work closely with numerous organisations including the British Veterinary Association, Veterinary Schools Council and the RCVS to support veterinary students. Further information can be found at www.avsukireland.co.uk  or by emailing David Charles, AVS President, avspresident@gmail.com.

 VDS Training is a trading style of VDS Training Services Limited. VDS Training Services Limited is registered in England and Wales no. 10727838. Registered Office 4 Haig Court, Parkgate Industrial estate, Knutsford, WA16 8XZ.

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New EMS Resources Released

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New EMS Resources Released

New EMS Resources Released

To follow the success of AVS’ Small Animal EMS resource AVS are pleased to announce the release of a Large Animal (farm) and Equine EMS Resources to help vet students get the most of their EMS placements.

Large Animal Resource

Equine Resource

These resources will be invaluable to students throughout their EMS placements and help to ensure that AVS are supporting vet students from across the UK and Ireland.

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AVS and IVSA Elections 2019

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AVS and IVSA Elections 2019

The Association of Veterinary Students 2019 Elections Opportunities

The following roles are open for election in the 2019 AVS Elections. Nominations close 27th January 2019. If you would like any further information about any of the roles please don’t hesitate to email the committee member currently in that role.

Junior Vice President

3 year executive role (1 year as JVP, 1 year as President, 1 year as SVP)

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Open to any AVS member in years 1-3 (or years 1-4 if at Cambridge Vet School)

Candidates for this role must have been on AVS Committee for one year already.

avs.junior.vice.president@gmail.com


Welfare Officer

2 year executive role

Open to any AVS member in years 1-3 (or years 1-4 if at Cambridge Vet School)

welfarerep@gmail.com

JAVS Editor

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2 year non-executive role

Open to any AVS member in years 1-3 (or years 1-4 if at Cambridge Vet School)

javseditor@gmail.com

Communications Officer
2 year non-executive role (formerly called web editor)

Open to any AVS member in years 1-3 (or years 1-4 if at Cambridge Vet School)

avswebeditor@gmail.com

Grants & Sponsorship Officer

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2 year non-executive role

Open to any AVS member in years 1-3 (or years 1-4 if at Cambridge Vet School)

avsgrantssponsorship@gmail.com


IVSA President

2 year executive role

Open to any AVS member in years 1-3 (or years 1-4 if at Cambridge Vet School)

presidentivsauk@gmail.com

IVSA Promotions Officer

1 year non-executive role

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Open to any AVS member in years 1-4 (or years 1-5 if at Cambridge Vet School)

ivsaukwebmaster@gmail.com

IVSA Exchange Officer

1 year non-executive role

Open to any AVS member in years 1-4 (or years 1-5 if at Cambridge Vet School)

eoivsauk@gmail.com


IVSA Public Health Officer

1 year non-executive role

Open to any AVS member in years 1-4 (or years 1-5 if at Cambridge Vet School)

vphoivsauk@gmail.com


AVS Junior Reps at each University elections will run in Spring ‘19 - specific information will be communicated by your AVS Reps or Vet Soc. IVSA Exchange Rep elections information will be communicated by your IVSA Reps or Vet Soc.

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   AVS Releases the Results of its Extra Mural Studies (EMS) Survey at the London Vet Show

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  AVS Releases the Results of its Extra Mural Studies (EMS) Survey at the London Vet Show

 AVS Releases the Results of its Extra Mural Studies (EMS) Survey at the London Vet Show

Nearly two-thirds (61.8 percent) of recent veterinary graduates work for or apply to a practice where they did extra mural studies (EMS), the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) revealed at the London Vet Show on Friday 16th November.

 AVS unveiled the results of its inaugural EMS experience survey, which was completed by a quarter (24 percent) of AVS members, as well as recent graduates at the London Vet Show’s first student-led session. 1282 in total.

 The survey also found that 93.7 percent of students and 84 percent of graduates believe that it ‘would be useful to have an introductory chat to set objectives’. Contrastly, just 12.4 percent of students said that this was currently provided.

 Overall, respondents felt reasonably valued while on placements, scoring an average of 6.29 out of 10 for this. However, the average score of 6.9 out of 10 for satisfaction and the distribution of responses across the full scale demonstrates that there is still significant room for improvement in students’ experiences.

 AVS president David Charles commented: “The first ever AVS EMS experience survey was designed to allow us to understand quite how variable people’s placements can be, as well as highlighting the key things students wanted to gain from their EMS.

 “The survey also highlighted the immense power of EMS in veterinary recruitment, with students from all years identifying that EMS was an early opportunity to experience working at practices they may wish to seek employment at, a point which was heavily reinforced by recent graduate responses as well.”

