Veterinary education encompasses the core teaching and learning in classrooms and all factors affecting it directly or indirectly such as quality and quantity of study materials available, curriculum pattern and so on. The Standing Committee on Veterinary Education (SCoVE) has been established to improve the education of all veterinary students and professionals worldwide by providing varied educational resources, coming up with new and interesting ways of teaching and learning. SCoVE aims at elevating the overall standard of veterinary education worldwide and to provide opportunities for veterinary students to undertake education in important areas outside traditional veterinary training.
Rabina Prajapati, IVSA Nepal
Dear reader, Welcome to the third edition of JVE. It has been a mad ride since we first chose "Transferability of Veterinary Skills" as our theme until the moment we wrote the last word of it. There are some big news on the structure, as we introduced 3 sections: Interviews, Communities Corner and themes related to SCoVE Updates! Also, you must be wondering who are all these people on the cover, right? That's the tribute I decided to do to the incredible team that accompanied me in this amazing journey of being SCoVE Chair- people from all the corners of the world that fights every day for a better education for me, for you, for everyone! Since the first year of my studies, I wondered how it feels to be a veterinary student in other countries, such as do we all struggle with the same subjects or if we would like to see the same changes on our education. During my exchange year, I was introduced to the "Day One Skills" system, where "check list books" are used to register essential practical skills students should acquire in order to call themselves DMVs . This skills include clinical and surgical activities that range from catheterization and sample collection to imaging and anesthesia. Day one skills are essential; however, these books don't exist in many schools and many students end up getting their degree after never getting the chance to try them at least once. Then, for those who have it, what is the perfect model? Should the students have signatures for skills in all the areas or only in their interest areas? Do schools have enough
caseload? Can students actually apply hands on skills in a university hospital setting? Are universities focusing more on interns and residents than actual students that pay tuitions to learn there? On the other hand, it’s well known that if we want to work in some countries, we had to take an exam first even if we have a DMV degree already. Could this be prevented by finding a common approach to veterinary teaching? And then, would that be possible and reasonable according with the veterinary reality of each country? What if we could have an international university where students that wish to work abroad could go and be able to work anywhere afterwards? These are some of the questions we had in mind when we chose this theme for the 3rd Edition of the Journal of Veterinary Education! After a year full of changes, new challenges and different approaches to common problems, I couldn't be prouder to present you the longest edition of JVE ever made, an edition we all hope to make justice to the incredible proceeders. I hope you will enjoy it so much as we did while creating it!
Diana Teixeira SCoVE Chair IVSA Portugal
Florencia Chandrika Halim Graphics Manager of IVSA SCoVE IVSA Indonesia
Satwik Panigrahi Graphics Manager of IVSA SCoVE IVSA Bhubaneswar, India
I am Pramod Kumar Chaudhary, a member of the SCoVE Research Team. I am so elated to be a part of the IVSA Journal of Veterinary Education (JVE). The Journal provides a spacious platform for veterinary students to show their talents. It includes informative articles, opinions, and artworks, such as poems, drawings, paintings and many more. The third issue comprises 3 sections: articles, artworks and SCoVE activities. We received numerous outstanding articles and artworks throughout the globe. Lastly, I am so thankful to our lovely chair, Diana and the wonderful graphics team for making such an eye-catching journal.
My name is Dana Tsuchida, a veterinary student at Oregon State University in the United States, and I am currently the Online Content Manager at SCoVE. Each submission, including each artwork and essay, was very inspirational, and I hope the readers learn a new perspective in veterinary medicine and get something out of this journal. I truly feel that this journal is a global collaborative effort for readers all around the world. I am grateful for our chairman, Diana Teixeria for providing me this opportunity to work as part of the editorial team.
SCoVE Profile - 1 Executive Editor's Comments - 2 Creative Team - 3 Editors' Note - 4 Table of content - 5
ACADEMIC ARTICLES A Journey Towards Multidisciplinary Medicine - 6-14 Similarities and Differences in Curriculum of Veterinary Parasitology- 15-18
ARTWORKS Dr Jose Adrian Iranzo - 67-70 Almazidou Kristina - 71 Francisco Josue - 72 Marysia Noszczyk - 73 Dr Helga Kausel - 74 Sandra Sukma Maharani - 75 Irisz Koutiz - 76-77
PRESS RELEASES VetMed Academy - 78 Vetstream - 79
OPINION ARTICLES From a Classroom to a Baboon walk - 1921 Transferable skills of Medicine Professions - 22-23 Factors Hindering International Veterinary practice - 24-25 Skills You Didn't Know You Had - 26-29
INTERVIEWS Dr. Chole Buiting - 30-39 Dauda Ayomide Onawalo - 40-41 Students Perspective for a Global Curriculum by Merel Knoops - 42-46 Victoria McKaba - 47-57 Bioethicus - 58-59 Soft Vets - 60-66
SCOVE SUBCOMMITTEES CORNER IEC - 80-86 Wild and Exotic Animals Community 87
AMBASSADORS CORNER AoTM Interview - 88-92 Report from "II Ethical and Behavioral Conference" - 93-94 Ambassador Maria -First Aid course 95 9 Reasons Why I decided to Join SCoVE Ambassador Program - 96
A JOURNEY TOWARDS MULTIDISCIPLINARY MEDICINE Edward de Beukelaer, DVM Sara Fox Chapman, DVM Patricia Cayado, DVM, PhD Correspondence: email@example.com
We all have our own journey in medicine.
Abstract This article examines integrative medicine, incorporating multiple robust medical techniques, from a perspective of equality and mutual respect for the various modalities. This is Multidisciplinary Medicine: increasing treatment options for patients by assessing them both as an individual and as part of their environment. The terms integrative medicine, individualised medicine, OneHealth, hygiene, and holistic are discussed, and the importance of research is addressed. .
Medicine exists in a state of constant innovation as an ever-changing science. This article initiates a project by the IVSA to provide information about integrative medicine. Integrative medicine combines medicine based on the understanding of the clinical manifestation and pathogenesis of disease, and medical modalities based on enhancing the bodies’ own resources of healing and repair processes. Treatment methods and medical care with the attributes to provide individualized attention are the typical characteristics of the latter types of medical modalities.
There is a global surge of interest into highly ethical medical approaches oriented toward the individual exhaustive analysis of the single patient [1-3], and a growing interest in the environmental influences of medicine. Integrative medicine (IM) researches ways to help and treat patients. It aims to restore the individual integrity of a former healthy condition, rather than to eliminate or block pathological processes. Integrative medicine expands and completes conventional medicine with the salutogenesis concept, promoting scientific integrity while recognising a need for environmental responsibility. The OneHealth principle, which is increasingly globally recognised, is an inspiration to this type of integrative medicine, recognising and respecting that we live in a unique interconnected system. In response to an increased interest in non-conventional medicines, some countries are adapting, by integrating nonconventional medicines in the university curricula. Leaders are requesting and applying this new integrated approach; there is evidence of this in the USA and Switzerland. [4-8]. The importance of integrating different disciplines in medicine is to have a broader point of view and explore more healthcare provisions; this significantly increases opportunities to understand and deal with disease
Every patient is an individual. In Multidisciplinary Medicine different practitioners work together on an equal basis, all making sure the best decisions are made for the patient. Practitioners must recognise the strengths and weaknesses of each treatment method considered for each individual patient to ensure the best possible selection of treatment approaches. This is even the case when the team is one person: this person has to be highly qualified in the techniques he/she wants to use, or have a good understanding of the technique used by a person to whom he/she wants to refer the patient. Integrative medicine can contribute in difficult therapeutic situations, such as when: cases do not respond or become unresponsive to a therapy / treatment, side effects are causing severe damage or unacceptable signs, or the practitioner wishes to explore all possible ways to help the patient. Treatment options have to demonstrate efficacy by actively promoting health, instead of merely trying to suppress the disease.
The participants in IM are physicians and vets qualified in conventional medicine who are also specialists / certified / trained in their other chosen field(s). This collection of knowledge leads to a better comprehension of animal and human patients.Beginning with specialisation at the lowest biological system level (i.e. cell, genes, etc.), we complete the medical journey to a wider vision of the patient as a whole, a patient that is also interacting with the environment, searching for the best specific individual treatment. Health benefits, safety benefits, fewer residues in nature, and active awareness of our own diseases are some of the consequences which have increased demand for these modalities in medicine by patients, animal owners, organic agriculture and farming.
I- INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. Having an awareness of integrative medicine allows physicians and vets to work together with a number of medical specialties, and also directs the interaction with the patient towards a Patient Oriented Approach System. Biomedical medicine has historically brought specialists together, using biochemical and statistical models, to establish treatment protocols for defined health issues. Current best practice now includes social and mental health specialists on these teams to discuss individual cases. [9-12] In this resource, multidisciplinary medicine as a Patient Oriented Approach System will be presented in a number of different medical models. These can, either as a stand-alone treatment, or in combination with other treatments, best serve the individual patient or case. These models of medicine are currently considered nonconventional.
Multidisciplinary medicine, incorporating complementary and alternative modalities, is growing in importance. Before we introduce you to the various nonconventional medicines presented in the new IVSA Multidisciplinary Medicine resource, we will take you through a few basic definitions. They will support your journey to a new paradigm in medicine that is principally patient centered, environmentally conscious and recognizes the interconnected nature of all great things in life.
It is important to recognise that all types of medicine need to integrate; integrative medicine means different techniques cooperating on a level playing field, each playing to their own strength, in contrast to one type of medicine being superior to another.
Like the players in an orchestra, medical modalities perform best when they support one another.
II-INDIVIDUALIZED MEDICINE. . Having an awareness of integrative medicine allows physicians and vets to work together with a number of medical specialties, and also directs the interaction with the patient towards a Patient Oriented Approach System. Biomedical medicine has historically brought specialists together, using biochemical and statistical models, to establish treatment protocols for defined health issues. Current best practice now includes social and mental health specialists on these teams to discuss individual cases. [9-12] In this resource, multidisciplinary medicine as a Patient Oriented Approach System will be presented in a number of different medical models. These can, either as a stand-alone treatment, or in combination with other treatments, best serve the individual patient or case. These models of medicine are currently considered nonconventional. It is important to recognise that all types of medicine need to integrate; integrative medicine means different techniques cooperating on a level playing field, each playing to their own strength, in contrast to one type of medicine being superior to another.
Patients who live in similar or even the same circumstances can have diverse responses to the same health challenges. This observation is not only born out of research; it is an observation all practitioners can make. Research and practice in immunology and neuroscience have recently emphasized understanding the individuality of illness for each patient . Individualised medicine understands the unique set of circumstances and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social and environmental influences that affect the health of the patient. (In veterinary medicine, the patient may be an individual or a close group of animals.) The molecular responses to these multiple influences are all defined in current molecular medicine by the science of exposomics (14-16). Individualised medicine is integrated across approaches to care — conventional, traditional, and complementary — as the evidence supports. The treatment modalities presented in this resource use medical models that are easily tailored to the individuality of the patient. These modalities aim at helping patients restore their normal homeostatic mechanisms, which results in improved health. These treatment techniques are specific, so there is a high degree of adaptation to individual patients, resulting in precision medicine.
The medical team works together for the best health of the patient.
III – SALUTOGENESIS. HOMEOSTASIS. Aaron Antonovsky proposed the “Salutogenic” approach - researching how to create health rather than searching for the reasons for (the) disease (pathogenesis). This Salutogenic perspective has 6 main characteristics that underpin the study of the dynamic interaction between healthpromoting factors and stressors in life. These characteristics demonstrate how patients may move to the healthy end of the ‘’health/ease - dis/ease gradient’’: - Focus on the patient’s individual story and not only the diagnosis. - Appreciate the importance of salutary factors when focusing on promoting the movement toward better health. - Highlight and state that stress might be either pathogenic, neutral or salutogenic. Because stress is ubiquitous, salutogenesis opens up the way for the management of stressors in life.
- The ideal therapy improves the patient’s ability to actively adapt to life stressors. This is contrary to the approach of searching for the right treatment, via medication or surgery, after making the correct diagnosis, - Choose to generate hypotheses of salutogenesis instead of hypotheses of diseases. - The more people are aware of treatments that improve resilience and the more that they are able to access these resources, the better health and wellbeing will be for all. The researcher concludes “State of breakdown is a result of an unresolved disturbance of the homeostasis. It is not, then, the imbalance which is pathogenic, it is, rather, the prolonged failure to restore equilibrium, which leads to breakdown. When resistance resources are inadequate to meet the demand, to resolve the problem which has been posed, the organism breaks down”[17-21].
IV-ONE HEALTH. The WHO definition of One Health is as follows: “'One Health' is an approach to designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.’’ In this definition, replicated by many other groups, One Health points to the need to bring together experts in many fields to look after the health of people by recognising that good health for people cannot be separated from the health of animals and the planet. This definition does not sufficiently stress the complexity of life. This complexity exists at all levels from the ‘whole of the earth’ to the complexity of the functioning of one cell. Research and practice of medicine needs to reflect this complexity. [22, 23]
V-RESEARCH. Research is important to assure good practice, provide reliable information to patients (or animal carers) and allow medicine to progress. Research models should be adapted to what is being objectively examined in medicine and clinically seen in patients. This is the case for conventional medicine, and even more for the examination of the current nonconventional medicines: the individual modalities and technique of the medicine being examined must be respected for the research to be useful and the results to be valid.
Health is more than the absence of disease - it is the burgeoning of life
All groups participating in this resource want the scientific community to undertake objective research in nonconventional treatment modalities. All medicine needs to be based on sound evidence. There is already a good body of evidence available and there are many arguments for the need to increase research . Further, a significant proportion of the population uses and wants to use non-conventional medicines [1-3]: the scientific community needs to respond positively to this. Implementation of research and teaching of nonconventional medicines in universities is a prerequisite of quality assurance in integrative medicine [4,5].
It is important to remember what encompasses evidence-based medicine. This is an extract from ‘’Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't.’’ by D L Sackett and colleagues: ‘’Good doctors use both individual clinical expertise and the best available external evidence, and neither alone is enough. Without clinical expertise, practice risks becoming tyrannised by evidence, for even excellent external evidence may be inapplicable to or inappropriate for an individual patient. Without current best evidence, practice risks becoming rapidly out of date, to the detriment of patients. This description of what evidence-based medicine is helps clarify what evidence based medicine is not.’’ 
VI- WHO STRATEGY ON TRADITIONAL MEDICINE. This is the WHO statement on traditional medicine: ‘’The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023 was developed and launched in response to the World Health Assembly resolution on traditional medicine (WHA62.13). The strategy aims to support Member States in developing proactive policies and implementing action plans that will strengthen the role traditional medicine plays in keeping populations healthy . Addressing the challenges, responding to the needs identified by Member States and building on the work done under the WHO traditional medicine strategy: 2002–2005, the updated strategy for the period 2014–2023 devotes more attention than its predecessor to prioritizing health services and systems, including traditional and complementary medicine products, practices and practitioners.’’ The words, holistic and hygiene, need to be examined to put these in their rightful context.
VII-HOLISTIC AND HYGIENE. Holism is the theory that the parts of any whole cannot exist and cannot be understood except in their relation to the whole. "Holism holds that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The term holistic can mean different things to different people, usually depending on their experience and knowledge. In this resource, we consider holistic to mean an approach that understands and treats the whole being, taking into account their unique nature and situation.
