Welcome from the new AVS president, Helena Diffey

Hi there! I'm Helena, the new AVS president and one of my aims for the year is to increase communication between AVS and all of our members (vet students in the UK & Ireland) in order let you know what we're up to, but also to get everyone more involved and engaged with the issues of the moment and fully aware of the support that we can offer.

So to begin with I'll tell you a little about myself… I'm a vet student from RVC somewhere in between my 3rd and 4th year, currently intercalating at Imperial College, London. This year I have been studying Global Health alongside a class full of medics and biomedical students and having already sat my BSc final exams I have just embarked on a large research project. By some stroke of good fortune I have found myself working on a fascinating parasitology (yes, those two words can go together!) project in North East Thailand. So right now I am sat writing this in the glorious air conditioning of the lab, waiting for a response as to which freezer my poo samples have been put into… it's glamorous work as always!

Although not at RVC currently this sort of random situation is what I think is the most marvellous thing about being vet school. It is very easy to find oneself, almost daily, in varyingly bizarre circumstances. Whether it's casually dissecting a dog's eye ball, discussing equine genitalia, or radiographing an elephant's foot, and we all have 'one of those' stories from the pig farm in 1st or 2nd year. Sometimes it's very easy to become caught up in the pressure of exams and the continual stress of the hundreds of facts we all have to learn, however it's really worth taking a step back to realise just how cool some of these experiences are!

Anyway, back to AVS. Hopefully you will have received an email from us recently with a brief update on our work. All of our meeting minutes will now be available on the AVS website and there is currently a survey out requesting opinions on an AVS app. This year we hope to keep everyone up-to-date with topical veterinary issues and the more interaction you have with this, the better we can represent you, our members. If you ever have any questions/queries/issues you'd like to raise with us, don't hesitate to get in contact with your university AVS rep or any other committee member. All of our email addresses can be found on the AVS website.

Best wishes, Helena