 Additionally, David launched a new EMS resource during the session to aid veterinary practices. 58 practices have already signed up to use it, including all of XL Vets’ member practices and a number of Independent Vetcare (IVC) practices.

 The resource, which is initially for small animal practices, comprises a form for students to complete prior to their placement, allowing them to fit more easily into the team and gain more useful and relevant experience throughout their time at the practice. The resources aims to help prompt and structure introductory conversations, while remaining low input for all involved.

 Students are encouraged to set objectives for their placement and also self-evaluate their confidence across key competencies, which were identified by students in the survey. An additional set of skills is included for final year students.

 Farm and equine resources will be released before Christmas.

 David added: “I’m excited to close our year long EMS project (which has included launching the AVS EMS grants and Clinical EMS Guide) by launching the AVS EMS Resource. We wanted to be able to use the survey’s data to produce a product that would allow us to support our members, which I am happy to say we were able to launch at LVS. Having so many practices signed up already is fantastic and will hopefully help tailor EMS placements to specific students needs. I hope to see it used in many practices in future.”

Resource Available at: bit.ly/AVSEMSResource

 Full survey report on AVS website.

Further information about the AVS EMS Resource, AVS EMS Experience Survey & AVS EMS Grants (with VDS Training) are available online or by emailing David Charles, avspresident@gmail.com

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AVS and VDS Announce EMS Grants

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AVS and VDS Announce EMS Grants

AVS and VDS Announce EMS Grants

The Association of Veterinary Students [AVS] have teamed up with VDS Training to offer
five £200 grants a year to veterinary students to help with the costs of the 26 weeks of
clinical extra mural studies [EMS]. VDS Training have committed to fund the first two years
of the grants, as a pilot scheme, and AVS have promised to review the offering based on
demand after two years.

The 2016 AVS/BVA survey looked closely at EMS and found that cost was the top barrier to
placements for vet students and was a significant contributor to the average estimated
shortfall of £1188/term in clinical years of the degree. It also found that the average
expenditure for a two-week placement was £152 for Large Animal and £119 for Small
Animal, and that 87% of students had to have a car for their EMS placements.
David Charles, AVS President, said:

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“Supporting students on EMS is a priority for AVS this
year.  As the first part of our campaign I am delighted that, with the help of VDS Training, we
can launch the first ever AVS EMS grants next academic year.


“It’s clear that EMS costs students hundreds of pounds a year, without taking into account
lost potential earnings. For a lot of students, many placements are not possible, as they
would have to source external accommodation and transport, just because of where they
happen to live. This is on top of the costs of food and travel required for any placement as
evidenced in the AVS/BVA 2016 Survey.


“Most, if not all, of the current grants on offer to students are for taking part in research or for travel abroad. The AVS EMS Grants will make previously inaccessible EMS placements
feasible for the winning students and help them get the most out of their EMS.”


Carolyne Crowe, VDS Training Consultant commented, “VDS Training are committed to
supporting and developing undergraduates, helping them gain the day one skills that are
vitally important to set them up for graduating. We are delighted to be collaborating with AVS to champion the future of our profession.”


Applications for the grants will open on October 1st, 2018 with AVS &; VDS Training
presenting the awards at The Association of Veterinary Students Congress 2019,
which will be held at the RVC.

For any further information about AVS or the grants please contact David Charles, AVS
President on avspresident@gmail.com or for enquiries about VDS Training please contact
info@vds-training.co.uk.

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EXTRA MURAL STUDIES - Making it work for students and practices

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EXTRA MURAL STUDIES - Making it work for students and practices

EXTRA MURAL STUDIES - Making it work for students and practices

with exclusive results from the AVS EMS Experience Survey

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David Charles
Association of Veterinary Students (UK & Ireland) President 2018/19

 What is The Association of Veterinary Students (UK & Ireland)?

The Association of Veterinary Students (UK & Ireland) is the representative body for all veterinary students studying within the UK & Ireland. AVS committee represent our members (approximately 96% of current veterinary students in UK & Ireland) on issues which concern them, produce resources and share advice on a group level to support our members.

 The 2018/19 AVS Extra Mural Studies Project

One of AVS’ priority areas for 2018/19 was supporting students on Extra Mural Studies (EMS).

AVS have entered into a partnership with the Veterinary Defence Society to provide AVS’ Inaugural EMS Grants to help students with the financial burden of EMS, something which has been reported on widely, and as a result was not a core element researched in the EMS Experience Survey.1 These grants will open for application for the first time in Autumn 2018 and be awarded at AVS Congress 2019.2

 The second part of AVS’ EMS project was to launch the first AVS EMS Experience Survey, and produce additional resources for practices as a result of this, to help structure the EMS placements they offer and optimise the experience for their EMS students.