Hygiene may be seen as a way to avoid contact with health risk factors. This is reflected in how hygiene is defined in various dictionaries. The other aspect of hygiene is ensuring that the patient responds in an appropriate way to risk factors which cannot always be avoided. Not all risk factors can be eliminated: hygienic living makes patients resilient to normal pathogens and other life challenges. The approach of salutogenesis (promotion of well-being) and building the patient’s resilience to respond appropriately to health risk factors find their place in this understanding of hygiene. [4-7] Hygiene in this sense is not only achieved through observing a healthy lifestyle, but also through treatments that improve patient’s responses to health risks or challenges
1. The WHO traditional health Strategy 2014-2023. https://www.who.int/medicines/publications/traditional/trm_strategy14_23/en/ 2. ECHAMP Homeopathic and Anthroposophical Medicinal Products in the EU. Profile of an industry 2015. https://www.who.int/medicines/areas/traditional/trm_benchmarks/en/ 3. Mpinga E K, Kandolo T, Verloo H, Ngoyi K, Bukonda Z, Kandala N, Chastonay P. Traditional/alternative medicines and the right to health: Key elements for a convention on global health. Health and Human Rights Journal. Oct 2013. https://www.hhrjournal.org/2013/10/traditionalalternative-medicines-and-the-right-tohealth-key-elements-for-a-convention-on-global-health/ 4. Memon, M.A., Shmalberg, J., Adair, H.S.3rd, Allweiler, S., Bryan, J.N., Cantwell, S. Et al. Integrative veterinary medical education and consensus guidelines for an integrative veterinary medicine curriculum within veterinary colleges. Open Vet J. 2016, 6(1): 44–56. 5. Bundesgesetz über die universitären Medizinalberufe (Medizinalberufegesetz, MedBG), Fassung vom 23.6.2003, Stand am 1.2.2020. Bern, Schweiz. https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classified-compilation/20040265/index.html (letzter Zugriff 20.7.2020). 6. The University of Arizona: The Andrew Wiel centre for integrative medicine. https://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/ 7. The Samueli foundation research I integrative Health. https://www.samueli.org/fundingpriorities/integrative-health/ 8. Xiao-Yang Hua, Ava Lorenc a, Kathi Kemper b, Jian-Ping Liu c, Jon Adams, Nicola Robinson, Defining integrative medicine in narrative and systematic reviews: A suggested checklist for reporting. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1876382015000049? via%3Dihub 9. Frimpong J A., Myers C G., Sutcliffe K M., Lu-Myers Y. When Health Care Providers Look at Problems from Multiple Perspectives, Patients Benefit. https://hbr.org/2017/06/whenhealth-care-providers-look-at-problems-from-multiple-perspectives-patients-benefit 10. Hoinville L., Taylor C., Zasada M., Warner R., Pottle E., Green J. Improving the effectiveness of cancer multidisciplinary team meetings: analysis of a national survey of MDT members’ opinions about streamlining patient discussions. https://bmjopenquality.bmj.com/content/bmjqir/8/2/e000631.full.pdf 11. Lorenc A., Leach J., Robinson N. Clinical guidelines in the UK: Do they mention Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)-Are CAM professional bodies aware? EJIM 6 (2014) 164-175 12. Ben-Arye E., Moshe Scharf M., Frenkel M. How Should Complementary Practitioners and Physicians Communicate? A Cross-Sectional Study from Israel. JABFM. Oct.2007. www.jabfm.org/content/jabfp/20/6/565.full.pdf
13. Coehn R I.Tending to Adam’s Garden. Elsevier 2000. https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780121783556/tending-adams-garden#bookdescription 14. Naughton S X., Raval, U., Harary, J.M. et al. The role of the exposome in promoting resilience or susceptibility after SARS-CoV-2 infection. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 30, 776–777 (2020). doi.org/10.1038/s41370-020-0232-4 15. Gayle DeBord D., Carreón T., Lentz T J., Middendorf P J., Hoover M D., Schulte P A. Use of the “Exposome” in the Practice of Epidemiology: A Primer on-Omic Technologies Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Aug 15; 184(4): 302–314. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv325 16. Vrijheid M.The exposome: a new paradigm to study the impact of environment on health. BMJ. June 2014. https://thorax.bmj.com/content/69/9/876 17. Bengt Lindström , Monica Eriksson. Salutogenesis. 2005 Jun; 59(6):440-2. doi: 10.1136/jech.2005.034777 18. Tsigos C., Kyrou I., Kassi E., Chrousos G P. Stress: Endocrine Physiology and Pathophysiology. Endotext [Internet]. 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278995/ 19. Ma’ayan A. Complex systems biology. Journal of the Royal society interface. 2017. doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2017.0391 20. Idan O., Eriksson M., Al-Yagon M. The Salutogenic Model: The Role of Generalized Resistance Resources. The Handbook of Salutogenesis [Internet]. Chapter 7. 2016 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK435841/ 21. Langeland E. Aaron Antonovsky’s Development of Salutogenesis, 1979 to 1994. 2017. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-04600-6_4 22. Campbell M, Fitzpatrick R, Haines A, Kinmonth AL, Sandercock P, Spiegelhalter D, Tyrer P. Framework for design and evaluations of complex interventions to improve health. BMJ. 2000 Sep 16; 321(7262):694-6. 23. Craig, P., Dieppe, P., Macintyre, S., Michie, S., Nazareth, I., & Petticrew, M. (2008). Developing and evaluating complex interventions: the new Medical Research Council guidance. Bmj, 337.The Guidance has recently been updated: www.mrc.ac.uk/complexinterventionsguidance 24. EUROCAM position paper on the need for research in non-conventional medicine. https://cam-europe.eu/wpcontent/uploads/2018/10/EUROCAM_PositionPaper_CAM_research_October2011.pd 25.Letter to the editor of the BMJ by D L Sackett. https://www.bmj.com/content/313/7050/170.4 Acknowledgements for their contributions: David Bettio DVM Petra Weiermayer DVM Jeff Feinman DVM, Madan
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES IN CURRICULUM OF VETERINARY PARASITOLOGY “IN AUSTRALIA, AFRICA, EUROPE, USA” Name: Ali Adam Institute: University of Bahri Level of the Study: 5th year Member Organization: IVSA Bahri Country: Sudan
In 2013, the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP) celebrated its 50th anniversary, and the achievements and future perspectives of the WAAVP were discussed (Eckert 2013). Although the WAAVP is a small association with only a few hundred members, it developed remarkable activities. Between 1963 and 2011, the WAAVP has organized 23 international scientific congresses, and the 24th conference took place in Perth, Western Australia, in 2013. Furthermore, the WAAVP has promoted veterinary parasitology in various ways, such as publishing international guidelines (eg. efficacy evaluation of antiparasitic drugs, parasitological methods, and standardized nomenclature of animal parasitic diseases “SNOAPAD”), stimulating international discussions on teaching and continued education in collaboration with colleges of veterinary parasitology, and by supporting the high quality journal “Veterinary Parasitology”, which is the official organ of the WAAVP.
New challenges associated with global changes (eg. growth of the world population, urbanization, climate change, new developments in animal and plant production, etc.) will require new efforts in research in various fields, including veterinary parasitology. Future activities of WAAVP will include inter alia: (a) support of international parasitological networks; (b) stimulation of coordinated research aimed at the solution of defined problems; (c) increase the exposure of WAAVP to parasitology from hitherto neglected regions of the world; (d) strengthen official links to international organizations (eg. FAO, WHO, etc.); (e) continuation of guideline preparation; and (d) prepare and internationally distribute high quality electronic programs for self-education in veterinary parasitology.
Undergraduate teaching of veterinary parasitology in Africa:
The African undergraduate teaching of veterinary parasitology was reviewed in “Undergraduate teaching of veterinary parasitology in Africa.” Information was gathered from eight of approximately 20 veterinary schools and faculties in Africa. In order to compare the teaching style among different schools, a standard questionnaire was designed for collecting data on different aspects of the curriculum, including the curriculum structure, the year(s) in which veterinary parasitology was taught, the contact hours allocated to teaching, and the methods of teaching. The results of the eight faculties and schools revealed that veterinary parasitology was taught in a disciplinary approach, allocating a total of 90–198 hours to lectures (46–75%) and 38–196 hours (25–54%) for practicals during the full curriculum. There were considerable differences in curriculum structure and methods of teaching undergraduate veterinary parasitology between the various schools and faculties. Availability of teaching staff and the cost of running practical classes were the most limiting factors in the course of veterinary parasitology. There is a need to constantly review the curriculum of undergraduate veterinary parasitology and to standardize the materials and methods in light of new knowledge
Teaching of veterinary parasitology in some European countries:
A review, “Teaching of Undergraduate Veterinary Parasitology in some European Countries,” revealed that at 20 veterinary faculties in European countries, parasitology is represented in the curriculum of veterinary medicine with an average of 105 core contact hours, devoted to lectures (58%) and practicals (42%). However, there was a wide range of contact hours with faculties, ranging from 48 to 156 hours. Three of the faculties are close to the minimum of 70 core contact hours recommended by WAAVP (2002), and one faculty is below this number. In one of the faculties, parasitology is completely integrated into interdisciplinary teaching activities. In other cases, there are developments in this direction, which include the risk of dissolving parasitology as a discipline. One faculty with a high degree of integrated teaching has already abolished the parasitological examination. Parasitology is preferentially taught in the years three, four and five of the curriculum, but there is great variation among the faculties. This table shows the comparison between the percentage of lecture and practical and number of hours in Africa and Europe:
46 - 75
25 - 54
90 - 198
48 - 156
Most teachers in the faculties are veterinarians. In many universities, the large number of students in the class and unsatisfactory academic staff are a problem, and the percentage of students is a significant problem. This issue may increase with more teaching obligations caused by new curricula. Due to the high diversity in content and structure of teaching curricula of veterinary medicine among veterinary faculties in Europe, international, and even national, exchange of students is inhibited. Taking this and many other issues into consideration, more activities should be initiated towards harmonising the study curricula in Europe.
Veterinary parasitology teaching in eastern Australia:
There is a need to change the undergraduate teaching methods of veterinary parasitology in universities globally, especially in eastern Australia. To be able to provide considered advice to universities, faculties, governmental bodies and professional societies about a discipline and to determine how particular changes may impact on the quality of a course, we must record and review its current status. The present paper, “Veterinary Parasitology Teaching in Eastern Australia,” contributes toward this objective by providing a snapshot of the veterinary parasitology courses at the Universities of Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland in eastern Australia. It includes a description of the veterinary science curriculum in each institution and provides an outline of its veterinary parasitology course, including objectives, topics covered, course delivery, student examination procedures, and course evaluation.
Student contact time in veterinary parasitology during the curriculum was higher in Melbourne (183 hours) compared to Sydney and Queensland (106–110 hours). In regards to the teaching style, Melbourne adopts a taxonomic approach in the preclinical period, followed by a combined disciplinary, and problem-based approach in the clinical semesters, whereas both Sydney and Queensland focus more on presenting parasites on a host species-basis followed by a problem-based approach.
Teaching of veterinary parasitology in the North American perspective:
The American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) initiated a study of parasitology curricula in veterinary schools in the US and Canada in November 1989 (Stomberg 2002). An ad hoc committee (Task Force) and the Education Committee developed a position paper on parasitology courses in veterinary colleges. In addition to confirming the importance of parasitology as a discipline, they recommended a set of general learning objectives and proposed topic-specific titles rather than parasite- and group-specific titles. Another problem observed in teaching parasitology was a significant reduction in time available to teach parasitology. One way to compensate for the lost classroom time is to utilize some of the technological advances in presenting the material to students.
J. Vercruysse, J. Eckert (2002). Teaching of undergraduate veterinary parasitology in some European countries. Veterinary Parasitology, 108(4), 309-315. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)00230-3
B. E. Stromberg (2002). Teaching veterinary parasitology: the North American perspective. Veterinary Parasitology, 108(4), 327-331. https://doi.org/10.1016/S03044017(02)00232-7
S. Mukaratirwa (2002). Undergraduate teaching of veterinary parasitology in Africa. Veterinary Parasitology, 108(2), 291-294. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)00224-8
R. B. Gasser, I. Beveridge, N.C. Sangster, & G. Coleman (2002). Veterinary parasitology teaching in eastern Australia. Veterinary Parasitology 108(4)295-307. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)00229-7
J. Eckert (2013). World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP): The 50th anniversary in 2013—History, achievements, and future perspectives. Veterinary Parasitology, 195(3-4), 206-217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.04.002
FROM A CLASSROOM TO A BABOON WALK A personal view on Transferability of Veterinary Skills By Catarina Santiago (IVSA Portugal) 5th year, Universidade de Trás-OsMontes e Alto Douro
I know what you all are thinking - "You are comparing apples to oranges" or, even, "What is a baboon walk?". You will understand; trust me. Part of the charm of studying veterinary medicine is fantasizing about being in a clinic with a tiny puppy in front of us while someone calls us "Doctor" or, best yet, being in the operating room and saying "Scalpel please.” I cannot be the only one who dreams of saying this phrase since watching the first episode of Grey's Anatomy. Unfortunately, studying veterinary medicine requires a lot more than dreaming. We stay up day and night, reading, writing, and trying to memorize every single bone, every single drug, every single disease of every single animal. I mean, every single everything. But I have news for you: you don't learn just that! A few years ago, I decided to leave everything behind and fly to Namibia for one month. There, I decided to volunteer at an animal sanctuary, where I later learned that my veterinary skills would be useful. We had a different plan for every morning and afternoon, such as feeding the felines or doing environment enrichment for the monkeys.
Our day often began at 6 am, so we can get ready and eat breakfast and be with our mentors by 7am.Don't we often get to clinics 15 minutes early to have time to dress into our scrubs? In this sense, I always arrived 15 minutes before our designated times for everything. Sometimes they did not have breakfast ready or the mentors were not there yet. But the truth is, you never lose when you arrive before the appointed time. These 15 minutes gave me opportunities to make friends! While I waited, I had the opportunity to speak with people around me, people who travelled the world, people who live in different cultures with different mores. I can tell you that I gained so much in these 15 minutes than I would if I just slept. And you know what gave me this time - veterinary medicine. I just started discussing my next point. We regularly get to know new colleagues, veterinarians, teachers, and, more importantly, learn how to articulate our thoughts and converse with clients who arrive at the clinic. I realized that I had acquired communication skills through my veterinary medicine courses when I needed to speak with a stranger 10,000 km away from home. I noticed that I'm able to listen, share, ask questions, learn, and be present while being eloquent and expressive. Yes, I could have most likely discovered this back at home. I guess I never take the easy path!
You know those occasions where you are merely in class and the professor questions who wants to give the pill to the cat - in this case, more like a leopard - and you just put your hand in the air without thinking? Well, we need to take advantage of each situation, am I right? One day, during a conversation, someone asked who was available to build a new place for the baboons. I promptly offered myself, even though I am the worst at bricolage! I spent the day using a digging bar - which I just discovered was a thing - and putting stakes up while sharing personal, funny stories. In the end, I was able to do this task with - a lot - of help and teamwork. Do you ever imagine that jumping from one area to another at the hospital would give us so much adaptability? Neither did I!
