Students at Britain's newest vet school reach their final year

16 Jun 2010 13:03:00.000
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Students at Britain’s newest vet school have begun their unique community-based final year — a year in which they put into clinical practice the skills and knowledge they have gained over the last four years.

Students at The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science undertake an innovative lecture-free year of clinical rotations embedded with the school’s Clinical Associates. These include first opinion and referral small animal, farm and equine practices as well as other organisations which specialise in exotics, zoo animals, pathology and poultry.

This new approach to a vet student’s final year of training was developed by The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science — the first veterinary school to be built in the UK for 50 years.

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The final year comprises 26 weeks of clinical rotations together with a 4 week elective in specialist equine, farm or small animal practice. In groups of just three or four and under the supervision of university academic staff, students gain clinical experience in a range of clinical settings through observation, discussion and practical experience.

In addition to their end of year final exams the students will undertake a range of assessments whilst on rotation.  The assessments are context based and use real cases with students being evaluated for clinical competency, reasoning, behaviours and skills as well as professionalism throughout their rotations.

Jennifer Hall, a year five student from Cullompton in Devon said: “The last week at the Scarsdale Farm Department has been one of the best practical experiences I have ever had.  The farm vets have been so patient with us, been fantastic teachers and given us so much responsibility.  It was an amazingly positive experience and one which makes me excited to be a vet.”

Charlie Thompson, from Long Buckby in Northamptonshire, is undertaking an equine rotation at the Oakham Veterinary Hospital. He said: “This rotation has been a fantastic experience with a huge number of equine cases every day. The staff have been very welcoming and the facilities available are amazing.  The technologies available include scintigraphy, MRI, ultrasound and radiography – all used to help come to a diagnosis. Modern treatment techniques such as stem cells get cases on course for successful return to athletic function. It has been an eye-opening experience and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the practice.”

Joy Fenner, from Kegworth in Derbyshire said: “At Nottingham I feel I have been very well taught throughout the first 4 years to prepare me for this first week of rotations.  I am based at the PDSA in Nottingham and it has been great; I can't wait for the rest of the year. The staff have been so supportive and helpful, and all our teaching sessions have been on a one to two basis so far. The investment Nottingham has made in us in terms of staffing and facilities has been huge and is so appreciated by the students.”

Chris Parker, senior Partner at Scarsdale Veterinary Hospital, said “The Scarsdale farm animal team has been determined from the outset that the student experience with us is to be exceptional. On the first morning alone, one student had managed to get through the best part of 80 rectal exams while the remaining three students managed to diagnose and operate on cows with abomasal displacements.  “The farmers were generally very impressed at the level of knowledge demonstrated and at having skilled operators available to lameness or condition score their cows.  Having Associate Professors and Diploma holders turning up on the farms to act as consultants or just give a second opinion has sent a real buzz through the farming community.

“I am happy we are contributing to producing a farm vet with solid day one competencies as well as already noting down some names that we will be happy to see applying for future farm positions.”

Professor Gary England, Dean of the Veterinary School, said “The School is very excited to have reached year five of the course.  The hard work the School has undertaken in the last five years has culminated in an unrivalled clinical experience for our students.

“The support from our Clinical Associates has been superb, and we look forward to further developing our relationships with our Clinical Associates and their clients to improve animal health and welfare in the Midlands.  We have our key Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons visit in February 2011, and look forward to the Visitors recognising the outstanding student experience at Nottingham, and being able to recommend MRCVS for our students at their graduation.”

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

 More information is available from Dr Karen Braithwaite, Director of Academic Support and Administration, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 9516413, Karen.braithwaite@nottingham.ac.uk
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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