 The third part of the project was the launch of the AVS Clincial EMS Guide that will be given to every clinical veterinary student to support them throughout their clinical EMS journey.3

 What are Extra Mural Studies (EMS)?

Completing Extra Mural Studies (EMS) is an RCVS requirement, that all veterinary students studying in the UK & Ireland must meet prior to obtaining their degree and becoming an MRCVS. EMS splits into 12 weeks of Pre-Clinical EMS and 26 weeks of Clinical EMS (also referred to as seeing practice). Universities set their own EMS placement suitability, recording and reflection criteria.

 The RCVS states that: “EMS provides students with an unrivalled opportunity to gain real-life      work experience that enhances their university-based studies

 Most vet schools allow students to start clinical EMS from the third year of their degree, although it must be completed outside of university teaching time during the university holidays. As a result of the financial costs, many veterinary students undertake the majority of their clinical EMS close to their parental or family home, something that in itself can limit the exposure to certain types of veterinary practice and subsequently limit career opportunities.

 Research aims and methods:

The survey was commissioned to allow AVS to seek student opinions on their EMS experiences to date. Students frequently voice concerns about the variability in quality of EMS and the distructure once students head out into practices on EMS. AVS also felt it would be valuable to survey some recent graduates to understand more about how EMS prepared students for working in practice as a new graduate, and to assess the link between EMS placements and first job opportunities.  

 The majority of previous EMS research has been centred around the costs student face in undertaking EMS during their holidays and the socio-economic restrictions students can face in acquiring EMS. As this has been analysed elsewhere by AVS and other organisations, it was not the primary aim of this survey.

 This is the first time the survey has been conducted. The online survey was devised by the AVS Policy Subcommittee; it was open for seven weeks during the final term of the 2017/18 academic year, and AVS received 1282 valid responses. This equates to 24% of AVS UK & Ireland’s membership. The high response rate is incredibly valuable to the integrity of the data collected and the analysis of it.

 The questions were broken down into three sections dependent upon the year group selected, these sections were;

 ●     Recent graduate vets’ experiences of EMS & how EMS benefitted them in their first job

●     Clinical vet students’ experiences of EMS and EMS aims (Years 3-5 + intercalated students who had undertaken Clinical EMS)

●     Pre-clinical vet students’ awareness of clinical EMS and expectations of clinical EMS (Years 1-2 + intercalated students who had not yet started Clinical EMS)

 Students who were categorised as clinical and attended Bristol were asked an additional set of questions regarding the Bristol Vet School “Foster Practice” system.

 1  https://www.bva.co.uk/uploadedFiles/Content/Membership_and_benefits/BVA-AVS-Research-Report-2016.p df

2  http://www.avsukireland.co.uk/recent-news/3/5/2018/rc9ht6oyitgt88a0tr2254jmhn86oe; https://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/182/25/ii

3 https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/avs-launches-clinical-ems-guide/; bit.ly/AVSEMSGuide

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The Countdown to VetKind Begins

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The Countdown to VetKind Begins

The Countdown to VetKind Begins

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Now Bonfire Night is over the countdown to VetKind can officially begin! AVS and SkillsTree are proud to announce VetKInd, a webinar created specifically for vet students. Kindly sponsored by Mind Matters, the day will be a mixture of seminars and group discussions and will include topics such as:

- Perfectionism and imposter syndrome
- The science of happiness
- Empathy- friend or foe in veterinary wellbeing?
- Ten tips for fostering a work life balance

Check out the facebook event for more information or get in touch with your AVS representatives for all the details.

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AVS launches Clinical EMS Guide

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AVS launches Clinical EMS Guide

AVS launches Clinical EMS Guide

The Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) has launched its ‘Clinical EMS Guide’ to support students throughout their extra mural studies.

Supporting students on EMS is one of AVS’ key priorities this year, having already created the inaugural EMS grants and run the first ever nationwide EMS experience survey- the results of which are due to be revealed at the London Vet Show in November this year.

Following an 18 month process, the clinical guide, which follows the pre-clinical guide launched in 2015, can be found by clicking on the picture. 

It contains advice from students and practising vets alike on areas such as: what to revise; how to source beneficial placements; and key items to bring when on placements and covers a great variety of different placements, including: small animal, farm animal, equine, exotics, conference and VPH among others.