Curious baby that Catarina met during her baboon walk.
While visiting the streets of Namibia, you can see baboons all over the place, eating the garbage, trying to enter the houses, or just sitting at the side of the road watching you pass. People habitually foster them while they are charming babies, and then they grow. In this regard, they are considered a plague. So, it's illegal to release them after their recovery. At the sanctuary, baboons have a very similar lives to those in the wild and are unrestricted during the afternoon every day. In this way, they can enjoy the freedom that they so much deserve. On a shining Wednesday, I jumped out of my camping bag to the baboon walk. I love baboons. They are so unique and, at the same time, similar to us.
Baboons trying to eat Catarina's hair during her baboon walk.
They are so curious that you need to hide every object that they can steal - like your phone. And now imagine me trying to take a lot of photos of the cute baboons, while I have one baboon trying to steal my phone, one baby sleeping on my belly, one looking for lice on my legs, and one trying to eat my hair. That is what I call multitasking! And you know where I learned this? Exam season. I am joking here, but it has a little accuracy, and this way, I could show you the creativity I developed while sitting in exams.
Whatever subject you decide to study, you will discover that you gain an infinite amount of transferable skills. Never think that what you are doing right now is useless. It is never worthless, and it can take you to places you never thought you would be. It is your turn to look for your transferable skills, and you don't need to go to the other side of the world.
Reunion of volunteers to get to know each other
TRANSFERABLE SKILL OF MEDICINE PROFESSIONS By Mumtasya Karima Putri (IVSA Indonesia) 2nd year, IPB University
One of a popular series mentioned something that caught my attention. I was still a child when I watched the episode where Hershel Greene, a fictional character on The Walking Dead being asked “Are you a doctor?” by Rick and Lori Grimes. Hershel answered that he is a veterinarian and both of them are shocked but there’s nothing they can do since it was a zombie apocalypse era, they can’t just easily find a human doctor. Little did I know, I relate to that scene now and writing about it.
maintaining the airway, or other things, but we are not licensed and taught how to treat humans so that’s why there’s still a difference. Vets and doctors are having to work together more and more—for example, over fears that avian influenza could be the harbinger of a human pandemic (Alder and Easton 2005). During the process of getting the degree, we are not just learning the professional skills but also core skills that apply to jobs both in and out of academic careers.
I listen to a lot of claims saying how a veterinarian is better than a human doctor since our patients can’t communicate specifically about their condition. As a secondyear veterinary student, the skills that I learn right now are various. Professional skills that I constantly notice are from activities when veterinarians perform abdominal surgery, IVs, calculating dosages, and other skills that I can learn from internship, volunteering, and the faculty. All of the skills are no different from how human doctors usually perform. The reality is we have some basic skills to treat human patients especially in emergencies like stabilizing bleeding,
In developing countries, many people rely on animals for food, transportation, and also as their best friend. The health of those animals is just as important as human health. I realized even the health of humans is not the main priority in a developing country's society's mindset and so are animals. One of the skills that are important in this situation is soft skills like communication to talk about science towards society. We need a clear line of communication to build the bridge and build the idea of one health.
The skill that we learn while we are presenting our research can be used to take the job as the bridge to make the clear line between science and advocacy. Calmness in pressurized or emotional situations is another transferable skill that we have. Studying medicine as a human doctor or a veterinarian means we will have a lot of emotional situations when treating a patient, examinations, and other crucial situations. I believe this skill will lead us to a person that adapts to new situations easily even if we work on various career paths. Both of these skills if being used and transferred effectively for a good purpose and together as a human doctor and veterinarian will lead to a better condition.
Learning takes place through experiences influencing psychological functions which lead to differences in behaviors (Demir et al. 2012). Different countries' medical conditions will also need a different specific skill on demand. Medical degrees that vary significantly in different countries are one of the ways to generate a veterinarian that is in line with what the country needs. Despite the differences between the two professions, we have common interests and challenges. We must give each other empathy, support, knowledge, and never judge each other professional approach on becoming the bridge of science and advocacy.
REFERENCES Alder M, Easton G. 2005. Human and veterinary medicine. BMJ. 330(7496): 858-859. Demir S, Kilinc M, Dogan A. 2012. The effect of curriculum for developing efficient studying skills on academic achievement and studying skills of learners. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education. 4(3): 427440. Internship program on one of the local clinic
Similarities and differences in curriculum and learning materials on veterinary medicine and human medicine create a different level of skill at the end.
FACTORS HINDERING INTERNATIONAL VETERINARY PRACTICE By Alexander Del Bianco (IVSA Queensland) 5th year, University of Queensland, Australia
It is quite common for veterinarians from all around the world wanting to practice overseas. Depending on where you are from, this may be difficult. Some factors that reduce the number of veterinarians practicing overseas include graduating from a non-accredited school, differences in curriculum, and difficulties obtaining sponsorship and a visa. Veterinary schools in North America compared to countries in Asia differ greatly when it comes to accreditation. There is currently no accrediting body in Asian veterinary schools, unlike North America where there is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Accreditation involves officially appointed regulatory bodies to evaluate veterinary schools using established criteria and standards. This is to ensure high quality of education required to produce competent veterinarians. In most developing nations, there are no governing bodies to introduce core subjects that should be implemented in all veterinary schools. This leads to pitfalls in the veterinary curriculum, which reduces the chances of these institutions to be granted accreditation.
It is also important to note that veterinary medicine in developing countries is primarily focused on food production and public health. This is likely because veterinary medicine in these countries relate to agriculture and economic development. There has been more emphasis in the past couple years on “One Health” to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment. In the developed world, there has been a transition from agriculture to small animal practice. This includes countries in North America, Europe, and Australia. This is likely due to pets becoming part of the family. With this transition, the accrediting bodies in these countries have developed a standardized set of core subjects that each veterinary institution must implement in their curriculum. Developed countries incorporate aspects of small animal, equine and large animal medicine into their curriculum with more emphasis on small animal practice.
Veterinary student assessing cattle.¹
Professor educating students on cattle anatomy.²
OIE Day-One Competencies.³
Also, obtaining a visa and sponsorship if you are a foreign graduate from a developing country can be difficult compared to graduates from developed countries. By graduating from non-accredited schools, you often must sit a series of exams which are costly and difficult, especially if there is content that hasn’t been covered in your studies. After passing those exams, you still require a visa and sponsorship. This can be a lot of work, especially for individuals that do not plan on staying in a country permanently. The key to correcting many of these problems is developing international standards for veterinary schools worldwide and implementing them through governing bodies in each country. The OIE has developed day-one competencies, which are reinforced by governing bodies in the developed world. This includes the AVMA and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Veterinary schools require governing bodies to determine where there are pitfalls in the curriculum to ensure that students are receiving the highest quality of education possible. The government should also be involved in providing funding for students to work overseas to obtain veterinary skills in different countries. A more detailed analysis on the core curriculum of veterinary schools and accreditation is required to determine how veterinary schools in developing countries can meet international demands, giving the option of foreign veterinarians to work overseas.
References: 1. CABI.org. 2021. Veterinary and animal sciences - CABI.org. [online] Available at: <https://www.cabi.org/products-andservices/veterinary-and-animal-sciences/> [Accessed 21 May 2021]. 2. MSD Veterinary Manual. 2021. New Veterinary Education Framework Introduced at Educators Conference - Veterinary Manual. [online] Available at: <https://www.msdvetmanual.com/news/editorial/2018/05/01/17/14/new-veterinary-education-frameworkintroduced-at-educators-conference> [Accessed 21 May 2021]. 3. 2021. OIE Day One Competencies. [online] Available at: <https://www.oie.int/en/what-we-offer/improving-veterinary-services/pvspathway/targeted-support/veterinary-and-veterinary-paraprofessional-education/> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
SKILLS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU HAD by Zu Żabińska IVSA Equine Community Liaison Officer These thoughts creep on all of us; you are not alone. Hundreds of other students all over the world feel the same. The course is tough; it is hard to care for your mental and physical health and pass all the exams with good grades (remember, grades are not important and they don’t define you… they can help you get a scholarship though, which could pay some of your
bills as in my case). Some students must work during
doubt. You are not sure if the
their studies, which unfortunately uses the whole
path you chose is the right
free time they had. With no psychological help at the
one. The longer you study and
universities, it is not easy to go through vet school
practice in the clinics, the
without having such thoughts.
more you realize the problems our day.
dreams about the vet career as you used to 5-10 years ago, and
reality. You lose the inner motivation and what pushes you to study and continue your traineeship is fear of the future. You got so far, you studied so hard, now there is only one path: graduation and 30 years of work as a clinician. It cannot be “wasted”; you need to try hard not to “lose” all those years.
What you need to learn is that you are worthy. You have many skills that you acquired during your life – through veterinary courses, study clubs, school projects, hobbies, volunteering, or working in the student associations. These are the transferable skills,
industries! I will not try to convince you to change the profession, but I want to show you the options. I don’t want you to study because you fear the future and you think you are useless outside the veterinary industry. I want you to study and do your best because you know how many amazing traits you have, in how many industries you could work in if you ever wanted. You should feel secure and want to improve in the field you love. You will know you have many options, and with passion, not fear, you will choose this exact one.
We often don’t know how to identify our
If you previously presented your student
transferable skills; therefore, we think we
projects, contacted sponsors or university
don’t have any. Unless you had great
authorities when organizing a conference,
or were a student representative, you
(hands up if you did, I didn’t) you don’t
should mention your oral and written
know what you can offer and how you can
use all you have learned during your life. And
changing jobs, careers or starting one as a
In veterinary school, we all must be
organized, well-planned, and manage time effectively to prepare our studying
To identify your transferable skills, think
schedules and pass all necessities in the
about the job or project you want to start
demanding environment of veterinary
or one that you might consider in the
medicine. This is particularly important
future. Make a list of the skills included in
when you combine the studies with
its description and think about how you
extracurricular activities like organizing
could fit what they’re looking for and meet
student events, engaging in IVSA, or
the requirements. Now you will realize
how much you know and how many valuable skills you have. Let’s go through
As a member of student associations, be
some of them you might have acquired
initiative! You can propose new projects or
during all the activities you have done in
organize student events to show your ideas.
Event coordination is a valuable skill that you can develop when working with other
Taking part in studying clubs, student
students on your projects.
projects, and getting engaged in student
Having a chance to organize a student
conference allows you to acquire many
interpersonal skills and shows that you
useful skills. It shows you are initiative, self-
can work in a team. Collaborative work is
motivated, and passionate. If you are the
essential in many companies. Don’t forget
originator of the idea and choose the
about the projects that you prepared
organizing committee, it is a perfect
yourself; the ability to work alone is an
opportunity to work on your leadership
important trait when performing many
and team management skills.
Self-motivation, which was already mentioned, is an important trait nowadays. As veterinary students, we are often quick learners who can be taught vast amounts of information in a short period of time, but what is important is our will and motivation. It will help us achieve more and focus on the goal while avoiding unnecessary mistakes (please remember, we all make mistakes and sometimes there’s no other way to learn something other than by trial and error). During your traineeship, you often must think and work fast in a new environment. We can adapt quickly and work under pressure. If you have assisted surgical procedures, you have proven your ability to remain focused for a long period of time, which is an asset when applying for many jobs. Have you ever had to analyze a problem, break it apart and solve it step by step? Of course! We all do it when analyzing any clinical case, and analytical and problem-solving skills are crucial in many industries. Have you ever worked on a student research project or wrote an article? I am sure you had to analyze a vast amount of scientific papers and medical data. Using your organizational skills, you planned the project by utilizing your critical thinking and data analysis skills. A strong work ethic is incredibly important in our profession. We learn it during our university course: by putting our studies first, managing time wisely, meeting deadlines, staying honest, completing quality work, and staying organized and consistent. Remember to always show respect. Staying calm, active listening, and avoiding gossip are important parts of a strong work ethic. Work ethic is a belief that hard work and diligence have a moral benefit and an inherent ability, virtue, or value to strengthen character and individual abilities. Listening to feedback is an inevitable part of being a student. All our exams and our performance are assessed regularly. Make sure you benefit from the feedback and put it down to experience. Getting involved in extracurricular activities will allow you to have more opportunities to work in a team, receive more feedback, and learn how to provide it to other team members as well.
Externship and internship placements and If you have had an opportunity to help in an animal clinic, you probably had contact with the owners,
service skills. Listen to the dialogues,
situations, and try to run your own scenarios in your head to be better prepared for your future veterinary (not only!) career. Social media is now the most common
generations. If you have ever had a chance to maintain a student event Facebook page, this
animal clinics know that veterinary students and young veterinarians lack some knowledge and experience (remember, you’re not alone. Majority of us don’t receive enough training during
employer knows it too, so please read this paragraph -it’s for you). They are also aware of our learning abilities and high intelligence, which allow us to learn an impressive amount of knowledge during a short period of a traineeship. As students, we need to act with humility, ask for advice and show that we can follow
veterinarians. There are situations when your imaginations will be awarded, but there are many situations in the medical environment when you need to follow strict, complex rules and respect others’ knowledge. Don’t take shortcuts; be a conscientious worker. During
patience, and resilience. Be proud of them as these are important traits in your personal and work life. I
appreciation for what you are doing and how you are feeling. Please seek support if you ever feel the need, and I hope you now notice how many amazing skills you have acquired during this time and realize that you are worthy.
INTERVIEWS Dr. Chloe Buiting is an Australian veterinarian and wildlife conservationist. Her experience growing up on Australia’s beautiful Lord Howe Island inspired her to pursue a career in the field of wildlife conservation. Dr. Chloe completed a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, both at the University of Melbourne. Following this, she undertook additional training in large animal anaesthesia in Africa. Dr. Chloe has since spent time both working and volunteering with a range of wildlife organisations around the world. Dr. Chloe shares her adventures on Instagram (@/jungle_doctor) and through her website (jungledoctor.org). Dr. Chloe’s first book, The Jungle Doctor, will be published in May 2021.
1. 1. In your opinion, what do you believe are the differences in the veterinary curriculum across different countries? How do you think veterinary education in Australia differs from others? This question is a little bit hard for me to comment on to a certain extent because you can only compare your experiences from where you studied, and for me that was in Melbourne, Australia. I had a wonderful experience in vet school, so my veterinary school provided a lot of hands-on clinical experience. I was able to do a few externships in different places, one of which was in America. There, I was able to compare a little bit of the student experience to the one I had in Australia. I know that some schools over there focus a little bit more heavily on clinical experience than others. Some of my colleagues at the time had a lot of clinical experience and some less, due to their different regulations and legislations where they were studying and university protocols.
That was a little bit of a difference that I did notice. Some schools, at least in Australia and the US, at the moment, allow streaming so you can focus a little bit more on your area of interest during university, which is something that wasn't available to me when I studied in Melbourne. That's an interesting aspect, depending on where you study as well, so that's something to keep in mind. I was a little jealous of it, but I was really happy with my education in Australia. It's not really a curriculum-based answer - more of an opportunity-based answer. But of course, there are different degrees in different parts of the world and they recognize them differently depending on where you study and where you aspire to practice. So, there are a few of those differences there depending on where you study. There can be a difference in the availability of externships, depending again on where you study, at least locally in your country, what opportunities are available to you [may depend]. In Australia, for example, I was interested in wildlife, and there were a lot of opportunities to work with it, as opposed to traveling abroad, so that was special. Another aspect that's related to where you study is financial constraints to a certain extent. For example, my husband studied in Germany and his
education is free, and some of my friends studied in America and their education comes with a significant cost. Here in Australia, we're somewhere in between, so again that's not really based on the curriculum, but it is important to know it. It does depend on where you study. So, those are some of the things that I can think of for that one.
2. What could be the possible problems faced by a wildlife veterinarian in an international setting? What are some possible ways to minimize these issues? I guess there’s an inherited risk on what we do in general as vets, wherever you work in a small animal practice or referral hospital or in the field with wildlife or even research. So, there's a lot of occupational health and safety things that come into concern there. I guess number one would be safety concerns. They may be related to the animals that you're working with, in which there's not a lot that you can do with that, other than during clinical ability, and you might face challenging circumstances depending again where in the world you're practicing as a wildlife vet.
In Australia, for example, I was interested in wildlife, and there were a lot of opportunities to work with it, as opposed to traveling abroad, so that was special. Another aspect that's related to where you study is financial constraints to a certain extent. For example, my husband studied in Germany and his education is free,
and some of my friends studied in America and their education comes with a significant cost. Here in Australia, we're somewhere in between, so again that's not really based on the curriculum, but it is important to know it. It does depend on where you study. So, those are some of the things that I can think of for that one.
Dr. Chloe works with a range of wildlife organizations around the world, like this elephant sanctuary, which is home to a lot of rescue elephants.
One of the challenges there coming from a perspective where I trained in Australia where euthanasia is considered a good outcome in many respects, in terms of it being literally an end to suffering, but in Thailand, where predominantly practice is [based off] Buddhism, euthanasia is not an option there. So, you have to consider the cultural differences of places you are working in and you have to sometimes come up with creative solutions to some of the issues that you encounter. Another thing is that in some areas you might have to undertake different protocols as a woman, and as the profession [of veterinary medicine] is increasingly female-dominated, it's a wonderful thing we have so many amazing female colleagues and upcoming students, such as yourself. It is an exciting time to be a woman in the veterinary profession, but also if you plan on working in different places in the world, there's different things you have to adhere to and recognize and respect depending on where you are. These’re all sorts of things that you can easily manage and mitigate. With wildlife, and no matter where in the world, finances are always going to be a concern. Often enough they (wildlife veterinarians) don't have an owner who's paying for this treatment, and the rehabilitation - a lot of it is [paid by] donations; sometimes it's government support depending on where you are; sometimes it's just public support or charity, fundraising things like that.
Finances are always going to be a huge concern or one of the biggest concerns when it comes to conservation and wildlife. The question on how to manage is probably one of the bigger questions. These are really good questions, which I don't really have the answer to, other than [it requires] the combination of a lot of effort.
3. Do you think that the training we received during the course is sufficient? Or should we have included a specialization in the area that we would like to pursue? For example, in human medicine here in Portugal, students have 4 years of specialization in their chosen area after 6 years of the course. Do you think a similar system would be beneficial? It's always interesting hearing about the different systems in different countries, and I enjoyed that. However, in general, I always sort of had the same answer to questions like this because students often wonder about specialization and what path to take. There's a lot of concern around that. I think it's important to remember that we receive a good foundation in medicine and the university provides a really broad, well-rounded, transferable degree that's applicable in a range of different disciplines. So, that's exciting for veterinarians.
I think that's something important to remember, so I don't think specialization is necessary unless it's something that you want to pursue. If it is, then that’s wonderful as well. But, I think something good to do during vet school is to focus on externships. I spoke about them a little bit before, but they are such great opportunities to get a little insight into the area that you finally might be interested in and get a little bit of experience. Also trying to get a broad range of externships can be beneficial because it gives you a lot of different insights into different areas of this field. I also try to remind people that it is a diverse profession that does offer a range of transferable skills, so it might be a matter of making your career - the career that you want. In my case, to use mine as an example, it was a mix of clinical and non-clinical rules, so it is anything that you want to make of it. I think that the university gives you a really good foundation to do that, and if you choose to specialize on top of it, then that's wonderful, but if you don't, you have everything that you need to pursue so many different avenues.
4. On the other hand, the courses we take are extremely broad, what do you think about specialization options on the university path?
That’s what I was leading to a little bit before when I was a bit jealous when they introduced this at my university a few years after I graduated because I always wanted to work with wildlife and in conservation. I didn't know how that would look if it would be in a zoo or if it would be in the field, but I just wanted to do that. So, if I had the option I definitely would have picked everything completely in wildlife and zoo animals and conservation and a little bit of research that I've done and probably not much of anything else. In hindsight, I'm very glad that I didn't have that option available to me because I'm grateful for all of the other experiences I had during veterinary school that were in cattle and sheep and horses and One Health and even epidemiology, which I never would have looked twice at until I was forced to. Now I realized how incredible that was. University was a real tool to explore all these different avenues, and I’m really glad that I did. I don’t think that not streaming or specializing in university disadvantages me in any way, shape, or form.
You can still have your experiences in the field that you like while still having additional side experiences at the same time. I don’t think it disadvantaged me but at the same time, I totally would have chosen it, if I was back at university five years ago. So, it’s a hard one to answer, but I think there’s no wrong answer, which is the most important point to take from it.
5. We know that you are responsible for "Loop Abroad", do you think it is important to have these experiences of volunteering/ internship abroad for a more universal education?
Yes, my answer is probably, obviously yes. I feel these experiences are important. I'm very passionate about Loop Abroad, and the reason for that is because back in the day before I started studying for my undergraduate degree, and certainly before my veterinary degree, I had a few experiences studying abroad in my area and they opened my eyes and inspired me. I saw for the first time what I'd imagined in my head of this career that I wanted to pursue, and I saw it and I met people doing it, and I was able to learn from them. This just instilled in me the confidence to know that it's out there and gave me the courage to pursue the path that we all know can be very challenging.
. Getting into vet school is such a big hurdle, and then getting through vet school is the next hurdle, and then becoming a vet is the next hurdle. The hurdle never really stopped. The big experiences that I had were valuable to me, so I think that they can be great learning experiences to develop your clinical skills as well. I think they were so great to gain research and vet hours. That being said, I don't think they necessarily fit everyone. What I struggle with often is the finances of everything, and what's expected of students, in terms of when you find a job, you have to demonstrate all of this experience, but to get the experience can be very challenging. It can also be costly, and it's already costly enough going to university and studying all these years. It's just another hurdle or challenges, so I do understand that the vast majority of people won’t be in a position to have experiences like these and challenges are not made. That makes me think and that’s disappointing to me because when you're only selecting people that have had a lot of experience and a wide range of experiences in different countries, you're just selecting from a small group of people and missing out on a huge pool of passionate and capable people who can contribute so much. That's a concern of mine, and I'm proud that we offer a lot of scholarships through Loop Abroad. But, I also think that volunteering is a great way of gaining a similar sort of experience.
It's not sort of a structured learning opportunity for a lot of the time, but you still get the amazing clinical experience- you get to meet people already working in the field and can network that way and also demonstrate your interest in that area. That's why I sort of specifically made a page on my website for volunteering places that I recommend that provide great opportunities and most of them are free, so they don't charge a fee or anything. They just ask that you cover your food and board. I sort of grouped them by geographical area, and a lot of people have hopefully found it helpful or they told me that it's been really helpful because sometimes I find it a bit overwhelming to know what organizations are legitimate and where is a genuinely good place to get experience. I also recommend if study abroad opportunities aren't for you, then volunteering might also be a really good optionand it might be abroad or it might also be in your home country.
6. We went to investigate a little and found that for international veterinarians to legally practice in Australia they must pass the Australasian Veterinary Examination (AVE). What do you think about it?
Some countries have entrance exams and requirements and licensing requirements, and some countries don’t, and some countries have their own rules entirely, like Thailand has a bit of a different system going on and Australia is somewhere in betweenwe have our national veterinary exam and here you’re exempt from taking it if you've studied in certain parts of the world and other people who aren't exempt from taking it. I haven't taken it because I studied in Australia, but I did take the NAVLE, so the equivalent of this [AVE] for the United States. I would say that was quite challenging, but at the same time it was also pretty fair in terms of the questions that they ask, and the main thing to remember with these national licensing exams are they, for the most part, tried to assess your skill level, yes, but also try to make sure that you've covered a few of the geography-specific issues and conditions of the area that you're hoping to practice in. In the NAVLE, at least, there are a lot of questions that were foreign to me as an Australian, that I had to study specifically for, like antifreeze toxicity and things like that. In Australia, in our veterinary exam, we have a few geographical specific questions as well, such as Hendra virus, which is prevalent in the area. I think that the exams are important; I think that it's a pretty big hurdle and a bit of a challenge, so that's difficult and the exam itself does take about a year to complete.
You do the first part of it in April or something, which is a written one, and then you do a clinic one for something like a week in Queensland in like November. It has a huge cost associated with it as well. My husband from Germany studied veterinary medicine in Hanover. His degree is not recognized here in Australia, so he is in a similar boat. He looked into doing the exam, and we decided to go a different direction anyway in terms of how we practice since it's mainly overseas anyway, so he didn't pursue that. It's an unfortunate reality of practicing here in Australia, and that is a little bit of a challenge, but it's important to recognize that it is doable and there's good mentorship available. There's also a lot of other parts of the world that you can practice without having to sit in any additional licensing exam; that's worth considering because at least, I'm not sure about you, but that was never taught to me in university. I had no idea what I could do with my degree, and I think that's important to know.
7. Do you think this rightfully showcases their knowledge?
It depends. I think exams have definite weaknesses and downfalls, so I think inherently tests/exams, and written exams, and even verbal exams don’t always very well reflect a person’s ability. They might be affected by nerves or there might be some communication boundaries or maybe anything else. It's not ideal, but I think that, from what I heard at least, the exam is reasonably fair or comparable to other exams overseas and so that’s at least something. That gives you the ability to practice in Australia and New Zealand; both countries are in desperate need of veterinarians. So, at the very least, there will be a job waiting for you at the end of it if it’s something that you do wish to pursue. But, if you’re going to practice elsewhere in the world, you can probably find a lot of places where you don't need to do such a time-consuming and extensive exam.
8. Do you think this rightfully showcases their knowledge?
It’s a little bit hard for me to comment on that specific exam, but they do explore the practical skills, I believe, in 3 or 4 days. It's hard to demonstrate everything that you learned in a potently 6 years at university in that short window, but I think it’s about remembering that universities give you a good foundation in your clinical skills and knowledge no matter where you study.
You might have slightly different experiences along the way, but the foundation is there and that's ultimately what they're trying to assess for. You already have this ability when you graduate as a veterinarian and practice here in Australia. There might be a few specific things you need to learn and a few specific skills you need to develop, and that's what they'll be looking for, but you have so much within you when you graduate with your veterinary degree. That's important to remember.
9. Can you tell us, in your point of view, what are the benefits of having a transferable veterinary license to practice veterinary medicine? There are a lot of benefits to having a transferable veterinary license. I think first and foremost, many people would agree that it's exciting to use your degree in different settings and countries and cultures. Having the ability to do that, it's really special. Also, if you come back to the Wildlife Conservation front, some of the most pressing issues facing the natural world, such as poaching and wildlife crime, are global issues, so they concern all of us. We should all be deeply concerned and troubled by it, and it's all interconnected in this world of ours, so it's going to require vets from all over the world to contribute if that's a space that you want to contribute in.
We can be directly involved in many of these causes, be it clinically or non-clinically. [It’s important to] encourage and remind students that they are capable of entering the field of wildlife conservation and that they can make a huge impact, and also that it's possible is a huge passion of mine. I think it's something that needs to be talked about more because I find a lot of people don't enter the field that they perhaps are thinking of because they're told that it's too hard, that it's impossible, and that there are no jobs; these just simply aren't true. It's true that you have to have a certain degree of flexibility, and sometimes a willingness or ability to travel. There are some factors involved in it, but really what you get out of university is such a wonderful qualification and you can apply it in so many different areas and so many different roles. I think having a transferable veterinary degree can only be a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to practice what you like and in what field you like. I think having that choice and that option is great for our profession.
10. And what negative impacts will this, I mean, the transferable veterinary license cause in the quality of veterinary services? I don't think that it's going to close any negative impacts. I mean, [having] more transferability of skills and people within our profession can only be a good thing
. Many parts of the world are in desperate need of veterinarians and scientists at the moment and being able to get people to where they need and encourage people that don’t know that they can get there, can only be a very good thing. I don't think that any negatives can come out of it.
11. What do you think that a university should consider before providing transferable veterinary licenses to their graduates? When I studied, I wasn't told about the possibilities available once you have your veterinary degree. No matter where you study, but just in terms, not only where in the world you can practice, but just reminding me of the skills that we were given as vets. We have a scientific aptitude, but we're also highly qualified critical thinkers. We’re great decision-makers and problem solvers. We have a systematic way of processing that information. We’re creative. We naturally work in multidisciplinary environments and teams, and, naturally, we’re great communicators, whether we're comfortable doing it or not is another thing, but we're great communicators.We’re science communicators because every day, whether you're in a small animal practice or not, you're communicating with another veterinarian or an owner or a member of the public. So, these are all skills that are taught to us over our veterinary degree.
At the end of it, no one sort of reminded me that we had all of these skills and that you can apply them to different parts of the world and also different jobs, whether you want to be a clinical vet working with the turtles in the Maldives or whether you want to be a researcher working on the next pandemic or whether you want to work on policy and start to strengthen some of your government's local issues in terms of wildlife conservation. I think, personally, that universities should focus on a small module or something, or I can come and talk to them about all these pathways and opportunities available to students. I think that's number one something that they can be doing. I think that they also need to provide good avenues for externships, so students can come to them and find great places to complete their training, and [have] externships that have been vetted by the university [which] they've assessed it, and it's a reputable place. Then advertise them to the students, to give the students these options and possibilities they can do with their externship. It’s another valuable one. I think just the basics of providing a good foundation in clinical skills and knowledge [is important]. They are probably the three big ones that universities can either continue to do or start doing. I think that it will, hopefully, encourage a lot of people to know about their transferable skills, about their amazing qualification degree, and about all the possibilities that they have available to them
Dauda Ayomide Onawola Dauda recently graduated with a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) degree, and he is licensed to practice in Nigeria. He was the first to receive Best Junior Ambassador award from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) among other awards. He also held positions at local, national and international veterinary student organizations during his undergraduate days. He is an advocate for One Health, and his specific areas of interest in the One Health domain are zoonosis, antimicrobial resistance, and plastic recycling. He strives to help people in Africa understand the biological inter-dependence that exists between the components of the One Health triad – humans, animals and the environment, and to help create innovative solutions to One Health problems, such that Africans may live healthy lives with much less dependence on interventions. He believes Africa is still yet to harness the potentials in livestock production efficiently to improve the livelihood of indigenous populations and he hopes to help concerned authorities to get better on this end. Dauda is the Vice President of Marketing for the International Student One Health Alliance, and he hopes to help spread the knowledge of One Health as wide as possible through this position.