AVS President, David Charles, said: “The launch of our clinical ems guide, which complements our pre-clinical guide means that we can now help students optimise their EMS in all years of the course. Supporting students is a key role for AVS and this guide will support students on EMS alongside the new AVS EMS grants- which open for applications in October- and the EMS experience report that will be launched in an exclusive session at the London Vet Show.”

The association is currently working with EMS coordinators at every vet school in the UK to ensure that all students have access to both digital and hard copies of the guide, which will be circulated in September. In addition to this, AVS has also partnered with Vets4Pets, who sponsored the printing of the guide. Vets4Pets will stock the clinical guide in all their practices that take EMS students.

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For any further information about AVS or the EMS Guide please contact David Charles, AVS

President on avspresident@gmail.com

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A Response to the New Vet School 

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A Response to the New Vet School 

AVS President Responds to New Vet School 

The announcement that Harper Adams & Keele will be opening the UK & Ireland’s tenth veterinary school, just six years after the ninth opened, is of concern to The Association of Veterinary Students and our members. The concerns expressed in the “AVS Workforce Policy” are as relevant as ever with the announcement of this new course.

To our knowledge, this new vet school will not be building its own teaching hospitals or first opinion practices, and as result will look to use ‘partner practices’ and contract intra-mural rotations. Students are already finding it harder to source EMS placements, and with two vet schools (three when this new school opens) using partner practices, new veterinary schools are increasing stress and financial burdens on our members.

I fail to see how anyone can argue that increasing the number of UK vet schools will alone alleviate the recruitment crisis, improve career disillusionment or student satisfaction.

At AVS we will always seek to support our members, regardless of the institution they attend, and would encourage the universities of Harper Adams & Keele to consider the impact on all veterinary students and engage with us, and other representative organisations, as they continue to plan their new course.

This statement has been developed based on the opinions of veterinary students through discussions with our policy sub committee, our AVS uni reps and feedback they’ve had from members at their university and discussion on the Veterinary Voices Students group. The AVS Workforce Policy can be found on our website in the policy section. If you have any questions or want to find out how to be involved in our policy development contact

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David Charles
AVS President 2018-2019

Published: 25th May 2018

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The Impact of the UCU Strikes on Veterinary Students

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The Impact of the UCU Strikes on Veterinary Students

The Impact of the UCU Strikes on Veterinary Students

At our Spring AVS Committee meeting, a number of our university representatives raised concerns that members had voiced regarding the impact of the 2018 University and College Union Strikes. Members highlighted the disruption of their studies and their concerns regarding the potential ramifications of this on their ability to graduate and become a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) upon that graduation.

As the representative body for Veterinary Students at all nine veterinary schools in the UK & Ireland, your welfare representative and I wrote to the Veterinary Schools Council (www.vetschoolscouncil.ac.uk) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (www.rcvs.org.uk) to seek clarification and to receive written confirmation from both organisations of the impact, if any, on our members so that we could present the facts and reassure students.

We would like to share with you two extracts from the letters received to help clarify the matter and reassure our members.

If you have any concerns or further questions about the impact of the strikes, or regarding the activities of AVS on the whole, please contact me on avspresident@gmail.com or get in touch with your university AVS representatives whose details can be found on our website.

The Veterinary Schools Council: 

“...the veterinary schools would like to reassure students that lectures affected by strikeaction will not impact on any student’s ability to graduate. This has been a difficult period for universities and everyone has been affected, but veterinary schools have worked hard to ensure that the impact on students has been minimal. Nationally the total number of cancelled lecture, practical and clinical classes for veterinary students was small. However, we know how important each lecture and class can be. Measures taken by veterinary schools included cancelled lectures being delivered as vodcasts, additional learning material being released onto virtual learning environments, and content from cancelled lectures being removed from upcoming examinations with opportunities arranged to learn it before graduation. A similar approach has been taken with small group teaching.

We are sorry for the concern that some of our students have expressed and want to be clear that we are here to help. Any student who feels negatively affected by missed lectures should discuss this with their tutor or other relevant members of staff to make sure they have covered all the necessary learning...”

Professor Ewan Cameron, Chair of The VSC

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons:

“...Where there has been some disruption, we understand that either content was delivered another way (for example, via vodcast), or students will have the ability to catch up at a later date, so that it does not have an impact on their final examinations.
However, it is worth noting that the role of the RCVS in regulating the standards of undergraduate veterinary education is to ensure that veterinary surgeons graduate with Day One Competences. We do not generally specify the way in which the veterinary schools achieve these outcomes, so, unless such strike action was very significant, it would be unlikely that the RCVS would step in.
All of the above is not to play down the anxiety that I recognise you and your fellow students have experienced over this issue, and I am sorry that you have been affected in this way...”