1. In your point of view, what are the benefits of having a transferable veterinary license? To start with, it offers veterinarians the opportunity to explore practice in other countries with peculiar predominant species and disease prevalence. This would enable them acquire and diffuse knowledge about what is obtainable in other places and to adopt best practices, in turn, the development of expertise in the domain of veterinary medicine would be widespread and impactful.
2. In your opinion, what do you believe are the differences in the veterinary curriculum across different countries?
While this might be difficult to tell from the outset or say would need intensive efforts to ascertain, it is obvious that the intensity of training on certain species and/or on certain type of infections differs with regions. This implies that students from certain region learns more of certain things than others, depending on the prevalence of certain species, diseases (as influenced by other factors such as climate etc)
3. What should a university consider before providing transferrable veterinary licenses to their graduates? The OIE Day One competency checklist would be a very useful tool here. Also, there are other competency checklists by other institutions which may be used.
Once a veterinary graduate is able to perform well in most if not all of the competences indicated in whichever competency checklist the institution choose to use, he/she should be granted a transferable license (geographically transferable license) conferring on them the authority to practice in other countries (at least in the same continent) without demanding additional regulatory assessments.
Tight regulations and costs associated with regulatory assessments constitute another problem.
5. What could be the possible ways to minimize the problems faced during the international practices? Adoption of a global/regional unified training system such that licenses would become enablers towards globalizing veterinary education.
4. What could be the possible problems faced by a veterinarian in international practices?
6. What could be possible sources of funding for international exchange?
In practice, prevalence of certain diseases that are uncommon in the veterinarian’s base country is one thing though not so difficult to overcome since the basic knowledge would be there.
Scholarships, faculty funding, funded trainings are viable options. Although, these options are always available in limited quantities, as such, alternatives become imperative.
7. What negative impacts will this (transferrable veterinary license) cause in the quality of veterinary services? Actually, there will be a flow of veterinarians from resource-tight countries to wealthier countries – from global south to global south, and this will impede the growth and attainment of potentials in veterinary practice, livestock production, public health and other crucial aspects of societal life.
Students Perspective for A Global Curriculum Merel Knoops is the President of the International Veterinary Students’ Association. She’s put her 5th year of veterinary medicine on hold to fully focus on IVSA and is now combining her presidency with a part time job at a vaccination facility. She loves horse-riding and finally being able to go out for cocktails again, but she hates that she hasn’t been able to see her IVSA family for over 1.5 years now.
A veterinary course might differ from country to country. With vast experiences interacting with veterinary students from all around the world, what is your perspective about the fundamentally essential modules that should be included in every country? That’s difficult because obviously there’s all the basics that everyone kind of needs, (such as) parasitology, bacteriology, virology, and anatomy. These are all very basic things that I think should be included in every course, but besides those basic ones, what I think it's incredibly important is communication skills and that’s not something we get at Ghent University though I do think it's not something that can be taught enough. Basically we would need, or I would have
Merel Knoops IVSA President
preferred even more practice, so definitely communication skills or something, I think should be [implemented into] a module in every single country.
In contrast, which one subject do you think can be added to the current course to make veterinary education more efficient? To make it more efficient. I'd say probably something to do with technology, [such as] digital technology and artificial intelligence. These are rapidly changing fields, and our professor didn’t know enough about it, neither did we, so I think we should be taught more about that. It would definitely come in handy when we get to practice because those are things we’re going to run into every single day. Telemedicine is on the rise.
What do you think are the differences in the veterinary curriculum across different countries? How do you think veterinary education in your home country differs from others? Differences between countries - I think the most obvious thing I would say is that the species that are highlighted the most in all of the curricular. So, for example, in Belgium we focus on dogs and cats, horses and cattle, and then we think about cows, for example we think about Belgian BlueWhite, so we got a lot of Csections that are being taught. But when you look at for example the Netherlands, which is where I'm from, we have less of it- like meat cattle or dairy cattle, so then it's also a bit less C-sections. So, in the Netherlands, that's probably where the focus is going to be on. Then let's see, so I assume in Indonesia, you guys are probably being taught about elephants as well a bit more of the wildlife side, maybe definitely in South Africa those kinds of things are going to happen as well. Let’s say in Europe, there is a lot of intensive farming and maybe some lesser developed regions or countries are going to have more extensive farming, so these are also differences I think that will be highlighted in everyone's curriculum. From my own country, Belgium, where I go to university, I think it's the C-section that we're being taught so much.
In your opinion, should every university provide a specialization course for undergraduates to focus more on their desired speciality? Or do you think an undergraduate should learn a little about each topic and take a specialization program after they graduate? And why? I think it differs in how you define undergraduate basically. Because for me we have a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, so the Bachelor's degree is very general. The first one and a half years of the Master’s are pretty general as well, and then in the final one and a half years you specialize, but you still graduate with a diploma basically that allows you to practice all types of veterinary medicine. In the Netherlands, I know it's three years of Bachelor’s is general and then three years of Master’s work is very specifically focused on one species, like horses, production animals, or small animals. So, I think it's a hard question because it really differs per person and I have lots of friends that want to work in a mixed practice, but I also have a lot of friends who like horses. I think it’ll be different per individual [depending on] what they would prefer.
Based on your experience, what are the struggles that you personally face as a vet student?
To be a veterinarian, it is necessary to invest in more training in addition to the course itself. Do you think students have the money to invest in more training than they have already spent for the universities? Or is it only those who have the privilege to study abroad with better curriculums or take a specialist degree? What is your opinion about this? I think as much as possible should be covered by the university college fee because besides just the regular fee, they’re going to offer additional books for even if it's just a couple of euros. There will always be students that won't be able to afford it. It is better to have everyone as equal, [by saying] this is what everyone pays and this is what everyone gets, just like everything you need to get, like the maximum amount of grades. I don't think there should be any type of opportunity for the richer kids to buy, [in terms of] education tools, for example, that are going to help them to get higher grades. That’s how you create inequality, and I don't think that's a good thing, so definitely keep it as equal as possible.
All over the world, vet med is really, I think, one of the most difficult directions of study you can pick. The work pressure is just extremely high. What I personally run into is that we have two exam periods per year. So they (the lesson materials) last about four to five weeks, and then there's also one or two weeks in front when you're free, but that means you're studying from 8am to 5pm. Let’s say [there is] at least six or seven weeks in total where I completely have to give up my social life. I cannot go out to parties or just have a drink with friends from 8 to 5 every single day. Sometimes even at night, I will have to continue studying, and it's so stressful because sometimes you have exams and you can't even take the night off. I've had times when I had to come home after an exam in the afternoon, and at night I was studying for the next exam again. There was like zero time to relax in between, and it's just extremely stressful. Also my birthday is in June, which is one of our exam periods, so I haven't been able to celebrate my birthday for 4 years, which is really horrible. So the exams here are super stressful, and there are so many lectures that you need to keep up with, which makes it very hard to do extra-curricular stuff - which I think is super important because that's where I've learned so much of how and who I become as a person. Because you're so busy with lectures and lack practical experience
as well, you need to take care of your own internships. It's all voluntary; you need to set up everything if you want to get any practical experience before. Let’s say you're in your final year, and it is hard to find the time for it, so it's just almost impossible to be a good student, have a social life, and be mentally stable
In your point of view, what are the benefits of having a transferable veterinary license to practice veterinary medicine? Well honestly, I want to work abroad for at least a couple of years. I've always wanted to work in Australia because I love koalas. It's my ultimate dream to work with them, but for me that means I have to get the AVMA accreditation. Lots of universities in Europe are already accredited, which means it will cost me a couple of thousand dollars just to take an additional test and then to take the NAVLE, which is so expensive. It's money I'm not going to have when I graduate from vet school, so I'll be forced to work in Belgium for a couple of years to save the money and then be able to get the accreditation to actually go and work abroad, which is really unfair because when I graduate I'll be like a competence vet. I’m still a newly graduated vet, so I'll need some extra guidance in Belgium and I'll need the guidance in Australia. If we manage to just get all vet schools to be on the same standard, because I do think that's
important before you have an actual transferable license, then it'll open up the way for so many more international kinds of opportunities for vet students. I think at this point I'm very limited to Europe [in terms of] where I can practice, and that's a shame because I think lots of students have so much to offer outside of Europe, out of their own continent outside of their own country. Even they should be given those opportunities.
In your perspective, what should a university consider before providing transferrable veterinary licenses to their graduates?
I think basically there would have to be some type of universal list of day one competencies and that's what everyone's going to have to know, which is very difficult as well. It means that you're going to have to know about all of the species all over the world. For example, I would have to know about camels if the transferable license would have to get me to Morocco and I obviously did not learn a thing about camels in Gent which is fair enough because I don't really need it. What would they [the university] have to consider is everything about veterinary medicine. They're going to have to cover every single aspect about every single animal. As I said, all the different technologies are going to have to be on the same page. Communication skills are going to have to be the same for all of the vets. Maybe even Spanish, but definitely everyone
should have their classes in English because without speaking the [same] language or having English as a universal language, it's going to be impossible to go to another country.
IVSA collaborates with EAEVE (European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education) to communicate the issues of veterinary undergraduates to create a more effective and costefficient way to teach veterinary medicine. Can you tell us more about what positive aspects and benefits IVSA members can obtain from this collaboration?
alongside the entire team of experts on veterinary education for the entire week. They're going to teach you so much. You're going to get to interact with the local students and see how universities are doing things. You'll get to learn things from them, and I applied myself just two weeks ago because I think it's a really good opportunity. I think to all IVSA members from EAEVE accredited schools, I would highly recommend you going on an ESEVT visitation.
So through EAEVE, we have a partnership with the ESEVT, which is a visitation program where the EAEVE accredited universities get audited by a team of experts. Every time in that team, there is also a student expert, which IVSA promotes. You don't necessarily need to be an IVSA member, but we (IVSA) promote it, and we offer that opportunity to our students. Students from EAEVE accredited universities can apply. Then, they will get to go on a visitation. It will never be their own university because that's on the one hand conflict of interest. They’ll also cover your travel and accommodation. You'll get actual training beforehand to make sure you're qualified to go on the visitation, and you’ll get to work
Victoria McKaba Victoria McKaba is a 4th year veterinary student who will be graduating from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Originally from New Jersey, Victoria will be returning to the east coast as a Small Animal Rotating Intern at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA. She hopes to pursue residency in Cardiology following her internship. During veterinary school, Victoria was the President of her local SAVMA chapter and went on to be elected to the National SAVMA Executive Board as Chapter President Representative. She also was involved as President of Omega Tau Sigma, Theta Chapter and Class of 2021 Representative for the Illinois Student Chapter of the ACVIM. Outside of the hospital, Victoria can be found hiking outside with her dog Bentley or checking out local breweries and restaurants.
1. In your point of view, what are the benefits of having a transferable veterinary license? As someone who is a 4th year student going through this licensure process, I do wish we had more access. As someone from the east coast, our states are very close to each other. I am in New Jersey right now, and I can access probably 3 or 4 states within an hour and a half. When you talk about veterinary medicine and the different avenues you can go down, whether it be policy or large animal or small animal or relief work or shelter medicine, this individual state licensure situation ultimately makes it more difficult for veterinarians to access clients and animals in different states,
especially states that are a little bit more closer together. Having a way to have a licensure, whether that is regional or multistate packages, all of this comes with a price point and at a cost. Who is going to pay the cost- veterinarians or their employers? This is really a place for us to discuss how we can make veterinary medicine accessible not only for our clients, but to prospective veterinary students.
2. What negative impacts will this (transferrable veterinary license) cause in the quality of veterinary services? There are two sides to the storythe veterinary medicine and the state legislature. At the end of the day, we are 50 states. Each states
Each state has the right to make up their own laws and regulations. From my experience and from what I understand, there are some states that have very specific legislatures dictating where the veterinarian is responsible in the role of society. But, I think that is where the regional licensure would make more sense. I think some states’ licensure and legislation are very basic with not a lot of strict rules and regulations.California, New York, and Texas can keep their own licenses because those states are so large that they house so many veterinarians. But it may be different for small states, like Carolinas, Dakotas, Oregon, and Washington. I don’t know enough about policies to know about why each state requires their own specific licensure, but making it more accessible for veterinarians to have multi-state licensure without having to buy [different licenses]. [For example,] if you want to buy New England [license], it’s going to cost you $1500 to go to Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Veterinary medicine in general is expensive, and we talk about student debt constantly. So if someone is trying to broaden their horizon and work in these states as a relief veterinarian, they have to upfront that cost for themselves because, especially relief veterinarians, they don’t have a primarily employer who will refund them for their state licensures. Now, they (relief veterinarians) are having to pay if
if they want to work in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, a huge upfront cost and they will be accessing so many more people with the skills that they have. I am not 100% up to date with my policy, but I can’t imagine that the rules and regulations in these states are all that much different. It seems like a regional license would at least be better than a specific state license that you have to consider 50 different versions. Absolutely, and if you think about emergency national response, every single time you have a veterinarian that is being called in, whether you talk about the pandemic or national disaster, [you have to consider these different legislations.] Things I’m thinking about are hurricane season in the South, like Louisiana, where you have veterinarians being asked to come from southern states, like Kentucky and Georgia. You have all of these veterinarians who are in theory able to help, but they need to protect themselves and they need to practice within their own jurisdiction. Government policies are not going to rapidly approve all of these veterinarians, so you have people who want to help but might not be able to help in that moment of true need. Veterinarians play such an essential role in One Health and public health that I think we need to adapt to allow
3. What should a university consider before providing transferrable veterinary licenses to their graduates?
Victoria was listening to this pup for any heart murmurs during her cardiology rotation. people to move across state lines. Because right now with how things are set up, it is prohibiting extra hands and bodies and minds to these places that we can be used and utilized. The licensure processes are not cut and dry and not straightforward. There are a lot of hoops and lots of documents and transferring your NAVLE score and having all of these different [issues]. Like I transferred my NAVLE score a week and a half ago, and I just got an email today that it actually sent. So, it actually took almost 2 full weeks for that to get transferred to the state boards. The process is not quick by any means and it’s not something that is always easy to find. If it’s not worth it or if you can’t necessarily see the benefit of it, you might just say that you will practice in your one state. But, I would take a bet that if you offer it to people regionally, they will 100% take it because it will give them more flexibility with their job.