Lizzie Locket, CEO of The RCVS

We hope this has answered your questions and alleviated any concerns you may have. If there are any further developments we will keep you informed.
 

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David Charles
AVS President 2018/19

Published: 8th May 2018

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What's Your Big Idea? A Vet Futures Blog

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What's Your Big Idea? A Vet Futures Blog

What's Your Big Idea? A Vet Futures Blog 

By Eleanor Robertson, AVS Senior Vice President 

As a Vet Futures student ambassador, I was fortunate to attend the first RCVS innovation symposium with other student ambassadors from across the country. The day was incredibly interesting and opened my eyes to innovations such as new business models, artificial intelligence and big data as well as how these developments will affect the veterinary profession. I also learned the importance of embracing innovation to ensure the role of a veterinary surgeon remains relevant and the need for veterinary professionals to be at the forefront of new developments to ensure there is a focus on improving the health and welfare of animals.

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I must admit, before attending the symposium, I had never considered the extent to which innovation and new technology will reform my future career. This is something I am sure I am not alone in, as I believe it is easy for veterinary students to focus solely on the approaches currently taught in our curriculum without considering how these might change in the future. The day inspired me to encourage other students to become involved in innovation so I was keen to join the innovation project group when the opportunity arose at the Vet Futures training day.

After lots of brainstorming, the innovation project team have come up with a plan to introduce a 'Dragon's Den' style competition to UK and Ireland veterinary universities in order to help realise the potential in the next generation of innovators. Student teams will be challenged with identifying an issue facing our industry and designing a new solution; then pitching their idea to a board of industry professionals. We plan to launch the competition in September 2018 with prize giving taking place at the RCVS innovation symposium in 2019. Teams will be encouraged to diversify their skill set and include students from outside the veterinary sphere with plans in place to reach out to business and technology schools at corresponding universities to determine if they would like to be involved.

We hope the competition will fuel an interest amongst our fellow students to embrace innovation and new technology and encourage them to learn about the changes it will bring to our profession. After all, using new technology in our daily lives has become second nature to our generation, so why can’t we embrace this in our chosen profession? I believe encouraging students to grasp the potential that innovation holds from the beginning of their veterinary education will produce graduates who are confident to be at the forefront of creating and embracing innovation, ensuring it is used in a way that that focuses on improving veterinary care.

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AVS partners with VDS Training to launch the inaugural AVS EMS Grants

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AVS partners with VDS Training to launch the inaugural AVS EMS Grants

AVS partners with VDS Training to launch the inaugural AVS EMS Grants

The Association of Veterinary Students [AVS] have teamed up with VDS Training to offer
five £200 grants a year to veterinary students to help with the costs of the 26 weeks of
clinical extra mural studies [EMS]. VDS Training have committed to fund the first two years
of the grants, as a pilot scheme, and AVS have promised to review the offering based on
demand after two years.

The 2016 AVS/BVA survey looked closely at EMS and found that cost was the top barrier to
placements for vet students and was a significant contributor to the average estimated
shortfall of £1188/term in clinical years of the degree. It also found that the average
expenditure for a two-week placement was £152 for Large Animal and £119 for Small
Animal, and that 87% of students had to have a car for their EMS placements.
David Charles, AVS President, said:

“Supporting students on EMS is a priority for AVS this
year.  As the first part of our campaign I am delighted that, with the help of VDS Training, we
can launch the first ever AVS EMS grants next academic year.


“It’s clear that EMS costs students hundreds of pounds a year, without taking into account
lost potential earnings. For a lot of students, many placements are not possible, as they
would have to source external accommodation and transport, just because of where they
happen to live. This is on top of the costs of food and travel required for any placement as
evidenced in the AVS/BVA 2016 Survey.


“Most, if not all, of the current grants on offer to students are for taking part in research or for travel abroad. The AVS EMS Grants will make previously inaccessible EMS placements
feasible for the winning students and help them get the most out of their EMS.”


Carolyne Crowe, VDS Training Consultant commented, “VDS Training are committed to
supporting and developing undergraduates, helping them gain the day one skills that are
vitally important to set them up for graduating. We are delighted to be collaborating with AVS to champion the future of our profession.”


Applications for the grants will open on October 1st, 2018 with AVS &; VDS Training
presenting the awards at The Association of Veterinary Students Congress 2019,
which will be held at the RVC.

For any further information about AVS or the grants please contact David Charles, AVS
President on avspresident@gmail.com or for enquiries about VDS Training please contact
info@vds-training.co.uk.

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Vet News -  January, February and March 2018

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Vet News - January, February and March 2018

Vet News -  January, February and March 2018

Every three months AVS take a look back at the biggest stories in the vet world. All the full stories can be found on the BVA website. 

Brexit 

Brexit is clearly a massive area so below is a short summary of the key points that have arisen over the last three months. A summary of the BVA’s Brexit policy can be found on their website. 

-          Any post Brexit agricultural policy should support animal health and welfare says BVA president John FIshwick. He also emphasised the importance of technolofy, training and cooperation between farmers and vets.

-          The BVA is hoping to add veterinary surgeons to the shortage occupation list (where there aren’t enough resident workers to fill vacancies).

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-          The BVA, the RCVS and Veterinary Schools Council have submitted three requests to the Migration Advisory Committee which aim to protect non-UK citizens who are at UK vet schools (21.6% of vets students are not British Citizens and 22% of vets who work in academia are non-UK nationals).

-          Michael Gove (DEFRA Secretary of State) has announced that animal welfare is a public good and therefore could be funded under agricultural policy after the UK leaves the EU.

Other News

The Government is ‘exploring’ a ban on third party puppy sales. This would mean that any potential purchasers would have to deal directly with the breeder or the rehousing centres.

The Government has announced that all wild animals in English travelling circuses will be banned within the next two years. This follows a Scottish ban in December 2017 which will come into force by the end of 2018.

The increase of brachycephalic breeds of dogs seen in general practice is continuing to worry vets. With many owners not recognising the issues and additional costs that these dogs pose the BVA has produced a statement on their position  and launched social media campaigns (#BreedtoBreathe and ‘hugs not pugs’) which they hope will help to counter the breeds popularity with celebrities and bloggers.

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DEFRA have published an updated draft code of practice for broiler poultry. This highlighted the importance of using welfare outcomes as part of the farm’s health plan. It can be found here

On 12th January 2018 a case of Avian Influenza was found in seventeen wild birds in Dorset. This led to a prevention zone being put in place as well as increasing bio security.

The Scottish Government has banned the use of electric shock collars and electronic training devices. This follows the decision of the Welsh Government to ban shock collars in 2010. England and Northern Ireland are yet to ban the collars, but a consultation into their use has been launched in England.

Alabama Rot (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy) is a potentially fatal disease which may lead to renal damage. It was first identified in 2012 and there have been 29 cases so far in 2018. The cause and prognosis is unknown and the importance of surveillance and monitoring has been highlighted.

The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has recommended that the clause in the draft Animal Welfare Bill be removed and is instead calling for an Animal Sentience Bill. The committee raised concerns about the drafting the legislation. The importance of having animal sentience enshrined in UK law has been highlighted by the BVA.

 

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Shaping a Vet Future to Share  

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Shaping a Vet Future to Share  

Shaping a Vet Future to Share

By: El Robertson, AVS Senior Vice President

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The initiation of the Vet Futures project in 2014 was a cause of great excitement amongst the AVS committee, myself included. Why? Because as students, the future of the veterinary profession, we should be active in shaping it and championing the project through a myriad of various opportunities.

For those who are new to the Vet futures project, here is a very brief introduction (although check here for all the details). The Vet Futures project was established jointly by RCVS and BVA in 2014 with the proactive aim of readying the profession for an uncertain future. By foreseeing some of the challenges the veterinary team might face, the project will encourage innovative thinking and present a co-ordinated approach to them.

So, keen to play our part in making the project a success, AVS created the ‘Vet Futures Student Ambassador’ initiative. We wanted to, not only increase the visibility of this incredible project at a student level, but also encourage active engagement with it.

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We promised the BVA and RCVS ‘excellent and dynamic’ individuals to become ambassadors, so… no pressure there. Although, as you all know, vet students seem to be a sea of enthusiastic, driven individuals! We were delighted at the level of interest from students from across all the vet schools and very impressed by the ideas and innovative thinking demonstrated in the applications.

The newly appointed Vet Future Ambassadors then came down to the RCVS headquarters in London for a day of training. The day included training on planning, communication, presentation and leadership, focussing on developing student-led projects.

A lot of coloured pens later, we had five project groups that are now hard at work bringing the vet futures ambitions to fruition among vet students. These groups focus on Innovation, One Health, Mental Health Awareness, Veterinary societal outreach and Graduate Outcomes.

I am really excited to introduce this project to you all. Have questions or want to contribute? Don’t hesitate to get in touch – avspresident@gmail.com . We want vet students to embrace the amazing opportunity we have here! Keep an eye on the AVS pages for updates on our progress!!