I think that it is difficult for universities to play a role because each university is very different. For example, the University of Illinois, where I go, has a very large out-of-state population. Some students will stay in Illinois, but I think a large majority is probably leaving. It does make it difficult for the administrators, a small group we have, to guide every single 4th year to go through this process. Another thing that makes it difficult is when you are originally choosing your state licensure, you are choosing that around October, September, even August when you sign up for the NAVLE. If you are going to the MATCH program, that doesn’t come out until early winter. Even most people who are trying to look at the job market aren’t looking until the fall or even early winter. So, it becomes very difficult with the NAVLE timeframe and NAVLE being a central part of the licensure process. Then, saying, “Ok, well do this and it may or may not work out for you and if it doesn’t work out for you, then you’re going to do it all over again.” The University of Illinois specifically are involved with the licensure for anybody who does want to elect to do Illinois licensure because there a couple of extra forms and stuff that they have to collect and verify that they
are 4th year students, are in good standards, and are able to be licensed as of next year as long as their grades are confirmed. But, I don’t think that there is a lot that an university can do right now because it’s so state specific and one of the hardest parts is how you are going to be a master of 50 state licensing boards and licensures. You are probably more familiar with your home state, for those who are staying in their home state or at least selecting licensure in their home state, since you have more available resources. But for those people who are going to random states or smaller states, they probably don’t know the process much. There are a lot of online resources, specifically through the AVMA that have the outline of what the certification process looks like, but it kind of falls onto the individual students to make sure that their licensure gets approved and ready to start working after graduation. Each state has a completely different process. Some states have separate exams even after the NAVLE, like you need to know these laws and you need to know how that state functions. [On the other hand,] for some you pay the fee, send the score,and you are on your way, and there is everything in between. I’m sure that if you ask and you need the help and you reach out, they will be more than happy to help you. But expecting that from them, I think is a little
Victoria completed her first spay on a 10 month old kitten as a part of her junior surgery during third year. bit over reacting because there’s just so many different processes and again, these smaller and little bit more obscure and far away states makes it difficult. I don’t think that universities should be responsible for that. I think that really falls on the student. If you have no idea where you want to study or end up, whether it be a job or through the MATCH, there are certain states that kind of fit. When you sign up for the NAVLE, they have this auto registration and it’s a $50 flat fee. I would highly recommend doing that unless you’re 95% certain that you’re going to end up in one of these different states. But if you have no idea and you’re just applying, I personally am an advocate of saving your money where you can. 95% of the keeping
your cost down where you can if you really have no idea is something that I always recommend.
4. What would you recommend graduating students or 3rd years who are starting to think where they want to practice? Do you recommend a specific website that they should check out for each state? ICVA, which are the people that make the NAVLE, have all of this information on their website. That’s where I got my information when I was applying and thinking about this. I think that obviously talking with your family and friends, but also if there is someone in your school that is dedicated to career advancement or a mentor that you have, you can just talk with them about your goals for the next year or two years or three years. I think that’s really going to help people narrow down which state licensure makes sense for them. If you have a significant other or a specific place for your internship in mind or you really want to go to a new state that you’ve never been to because you’re single and you’re happy and you can move there and experience it for a year, those are all personal decisions for the individual student to make. At the end of the day, making that decision soundly with the help of your friends and family
and mentors is ultimately going to be the easiest. There’s all these resources online between the AVMA and ICVA on how to make these decisions and what’s going to be the best for you and look at possible jobs. AVMA has a job board as well as other sites, like Indeed, and LinkedIn will have job recruiters reaching out to you, so you can get a feel of what’s available in the interest of your choice and then move on from there.
5. In your opinion, what do you believe are the differences in the veterinary curriculum across different countries? How do you think veterinary education in the United States differs from others? So from my understanding of the international curriculum, it kind of depends on the country that you are coming from. Obviously there are international universities that are AVMA accredited that fall within what AVMA councils of education deem appropriate for veterinary education in the United States. The way that I understand is that some of the European schools do offer a Bachelor’s or “our [American’s] definition of Bachelor’s,” so they [the European students] are still going as doctors, but their education is less in terms of years technically studied. To me, that’s a very interesting way of doing it for two reasons.
I’ve always known that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I’m one of those kids that since they were 3 or 4 years old, they were saying that they were going to be a vet and that’s what I’m going to do. So, it’s very interesting because I’ve always known I wanted to be a veterinarian. My entire undergraduate education was tailored to that, but I wouldn’t give up my undergraduate education for multiple reasons. When I got into veterinary school, I was 21, about to turn 22 years old. I don’t think personally a 19 or 20 year old Victoria would be mentally or emotionally ready to handle veterinary school and the demands of the United States veterinary education. I also loved my undergrad years, and I was able to study things like art history that may not actually benefit my career but was something that I loved and truly enjoyed. I think that in this Bachelor’s model of veterinary education, you have people who are likely to be passionate about it, which is awesome. If they had to choose this and the way they are structured, they are in it to win it. But I think that veterinary medicine, as much as it’s my life and my life’s work, it’s not me as a person. It’s not everything that I am. I love traveling. I love hiking. I love visiting local breweries. I love culture. Having my older teens and younger 20s develop myself and my personality were very crucial in making me the veterinarian that I am now at 25 [years old].
So, I don’t think that the education from a quality level is any different. These are people that the United Kingdom and whoever is deeming that it is good enough education to be their doctors. But for me as an American student and as somebody who did a traditional 4 year undergrad, part of me thinks it sounds nice to say that you can be 23 [years old] and be done and be a doctor, but part of me would never give up my undergrad. I think it makes me a more well rounded human, even though I’ll be a couple years older and have a little bit more debt and have all of these things that might be different from the European system. Because from what it looks like online, their education system is very affordable and you’re not taking that extra time to do general activities and things like that.
Victoria excited to move to the east coast and chase her dreams of becoming a cardiologist.
I think that at 18 [years old] or whatever age it works out to be, you might think one thing about yourself and get half way through and be like “absolutely not” (with veterinary medicine). You grow as a person during those years and that’s why it’s there for you to really learn what makes you happy. Dedicating yourself to something that might not make you happy in the long run isn’t worth it. We want our veterinarians to be dedicated 100%, but we also want our veterinarians to be happy. We want them to be well-rounded. We want them to have interests outside of veterinary medicine and nurture those interests and really have time for themselves as people. There are accelerated programs [in the United States], such as Washington State that has a 7 year program and in Illinois there is a school up in Chicago area called Augustana that a couple of my classmates did 3 years and then they come down to University of Illinois to finish their 4th year of their Bachelor’s degree while starting their 1st year consecutively. So, I think all of the students are going to be incredible veterinarians, but I don’t think I would be giving up my senior year in college to go to vet school.
6. In order for international veterinarians to legally practice in the United States, they have to pass the NAVLE. Do you think veterinarians internationally are able to communicate and be on the space page? From my understanding, there’s actually a little bit more than just the NAVLE because there’s ECFVG (Educational Commission for Foriegn Veterinary Graduates certification). That seems like a very intensive foreign step program to basically verify that you graduated and have a English language ability test as well as clinical veterinary science knowledge and hands-on clinical veterinary medical skills. It seems like this certificate program, as well as passing the NAVLE, will allow you to get licensure. From the international students as well as people that I’ve met abroad, I think Americans are fortunate that almost everybody speaks English and for the most part, [English is] taught in most European, Asian, and as well as South American schools because English has become the universal language. If you have traveled abroad, 90% of the service workers, [such as] people in restaurants and people who drive taxis, all speak some degree of English. With this ECFVG, which includes an English component, I would hope that the communication between American
born veterinarian and international veterinarian who’s passed this exam would be seamless and wouldn’t be an issue at all because that veterinarian coming abroad feels very prepared. I do think that Americans in general, a lot of us lack second language education, whether it be from a small age or people not studying it. A lot of Americans don’t speak a second language. So, I do think that if Americans were to go to an international program that is not inherently based in English, they would have to feel comfortable with whatever language is being spoken because it shouldn’t be inherently expected that they would all be able to speak in English. But I would hope that the individual veterinarian would be a little bit aware to understand that. We have incredible residents and doctors in the University of Illinois who are from foreign veterinary schools that aren’t AVMA accredited, and some of them are in high administration. From what I’ve seen personally, there hasn’t really been a big gap in communication. There has been 0 gap in, from my understanding, hands-on clinical ability or knowledge. One of the residents that I’m thinking of specifically is actually about to graduate as a surgical resident from our program. We were on surgery [rotation] together, and she was telling me as I was studying for the NAVLE that she needed to pass the NAVLE because she accepted a job.
Our surgery services are so busy that I know that in reality, did she really study for this exam as much? No, and she passed on the first try. I haven’t seen any sort of lack in ability between foreign graduates and American born graduates. NAVLE is an exam you take, and you never take it again, obviously, if you pass it the first time. But if you don’t pass it the first time, I don’t think that’s any indication of your ability to be a clinician. Plenty of students that I’ve known and plenty of veterinarians I know now, including the likes of neurosurgeons and people who are highly regarded in their speciality fields, didn’t pass the NAVLE the first time. It doesn’t matter if you pass it the first time. Yeah, it sucks to spend the money and pay for the exam or pay for the preparatory materials, but I don’t think that anyone who did or did not pass the NAVLE the first try or the second try is any better of a veterinarian than the person who has passed it. It’s a test that is required. I get why it’s required. They need some sort of standardization between all of the schools, whether that's an internationally accredited school or us (USA accredited school) or a foreign veterinary graduate. The government needs that level of standardization. It’s how our society is built off of standardized testing, like the SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, DAP, OAT, and all of these crazy standardized testing they make us take. Unfortunately that's
the societal standard, but I don’t think it indicates one way or another the level or quality of medicine that you’ll get out of a human being. The school or the university or a private practice is willing to vouch and willing to have that veterinarian come abroad. I think it speaks volume and if an international school is willing to sponsor an American student, I don’t think either one of those programs are going to do the work it requires if they didn’t feel like the individual was worth it.
7. Do you think all veterinarians who pass the NAVLE, especially in this time of the pandemic, require mentorship or do you think NAVLE is enough to determine whether someone is knowledgeable or not? If you could choose something, would you change anything? That’s a loaded question. The basis of the NAVLE is kind of primarily based on four species, which are considered our main species: dogs, cats, cows, and horses. If you can find me a veterinarian in the world who practices medicine every day on those 4 species, they are superheroes, and I don’t know where to find them. The reality of an everyday veterinarian, regardless of where you practice, is you’re going to have some sort of specialization. You’re going to be a large animal [veterinarian]. You're
going to be doing equine [medicine]. You’re going to do [medicine in] low income shelter. You’re going to do research. You’re going to do lab animal [medicine] or pathology. So in reality, is this exam indicative or technically all encompassing of the last four years of your veterinary education? Yes, and that’s why it is the way it is. Is that really a good model to say what kind of a professional that person who is taking the exam is going to be? No. So, when you ask, “is the NAVLE enough?” or “is the NAVLE not enough?” or “what could I change?” I don’t think there’s anything about the exam itself that you can change because the role of the veterinarian in theory is to be all encompassing and to have knowledge on large animals, equines, small animals, policy, behavior, and all of this stuff. I just don’t know if taking and passing the NAVLE is enough. It’s not. Because, for example for me, I’m doing an internship because I don't feel like I had enough training and I had a very altered year. I started clinics technically in August when I should have started in March. Now, we did some online things to kind of buy the time while the school was trying to figure out how to safely have students on campus during the bulk of this pandemic. But, I lost out on a lot of rotations. Personally, I don’t feel like I am ready to be a doctor on my own without some sort of backup and that backup doesn’t have to be in the form of an internship. That
backup can be in the form of a mentorship where you are an associate in a two or three or four doctor practice and you’re getting mentorship from the owner, head veterinarian or whoever is in that structure. I, in a non pandemic world, would still be hard pressed to find a veterinarian that is 150% felt prepared. All of them passed the NAVLE because they had to to be able to practice. But I don’t think any of them walked out of graduation from any university and said, “I am ready. Put me in; I’m ready to go. I don’t need help.” Because in reality, veterinary medicine is not an individualized sport, but it’s a team sport. It’s something we do together. I’ve seen it at a specialty hospital to this day. Clinicians who have been practicing for 40+ years still get the new heads together because maybe someone who just graduated knows something from a random lecture slide that they happened to remember versus someone who has been practicing but hasn’t been inside of a classroom in 40 years. So, this profession is so incredible because it is a team sport, but at the same time, requires this individual ability to recall things like taking NAVLE or passing your exams. It’s not necessarily truly indicative of what your everyday life in a hospital will actually be. Of course, NAVLE doesn’t really give you [specific details], but it does break down and tells you whether you were average in a
section. But as someone who is going to be practicing small animal medicine, I did as average on dog and cat [sections] as I did on horse and cow [sections]. It didn’t tell me or show me the way because you are doing that from day 1. You’re saying to yourself that you’re going to involve yourself in all of these different facets of veterinary medicine, whether that be clubs or research. You’re going to find your way and your path. NAVLE is not going to tell you what you are going to do with your life. NAVLE is not going to say that you should really be a cow veterinarian or like you should be in this. NAVLE is an exam where you sit for 7 hours and you pay $700 or whatever it costs. You take it and you pass it eventually and you go on and never have to think about it again. It's unfortunate, and sometimes, it can be a very defeating part of your 4th year because you’ve studied for 4 years, you passed all your exams, you passed your milestones and you went through your rotations and you really excelled. And then, you don’t pass the first time. You’ve done all the things - bought Vet Prep/ Zuku (NAVLE Preparatory programs) or you read books or you studied your notes. You did all things and are you telling me that you are not a good veterinarian because you didn’t pass the NAVLE the first time? That’s not real. That’s not something that I want anybody to feel because NAVLE does not dictate your level of quality of medicine nor the type of person you are going to be nor the
nor the way you empathize nor the 5am mornings at ICU and the late night surgeries [you had to experience]. NAVLE does not dictate that or show your compassion or your empathy or your ability to practice medicine. All it is is an exam that you take. There’s just some questions on there and then, you move on!
8. With your experience and involvement with SAVMA, for United States veterinary students who might be interested in working with or collaborating with international vet students or want to do some service project outside, do you have any recommendations on what they can do or how SAVMA fosters that relationship and involvement? Absolutely, so as SAVMA, we have an entire committee dedicated to international experiences. It’s called IVEC (International Veterinary Experience Committee). Each school will have an IVSA rep, and you can reach out to your local IVSA rep and ask what you can get involved in. I understand that going abroad is probably expensive and there’s a lot going into that, so be on the lookout for scholarships, whether that’s international specific or just scholarships in general to attend. I know IVSA has
a conference every year and 1-2 years ago it was in Morocco or somewhere awesome. So, be on the lookout for things like that and as well as scholarships that come through your monthly SAVMA news that should be sent out by your delegates and as well as just looking at our SAVMA website (avma.org/savma). You can find all of the opportunities that are listed as well as on IVSA website that has all the partnering institutions that are members. There are 260-290 members that are part of IVSA, which is incredible, so you can go anywhere you want or become a host as well. I think there’s a lot of resources out there. There’s a lot of places as well as individual schools that might have opportunities. For example, the University of Illinois has a trip every year that goes to Greece and does some shelter work out there, that is organized by a shelter med faculty who is actually from Greece. She gets to go back to her home country, and schools get to go out and do spay and neuters. Everyone wins out of that. So, I think there’s a lot of places for international work for veterinary students and all of that can be found online.
Jorge Martins Bioethicus E-learn Coordinator
Jorge Martins, PhD in Animal Biotechnology, applied to genetic banks of endangered extinction species by FMVZ/UNESP and Freie University and developed some key technologies for the transport and cryopreservation of gametes of wild felines in an unprecedented way. He has accumulated work and research experience in Institutions such as UNESP, Berlin's ZOO, Mamirauá Institut, Leibniz Institut and Emilio Goeldi Museum. Specialist in wild animals and conservation biology, entrepreneur, and scientist for more than 20 years, he has worked with a wide range of technologies focused on conservation that include, in addition to biotechnology, Geographic Information System and Demographic and Ecological Niche Modeling applied to protect the endangered Brazilian species in the Atlantic Forest and Amazon.
1. Give a brief description about Bioethicus and what type of educational opportunities you provide for veterinarians. Bioethicus is a postgraduate program and specialization institute that began its activities in the field of complementary medicine associated with evidence-based medicine. After the success of the complementary medicine courses, Bioethicus entered in the field of rehabilitation courses, physical therapy, oncology, and special surgeries, such as spinal and brain surgeries, as well as some orthopedic surgery training. But the main field of expertise was always complementary medicine and innovation in neurosurgery. We always have been pioneers in different topics, such as pain, complementary medicine, and palliative medicine when nobody talks about it. Now we have more than 12 years of expertise in veterinary medicine education in different areas of veterinary medicine. 2. How do your courses contribute towards a student’s development as a veterinarian? We give the opportunity for students to learn some special fields that sometimes are barely mentioned in the university curriculum, such as acupuncture, physical therapy, pain management, special surgeries, and others, with learning that involves theoretical and practical approaches. 3. What are the benefits of gaining alternative skills in addition student's everyday veterinary education from their own faculty?
Alternative skills in vet medicine can mean unique job opportunities, a new carrier, research in new areas, networking, as well as training with guidance and supervision before putting it into practice.
4. How do your courses transfer across curriculums offered in different countries? We have international experience in lecturing and we also have international partners, which can give us a clear idea about the expectations of different countries and how to approach each one.
5. In your opinion, what impact have these courses and training opportunities had in how future veterinarians handle a situation once out in the world practicing? Being able to train with guidance and supervision before putting it into practice gives students an opportunity to make mistakes that someone can see and tell you, so that they can correct it and avoid doing it with a real patient. Not to mention the opportunity to share years of experience of senior professionals with the younger ones. This helps to gain time with studies, since you are taking advantage of the experience of older colleagues instead of repeating the same mistakes they once did.
6. Provide some insight into a couple courses and explain how this knowledge is transferable across various species of animals. The concept of oncology, acupuncture, physical therapy, can be applied for different species. Once you have the main knowledge and bases, you just need to set points for the anatomical differences, but the basic physiological condition is almost the same. Of course, we are shrinking the idea down to answer the question, but this is basically the main concept.
7. You have a new course on pain management. How does this course compare or differ from how students are taught to manage pain already while studying at school? The new course brings basic physiological and pharmacological concepts with the idea of practical use. In other words, the student acquires the clinical application of theoretical concepts learned at the university. The clinical cases help to create a synchronized harmony between theory and practice through the eyes of an experienced professor
Das Panther and Jorge Martins
SOFTVETS Lada Radin, DVM, PhD is the Head of EU fund office at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb and the Projects Coordinator of the ERASMUS+ SOFTVETS project with the name: “Pan-European soft skills curriculum for undergraduate veterinary education”. This project started in 2018 with the goal to produce an ideal version of a soft skills curriculum that would be applicable in veterinary education throughout Europe. She believes that life skills are currently one of the most important things that should be discussed in veterinary medicine education. Her aim with the project was to set a path towards quick and efficient modernisation of veterinary professional life.
You are the project coordinator of the SoftVets Project with the name: “Pan-European soft skills curriculum for undergraduate veterinary education.” This project started in 2018 with the goal to produce an ideal version of a soft skills curriculum that would be applicable in veterinary education throughout Europe. My first question would be: How do you define “soft skills” for Veterinary students?
Therefore, we started using the term “life skills,” and there are many definitions to that term. Basically, they are every skill that could help you be more successful and answer the challenges that life brings upon you. Those are the skills that are not professional or bound to any profession in particular, but everything around it, that makes you function as a professional in a more successful way, with other people but also with yourself.
I must tell you right away that during the course of our project, we somehow stopped using the term “soft skills” and transferred to “life skills”. This is due to many reasons. Literature seems to be using “life skills” more than “soft skills”. Often when we talk to experts of those skills, all of them emphasise that “soft skills” are hard and it is not fair to call them “soft” as it is not easy to acquire or learn them.
In our project we defined three areas that we thought veterinary students need and we, as veterinarians - and at some point, students as well – considered important for us. Those are digital skills, entrepreneurship skills, and communication skills.
Those are obviously not only important skills for veterinarians. How can those be best implemented in a curriculum for veterinary education? How can these be taught to students? There are many ways and many answers to that question. I have to tell you, after going through this project, we have seen many ways of doing it. We have also seen many schools that don’t do it or that don’t do it yet. Even the veterinary schools that are quite advanced don’t have them implemented in the way they would like to have them. This topic has been of interest to the veterinary profession and community in the last ten or twenty years. Its interest arose probably together with the change of the teaching paradigm when we had a shift from teacher-centred teaching to student-centred teaching. I can tell you that 20 years ago, when I was studying, it was all about the teacher. The teacher was the one that was determining everything, and the students were supposed to listen to them. Now the whole way of teaching is changing more towards what the students need and how they feel. So, we are focusing on the student, which in my opinion is a great thing. It means that there is a change of the whole way how the curriculum is being set, which is good for students and the profession in general. It is hard to do though because we had this way of teaching for many years
To talk about skills is part of this change and is something most of the veterinary schools think they should have, and teach, but most of them are also not quite sure how to do it and what the best way is. We see many different approaches across Europe. It is especially hard to implement in the curriculum because in order to be able to do it well, you actually need to put it everywhere in the curriculum. Of course, you can make a separate subject and have a theoretical approach. It is good to give students some theoretical background on, let’s say, communication. The real change and the real shift though, is to put little parts of the skills in almost any subject, especially when we talk about clinical subjects.
If you would have to choose one soft skill to give to every student: Which one would it be and why? I thought really hard about this question because everything seems so important. I think the one skill that we could all use, regardless of being veterinarians, is the skill of active listening. Out of the three areas we worked on, I would choose communication. It is not the most important per se, but it is everywhere. You cannot do anything right if you cannot communicate right.
I think that the competence of being a good listener is the one that could help us all to be more successful in our private life and professional life. Most of our problems arise when we don’t hear each other well, whether in a student-to-student, student-to-professor, or veterinarian-to-client relationship. We often hear what we want to hear, and if we were able to do that better, it would be easier for us to function. In most of the research, you can find the topic of skills and what skills employers are looking for in their employees; that is the one skill that is always in the top three. It is a highly thought skill.
It is definitely a very important skill in every lifesituation. Of course! Well, you have active listening and then you also must know how to speak well. The third one that usually arises is critical thinking. It seems straight forward, and it makes sense as it is very important to have those skills, but it is not that easy to be good at it.
I think especially in a clinical setting it can be very hard for veterinarians to not already be in a different part of the conversation and examination. Well, I know a lot of veterinarians and veterinary students that started studying veterinary medicine because they didn’t want to deal with people
But if you are a clinician, you end up dealing with the owners all the time in order to help the animal. You might have an even tougher job than a medical doctor.
Yes, probably. But back to your project. Your project started three years ago and is focused on Europe. How would you say the status Q (quo) in Europe is, in the meaning of life skills? It is very different across Europe. You can see all stages of veterinary schools trying to implement them somehow. Most of the schools that we looked into and got some response from, do have some kind of economic, marketing, and entrepreneurship training. It is there! Most of the schools knew that veterinary students are going to work in a business setting of some kind. Therefore, most of the schools teach some kind of business. Communication courses take place in some of the schools, especially in western Europe. I think it is fair to say that UK schools have it implemented best in their curriculum. But, let’s not fool ourselves! It hasn’t been there for more than 15 years. Therefore, it is also quite fresh. Some schools have some forms of formal communication training in their curricula. Some have extracurricular activities. I think the ones who are doing it best are the ones, also in western Europe, that put it piece by piece in their curricula.
Some put it together with clinical training; some with actors roleplaying, which is very useful for students. But, there are still a lot of schools that don’t train communication at all.
Do you think it is hard for universities to find a place in their curricula because the veterinary medicine curriculum is already packed with subjects and information?
Regarding digital skills, almost no University has a special training. There are some biostatistics in that direction. I think that the development of digital technology and the way we use it in our daily lives were so rapid, that no school actually had the time to think of a course. It developed so fast - not to mention the impact the pandemic had. With everybody saying: “Ok, you are doing everything online now- regardless of if you are ready or not!” Things are happening so fast that I can’t blame the schools for not being able to react and say “Yes, we should teach our students and teachers how to do things online and how to communicate via technology: how to do lectures, how to teach practical’s online.”
Yes, and there is also this attitude of professors where they believe that there are just way more important things to teach than those skills. They believe that there is no room for this “new” thing and that students have to learn it outside of the curriculum. It is very hard to tell someone that their course might not be as important and that they maybe could make it a bit smaller to ensure that students get all the training and information they need. It is also because of that. At the same time, I also think that everyone is aware of the fact that some things need to be done, but I am not sure they know what it is. It is not the same everywhere in Europe, but when you have to change something at a university, it is usually a much slower process than in the life around us.
It is very different in different parts of Europe. I know that everybody is talking about it [implementing skills], but it is always hard to find a place in the curriculum for such “new” stuff. You know, everybody is always [saying], “They are going to learn it at some point, somehow, and then they will be able to apply it throughout their veterinary education,” but it doesn’t work that way. You need to help both students and teachers, in certain areas to excel more rapidly because we don’t have that much time.
You already said that there are a lot of differences throughout Europe. Do you think that there are cultural differences in the necessity of certain “life skills”? For sure! I cannot clarify because I am a veterinarian and not a sociologist or anthropologist. But, this is something I would like us to explore in a new project that we are thinking of. I am quite sure that people react in different ways. Even if you have a multicultural team within Europe, you have people who have different ways of doing things and communicating. If you are not able to tackle that issue early in the project, a lot of problems can arise due to intercultural differences. I am pretty sure that the approach would have to be different in different countries. You are [part of] IVSA, so you can see at every event how people are different in the way they act and communicate, and the approach would definitely have to consider those differences. We need to think about: What do students and veterinarians need? How do they like to be taught? What kind of teaching would they need? This goes a long way! I would definitely like to look into it from the scientific side, but we would need the scientist to tell us that. Therefore, I would like a wider team, of not only veterinarians, to discuss that.
Your project is very international, and you have worked with a couple of different universities. What are the biggest differences in the veterinary curriculum across those countries? Well, I was surprised to see how the UK curricula are built in a spiral way. This means, for instance, communication, it goes from the first year all the way to the fifth year. It starts with some basics, and it is implemented all the way up to the fifth year, where you should be not an expert, but proficient in using those skills. It sounds kind of logical. With every skill and subject, this should be the case. You start, for example, with anatomy and finish up as a surgeon. When I hear spiral curriculum, it sounds so good because it means that all is very connected. It is thought through from day one to the final day, but sometimes we miss the links between something we heard in our first year and something we learn later on. In the traditional way that a curriculum is built, the connection gets sometimes lost. There are so many different ways the curriculum is built, and this makes it so hard to create an ideal “life skill” curriculum. This [the ideal curriculum] was what we thought in the beginning of our project would be the outcome. We thought we would create something [and] list all the competencies and learning outcomes.
Universities would then take them and implement it in their curriculum. All very easy. But now, almost at the end of our project, we realised that it just cannot work that way because the curricula are designed in different ways.
So you don’t think that there is going to be an ideal curriculum for Europe? No, unfortunately not. When we realised that, we realised that it was a nice idea. We asked ourselves, “What are we going to do now?” We decided that we are going to provide a list of competences. This is the ideal list of competences every veterinarian should have in those three areas. Then we made a list of learning outcomes, and universities can choose whatever fits to their curriculum. We tried to make a comprehensive list, not too big, but including everything that would be great for people to have. To make it even easier, we are finishing the ideal version of the syllabus for each course. They can take it as a whole or take some parts and combine it with their existing courses. We thought that this would make it easier for people who are thinking about it. Now, they have an example and can take it from there to negotiate with their management - or wherever there needs to be negotiating. This is going to be the output of our project in the end. In the beginning, I really thought that we can create this ideal thing that everybody will like and be able to use, but reality is a bit different – in many ways.
In our talk we have mainly focused on Europe. Do you know if there are any initiatives, similar to yours, in non-European countries? Yes! I know that most of the US Vet Schools have already implemented all of that. Especially communication but also entrepreneurship, innovation, and business management. I don’t know at what point they implemented it. I didn’t do that much research on that history, but I have seen some very nice documents on what their students need to know and what they are being accessed at the end of their studies. I think the case is similar in Australia. I think North America and Australia have gone a bit further with implementing “life skills.” I don’t know about the rest of the world, but these were the examples we were able to find. But then again, it's not as easy as saying: “Oh, they have done it beautifully! Let’s copy it and use it in our systems.'' Unfortunately, we cannot do that.
Thank you very much for answering all my questions! To conclude I want to ask you one more thing. What would be your advice for us students, how can we improve those life skills for ourselves? I think as IVSA Members, you are already doing it. That is a very important first step – be a member of IVSA because you will get yourself in many situations that will teach you many of those skills. I always advise my students to be part of a student’s association. Especially, if you are part of a board, a committee or organizing something, you will learn a lot about yourself and about your colleagues – local and internationally. In IVSA events, you can see how different people are and you can learn how to recognize and work with that. You can learn about your strengths and weaknesses. One of the things I would recommend is to dive in and travel the worldwhat you cannot do right now. Therefore, cross that advice. There are so many free online workshops, but I think everybody is fed up with online activities. I think it would be great if you would have, in some future IVSA-Events, some little workshops. There are a lot of funny and interesting workshops you can do to learn about communication. These are like games but with a very strong message in the end. It would be great to do it in a multicultural setting. I think that there are also some interesting TEDtalks or online resources to train your communication. We are all living in a digital world, therefore a lot of stuff we learn online by doing, but we are all more or less fed up with communicating and hanging out digitally. I think it is important to stay open to live long learning of situations and opportunities that are now more available than ever. Once we are all back into the real world and not forced to sit behind a computer, my advice would be to go out into the world, hug people, meet new people and talk to them, plan new projects, and make new plans. Stick to IVSA, and you will benefit immensely from that! That would be my advice.
Dr José Adrián Iranzo
Doctor Aybolit Doctor Aybolit is a character from the children's fantastic novella Doctor Aybolit by Korney Chukovsky. The name may be translated as "Ouch, [it] hurts!" In the fairy tale "Aybolit" the doctor goes to Africa to treat sick animals with chocolate and eggnog. The protagonist of the tale embodies kindness, sensitivity, and compassion for others. The central idea of the fairy tale is healing the poor and sick animals. The doctor takes on the treatment of any animals that turn to him for help. The tale is written in the simplest possible language. It is easy to read, but at the same time has great educational value. The work highlights those basic qualities, without which it is impossible to live in the world. Aibolit does not refuse to help anyone, tries to pay attention and provide time to every animal. By his example, the doctor shows how important it is to be close to those who needs help. Aibolit really existed. The prototype of the literary hero was the real doctor TSEMAKH SHABAD from Vilna (as the capital of Lithuania was called until 1939).
Francisco Josue Escareño Sustaita
Marysia Noszczyk Once upon a time there lived a special girl who studied days and nights to gain a knowledge pearl she worked so hard and long to know how to make judgment and never do things wrong what was she studying then? try to guess and listen to my words again
this study field is hard you have to spend some years but then you are a guard between the life and death this work with various kind of every mortal being request a clever mind to make a diagnosis clear and treat disorders and disease you know the answer now? yes? then could you tell us, please?