 

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Canine Arthritis Management - #yourdogsmoreyears

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Canine Arthritis Management - #yourdogsmoreyears

Canine Arthritis Management - #yourdogsmoreyears

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Canine Arthritis Management is a campaign set up to raise awareness about arthritis in dogs, and to improve education about managing the condition at home. They hope to show that arthritis isn't always fatal! Started by vet surgeon, Hannah Capon, they have recently launched a #yourdogmoreyears campaign on social media to improve arthritis understanding in both vets and owners! 
They recently gave a talk at the RVC for International Women's Day. The talk was well-attended and very inspiring for all attendees. They are very keen to give talks at vet schools around the country so if you are interested - please contact them here

More information can be found on their website

"We believe that changing owner, vet and public perception of how to diagnose and treat chronic pain in animals will lead to improved lives for animals and their owners"
Hannah Capon 

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AVS Connect Award 2018 - Winner Announced!

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AVS Connect Award 2018 - Winner Announced!

AVS Connect Award 2018 - Recipient Announced

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A massive congratulations to Vicky Kwok from the University of Cambridge for being chosen to receive the AVS Connect Award 2018. Applicants were invited to apply for funding to attend an international veterinary event of their choice. Vicky will attend the 67th IVSA Congress in Krakow. 

Well done to all applicants for some very strong applications and keep tuned for details about next year's award!

 

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The Battle of the Sexes in the Veterinary World

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The Battle of the Sexes in the Veterinary World

The Battle of the Sexes in the Veterinary World

By Charlotte Heath, Surrey 

Animal Husbandry placements, we’ve all been there, right? The variety of placements are really the joy of it. With the good days - a new exciting thing you haven’t seen, people around you supporting and helping you, the kind farmer who wants you to get involved. Then there’s the bad days, where something happens, and leaves you so taken aback it’s hard to know what todo or say!

On one such placement in the Summer of my first year, I had just finished a gruelling morning of mucking out stables, poo picking etc etc (you know the drill!). I was having a cup of tea, and a much needed break, when the yard owner came over for a chat. She asked me what it was that I wanted to specialise in. A question, much like “Why do you want to be a vet,” is one that I’ve never really had a definitive answer for, it changes daily! Given that I have spent a large proportion of my life around horses, in varying shapes and sizes, it seemed more than logical to tell her I wished to pursue a career in the Equine field. You can imagine my surprise when sheturned and laughed in my face! On questioning her reaction, she told me “you can’t possibly be an equine vet, you’re much too short!” Naturally, I went home and cried to my Mum, but it led to me questioning - was this event in isolation? Had other people also received comments for being female? And, just what, and how, had the role of women in Veterinary medicine changed over time?

The first female vet, Aleen Cust, qualified in the 1890s and worked for 20 years to gain her accreditation in 1922, to the present, where 77% of graduating vets are female, it is no surprise we have come a long way in a short time. The early developments were due to changes in legislation, largely the right for women to vote! And in the celebration of its centenary, it couldn’t be a better time to discuss the progress, and the issues that still exist, with the position of women in Veterinary Medicine.

Aleen Cust wasn’t even permitted to take exams, having to rely on recommendations from the University to secure her first job. Throughout her career, she and the female vets who followed in her footsteps, were consistently rejected, or told they weren’t as good as the male vets they were working with. When you consider now that some people prefer a female vet, even as farm vets, it could be argued that equality is beginning to be reached. The rapid changes can beseen to outweigh the antiquated views of some, but with a large gender pay gap still present, the industry still does not seem to have caught up with the expectations of the modern day. This seems to be a large problem faced by Vets, especially for new graduates where females, on average, can be expected to earn £3000 less than male graduates (The Guardian, 2017) and males are far more likely to progress to managerial roles, or specialist careers. (Vet Futures survey)

My case, unsurprisingly, isn’t in isolation, and equally isn’t the worst example. Simply googling “sexism in the Veterinary career” brings up multiple accounts of women experiencing negative comments for their gender, by clients or even colleagues, simply being told they aren’t good enough/qualified enough/strong enough/dedicated enough, compared to their male counterparts. Of course, this isn’t in isolation to the Veterinary profession, being equally common to both males and females in other careers.

The difference between the attitudes towards vets of either gender might be for many reasons - women are expected to remain in the profession for a lesser amount of time, instead choosing to have children and a family, or work part time to maintain this. Of course, this isn’t true for all female vets but could be a deciding factor for future employers. The view that many members of the public hold is of the idealistic “James Herriot” veterinary view, where they expect a male to come along to see their dog, right after finishing up on a dairy farm! This just isn’t the way the Veterinary world operates any more, and the rise in female graduates and female vets being seen, especially in areas such as the farming industry, should, in time, allow antiquated views towards women held by some individuals to be changed. In a career where both males and females are equally qualified, undertaking the same level of training, and working equally as hard to get where they are, more should be done to both change people’s perceptions, and encourage an equal wage for the same amount of effort and dedication. In Veterinary science, unlike some other careers, both women and men sacrifice their personal lives for work to get to the position they are in, and both should be rewarded equally for this. For the same quality of work, shouldn’t we all be paid the same? Isn’t this just discrimination?

It’s up to us, and our generation, to do something to make a difference.For every person who makes a negative comment, we need to represent ourselves in the best light, ignoring and rising above what they might say, continuing to pursue the careers we wish. Being told I was too short to be an equine vet isn’t something that I can change, but it hasn’t stopped me following my dreams!

REFERENCES

https://www.vetfutures.org.uk/download/factsheets/Gender%20statistics%20about%20veterinary%20surgeons%20in%20the%20UK.pdf.

(http://www.veterinarywoman.co.uk/2015/02/veterinary-women-past-present-and-future)

((https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/jun/14/women-face-pay-gap-just-one-year-after-gra(https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/disappointing-gender-pay-gap-revealed-in-spvs-surveyduation)

((https://www.vetfutures.org.uk/download/factsheets/Gender%20statistics%20about%20veterinary%20surgeons%20in%20the%20UK.pdf)

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AVS Congress 2018 Raises a Phenomenal Amount for VetLife

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AVS Congress 2018 Raises a Phenomenal Amount for VetLife

AVS Congress 2018 Raises a Phenomenal Amount for VetLife

PRESS RELEASE FOR UNIVERSITY MENTAL HEALTH DAY 2018

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AVS Congress 2018 raised in excess of £1,100 for Vetlife. The student run event, held in February at Bristol Vet School, was attended by 300 delegates from vet schools in the UK, Ireland and from Budapest.

Selecting Vetlife as the official charity of AVS Congress 2018 marks the start of a closer relationship between Vetlife and the Association of Veterinary Students, for which the issue of mental health and wellbeing is a priority.. Following successful mental health first aid weekends organised  at the vet schools in 2017, the Association  will be running these  again for students in the 2018/19 academic year.

David Charles, AVS President said;

‘We all know the veterinary degree brings times of stress, self doubt and anxiety among other things. Sometimes we, as students, need someone to tell us these feelings are normal. Vetlife is a fantastic service. If AVS can work more closely with Vetlife to ensure our members know how the charity can help, and that Vetlife’s services are available to students, then it’s something we should definitely be doing. Expect to hear a lot more about this in the year ahead!’

Welcoming the increased awareness of the Charity amongst veterinary students, and thanking AVS for its contribution, Honorary Treasurer of Vetlife, Graham Dick added; “ We face increasing calls on Vetlife’s services from throughout the  veterinary community, including those in veterinary education. The impressive sum of money raised by the AVS membership, will help us to continue to be able to meet that demand”.

For more information about AVS visit www.avsukireland.co.uk , for information about Vetlife’s student services visit www.vetlife.org.uk/who-we-help/vet-students

If you need support please contact Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551 or email via www.vetlife.org.uk

 

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Notes for Editors:

Vetlife is a charity which provides support to members of the UK veterinary community and their families who have emotional, health or financial concerns. 

Vetlife finances and manages three services in order to achieve this:

Vetlife Helpline:  provides confidential emotional support by phone or anonymous email via the website.  Support is provided by trained volunteers; vets, VNs, and others who have knowledge of the veterinary profession.  It is a completely confidential, non-judgmental listening service, which gives people time and space to talk.  Callers are provided with access to specialist help where appropriate.   

Vetlife Financial Support: provides financial and other assistance to veterinary surgeons, and their dependants, in the form of regular monthly grants or one-time special gifts.  Professional advice on issues such as debt and State benefits may also be funded.

For younger people, this support can mean homes not being repossessed or enablement to deal with their physical or mental health problems and a successful return to work.  For the elderly or those unable to return to work, the support provides an improved quality of life.  

Vetlife Health Support: provides professional support for mental health issues, including those related to stress, anxiety, depression, alcohol, drugs and eating disorders. 

More information is available at www.vetlife.org.uk

Contact: Jo Driver
E: info@vetlife.org.uk  T: 0207 908 6385
Donations can be made to Vetlife on-line at www.justgiving.com/vetlife

Vetlife is a working title of the Veterinary Benevolent Fund which is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, Company No. 153010 at 7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ, Charity Registration No. 224776

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