ARTWORK Marysia Noszczyk
Diary of an abandoned dog
Humans told to stay waiting days are passing but that’s okay Francisco Josue they’ll come back for me one day
still waiting abandon (?) it’s cold outside they’ll be back (?) - cried
waiting the weather changed rain no sun they’ll be back – won’t run
can’t get up freezing hungry pain… lots of pain
(n)ever loved by humans
Dr Helga Kausel
FranciscoSukma Josue Sandra Escareño Sustaita Maharani
This self-hand drawing I drew is inspired by my friend and me (Class of 2019) while studying at home since the pandemic last year. I illustrated with the title ‘UPSIDE DOWN,' which I drew in the center of my drawing. What we (students) have been through reminds me of the film titled ‘Upside Down’, a film that tells us about the drastic transformation in the world during the time. And as we can see there are two-part of the drawing: one reflects nowadays condition when us, veterinary students, are doing online practicum (during a pandemic), and the other reflects last year's offline practicum condition (before pandemic). By drawing this I realized, how challenging the online practicums are, compared to last year's offline practicums (and also classes). But what I’m aware of is: both conditions are beautiful. Each condition has its own ‘art’ for us to study, practice, and support each other in the veterinary medicine environment.
ARTWORK Irisz Koutiz These images show you the final product of the renovation efforts of the anatomy student’s room by the Vet Society, from Zagreb, Croatia, back in the academic year of 2018/2019. These rooms are used by students to study anatomy both on wet specimens as well as on bones, but the whole structure of the facility was somewhat outdated. Therefore, the department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology asked if we would like to help give it a ‘new look’. We selected some images based on what students usually find most difficult to visualise and used a projector to draw them accurately on the walls. We then painted them and covered them with varnish, so they would remain intact for many years to come. We decided to put the horse skeleton on a chalk base paint, so students can use it interactively and take notes on the walls while they study. We also added some magnetic paint at the edge of the black board area as well as in the wet specimen room, so students could also put up their own notes while studying from the images. The assistants from the department took some pictures of the brain and the heart in the wet specimen room and printed these with labels. They then laminated these pages and placed them next to the paintings to give students some guidance when they work there. Overall, it was a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it as we gave the students a new interactive study space, and therefore allowed for a better “transferability of veterinary skills.” by the Vet Society
ARTWORK Irisz Koutiz
PRESS RELEASES 13th April 2021 VetMedAcademy.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting high-quality opensource educational materials for veterinary students and faculty. With this shared goal, we are happy to announce that the International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA) and VetMedAcademy (VMA) have recently renewed their partnership. The cooperation first began in 2016, and after five years of successfully working together, the partnership is moving into a new phase. This phase will include several projects beneficial for IVSA members and all veterinary students. One of the new joint projects will be a revised and updated learning module and community called “IVSA Corner” for IVSA members on the VetMedAcademy Moodle learning management system at https://learn.vetmedacademy.org. Every learning module on VMA is designed to make the trial of blended learning less daunting. With this new “IVSA Corner,” we aim to provide various educational resources and also create a place for IVSA Members to support each other in their studies. Our members will not only have access to this unique, interactive learning community but they will also be automatically enrolled in the 16 and increasing “open” learning modules of VMA. These modules will include content partnerships with Brief Media (publishers of Clinician’s Brief and Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs), such as “Clinician’s Rounds” and “Brief Pre-Clinical Bridges.” We believe that it is important to create a union between all veterinary companies and associations as we all have a shared mission - to provide the best veterinary education for students around the world. In a pre-existing partnership with Brief Media, VMA has arranged that students that are enrolled in the latest version of the “Approach to Pharmacology Bootcamp” learning module, including all interested IVSA members, will have one-year free access to the digital version of “Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs” as part of their enrolment. This gives students a unique opportunity to broaden their pharmacological understanding. In addition, as full VetMedAcademy members, IVSA Members will be able to view and download electronic textbooks via the VetMedAcademy database of Vet-Library texts and request texts from Vet-Library to be added to the database. Together with Dr. Duncan Ferguson, a board-certified veterinary clinical pharmacologist, and Chief Medical Officer of VetMedAcademy, we are working on a new quiz on Drug Interactions, a VetTalk on the topic of veterinary pharmacology, and a Diagnostic Challenge series involving the next-generation social learning and writing and peer-review platform called CGScholar (https://cgscholar.com). Through these online learning resources and activities, IVSA members will be able to independently and collectively explore high-quality content while being challenged to develop real-world critical clinical thinking and teamwork skills.
27th April 2021 The International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA) and Vetstream have today announced a collaborative partnership to provide IVSA members and their universities access to the peer reviewed clinical content relating to the veterinary care of dogs cats, rabbits, exotics (ferrets, guinea pigs and reptiles) as well as horses and cattle to the veterinary schools or to the individual students on preferential terms that depend on the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)’s tiered structure of countries. (see the Appendix for the full list of countries in each Tier. The most preferential terms will be provided to veterinary schools within the Tier 1 and 2 countries, who are the least economically well placed, who will benefit from access to Vetlexicon Canis, Felis, Lapis, Exotis, Equis, and Equis, and also all the Vetlexicon Learn modules on www.vetacademy.org free of charge. Veterinary schools in Tier 3 and 4 countries will benefit from a 50% and 20% reduction in the price of subscribing to the six Vetlexicon services respectively and their students will also benefit from a 50% and 20% discount on the cost of Vetlexicon Learn modules. All veterinary students in Tiers 1 and 2 countries will benefit from free access as individuals to all of the Vetlexicon services, and any students in Tiers 3 and 4 will benefit from a 95% discount from list price from subscribing to one or more of the 6 Vetlexicon services. Mark Johnston (CEO of Vetstream) explained that as an Educational Partner of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association we are committed to support the less well-developed countries by providing Vetlexicon free of charge to veterinary schools, so that we are doing our best to help level the playing field so that accessing clinical information is enabled for those in the least economically developed countries who might otherwise not be able to benefit. The IVSA’s Standing Committee of Veterinary Education (SCoVE) Ambassadors will be coordinating this initiative around the world. According to Viktoria Hirschhofer (External Relations Officer of SCoVE), online resources have gained great importance in the daily life of students. Even more so during the last year when most of the studies were moved to distance learning. Students are depending on high-quality online resources that can further their understanding of the veterinary field. As SCoVE Ambassadors are based in veterinary schools all around the globe, this new cooperation with Vetstream is especially beneficial since it enables the SCoVE Team to support the new generation of veterinarians worldwide with a leading source of peer-reviewed information. Vetstream will also be working with the IVSA to support the provision of its First Aid eLearning courses for all students and other members of the profession via Vetacademy.org and those that achieve the required pass mark will be awarded a certificate to demonstrate their understanding of the subject. These first aid courses will be made available via www.vetacademy.org Merel Knoops (President of IVSA) said: “Both IVSA’s and Vetstream’s missions align when it comes to making education more accessible to veterinary students all over the world, especially to those who need it most. I am truly excited to see our members benefit from the Vetstream resources, and to support them on their way to a future full of even more capable and knowledgeable veterinarians.”
The veterinary course is long and tough, and if this wasn’t enough, many of us who are aspiring to be equine vets hear stories about the extremely competitive equine field. We don’t know where to look for students who will share our interests, yet we have a strong desire to explore the world in search of international equine friends. Since we don't often have good examples, we do not have a good community where we can help and support each other. This is how I felt during my studies. I really wanted to get more and more engaged. Since I enjoy the supportive community at my university in Wroclaw, I wanted to create something on a larger scale. In June 2020, Sigita Kazlauskaite and I created IVSA Equine Community. This is an important project in our lives that I am extremely proud and grateful for. I hope you will join us, and I will be looking forward to getting to know you at one of our meetings. Zu Żabińska Liaison Officer
As veterinary students, we find ourselves surrounded by new information every day. We spend a lot of time searching for answers about veterinary medicine. We like some fields more than others, and we seek people who have the same interests as we do. Therefore, IVSA Equine Community was created to unite all students who have their eyes set on a career in equine medicine and surgery
HOW DO WE WORK? Our
Do you like to read interesting
Facebook group. On a daily basis, we
articles? Join our weekly quizzes and
share information on free webinars and
test your knowledge. Some examples
inform members about our projects to
of our past articles include “Pain
encourage them to participate. It is a
assessment”, “Why things go wrong in
useful platform where members can ask
“Investigation of poor performance in
TAKE PART IN OUR PROJECTS 😊?
students for help regarding equine
medicine. We divided our activities into
and “Vaccination Program”. If you are
different units, so everything is easy to
searching for new friends with the
same interest you can contact any
member in the group or even better Our second platform is our Instagram
join our online exchange and tell us
account @ivsa_equinecommunity where
country. Who knows, maybe you will
reminders about our projects, webinars
even find friends for life.
and sections from our everyday student life.
We successfully organized our first online conference in December, and we have a monthly webinar prepared
Our third platform of communication
just for you. We already learned
with our members is our official email
about equine gastric disease and how
(firstname.lastname@example.org). At the beginning of
to assess and stabilize the foal in an
every month, we send our members a
emergency. Perhaps you need a bit of
motivation? You can listen to our
information of that month. Thus, they
talks with equine veterinarians from
can organize their time and see what
all around the world to get inspired by
they want to take part in. We also have a
their stories and write down their
calendar that contains all events that
are happening. Therefore, you will never miss a thing.
For those who love articles, we
Are horse breed specifics your weak point? Not
have a Journal Club where you
anymore. Every month we present a breed and its
predisposing conditions. We have already covered
equine medicine and surgery book enthusiast and you wish practice
ponies, Quarter Horses, and Clydesdale horses. Many more are coming; therefore, check our Instagram profile and learn something new. Do you have an interesting, educational story from
Perhaps you are more of an
Friesians, Appaloosas, Arabian horses, Shetland
the field to tell your colleagues? Perhaps you drew or took a photo related to equine medicine and would like to share it? Send them to us and we will publish them in our newsletter.
presenting skills? Our Bookclub
We are really grateful for the work our members
is available just for you. We
are doing. Thus, we created member of the month
have already covered a chapter
as a reward. The member will be published on our
on skin diseases. Our case discussion club is for all of you who want to improve your critical thinking skills and
Instagram account and in our monthly newsletter. Learning can sometimes be difficult. By joining our community you will always feel like you are not alone in this.
practice solving clinical cases before
patients as a vet. The first discussion was covered equine reproduction and neonatology.
HELP US AND OTHER MEMBERS OUT! Have
experience and give feedback that could potentially help other students choose their dream placement? We are creating a database that will help
suitable externship/internship around the world, but we cannot
information can help us make it come to life, and who knows, the database can help you find new opportunities in the future too. Our
equine medicine and surgery We
problems searching and
definitely make it easier for students
Therefore, we are grateful for every material our members send us. Send us also your ideas on how we can improve the community and help us make them come true.
Our activities are expanding every month. We would like to offer students a platform that will contain all information in one place, such as free learning opportunities, including webinars and conferences. We also wish that it will be a place where you will meet new colleagues with the same interest. We
WHAT IS OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE?
would be really grateful if we can get sponsors who would help us with free access to books and financial support for students that are from less stable financial backgrounds. We would also be thankful for any veterinarian who would like to participate and offer a free webinar for our members. We are in the process of organizing a (hopefully) inperson equine conference for all members of the wider IVSA community. The conference will take place in September 2021; make sure you keep an eye on social media for the exact dates. The conference will include equine lectures and workshops and will give you a chance to meet some of your future colleagues. We are excited to hopefully meet some of our members in person!
TEST YOURSELF AND CHECK OUT WHY HORSES ARE INTERESTING ANIMALS YOU SHOULD LEARN ABOUT!
Horse hooves can be compared with human fingernails because they are made of the same protein.
A 19th century horse named Old Billy lived 62 years.
The Przewalski’s horse is the only existing wild horse species left.
ANSWERS: 1. TRUE (they are both made of keratin) 2. FALSE (horses can sleep standing up or lying down) 3. TRUE (he is known as the oldest horse that ever lived) 4. TRUE (do not get confused - Mustangs and brumbies are known as feral living horses)
Horses cannot sleep 2.standing up but only when
WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN US? If you felt like this community is for you after reading the above information, JOIN US TODAY!
The application form is open all year round. New members are added to the Facebook group at the beginning of every month; therefore, for example, if you apply on the 15th of the month you will not have access to the group until the 1st of the next month. Haven’t decided if you want to work with equids yet? Don’t let that stop you from joining! We welcome everyone into our community, despite the year of studies you are in, as long as you have the interest to learn something new about horses and you are willing to help us whenever you can. Our goal is to grow and learn continuously altogether to become the best future professionals we can be, so JOIN US!
FINAL THOUGHTS An author once said that most veterinary dreams start long before training. It is true; we all have our own path we need to follow, but our dreams become full of ideas when we enter our studies. We realize what is there that needs to be improved and what is missing. We are doing this for all of you, but with your help, together we can achieve much more. Let's make equine veterinary education better for today and for those that are coming after us. We are looking forward to meeting you all in the future.
As children, we are all fascinated with wild animals, not only because they are majestic but elegant- be it their massive sizes or so tiny that they fit in our palms of our hands. It’s only natural that our fascination turned into our passion and we choose to become wildlife veterinarians. As Standing Committee of Veterinary Education, we came to the conclusion of starting the next community for the wild and exotic animals, after, seeing our very own Equine Community doing so well and transcending the boundaries of equine education. We are looking for our most enthusiastic members to apply and run this community and looking forward to working with our members on the next SCoVE Subcommittee.
AMBASSADORS C ORNER
How long have you been a SCoVE ambassador and what motivated you to become one?
It's been about one year and I think I got my selection email last November, and the aims of the SCoVE: like improving the education throughout the world by providing diverse educational resources, coming up with new and interesting way of teaching and learning such as through Vet Talks, journals, and SCoVE workshops motivated me to become one.
Rabina Prajapati, IVSA Nepal
Chicken salad, salad Greens, vegetable soup,
O C TOBER
Alok Dhakal, IVSA Paklihawa, Nepal
Q: What your favorite thing about being a SCoVE ambassador, and what would you say about the things that you've learned while being an ambassador?
A: Oh yeah, the previous time management that COVID-19 pandemic has led our college to shut down (was my favorite), and it's easy for us to work on some projects and new programs through the virtual media. Favorite thing about being SCoVE is that we get the chance to make a connection link up with other ambassadors and the SCoVE committee. We definitely have a monthly meeting, where we get a chance to have all the ambassadors in one frame, and when you are SCoVE ambassador of the month, you can get a free subscription from the Vet Mentor Solution, which contains a lot of informative videos. And, that's the favorite thing I love about SCoVE, and I love doing it for SCoVE.
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NOVEMBER Q: How do you manage your time being an ambassador and also being a student?
A: Yes, this is indeed an interesting question. You know, whenever a person decides to do something, when you have interest in something, you must definitely find out a suitable situation for yourself to ensure that you fulfill your duties like as a SCoVE ambassador. From the time I applied, I knew my duties because there was already details about what to be an ambassador. So, there really needs to be some arrangements and scheduling when in school and even at home to ensure that a person has the time of being an ambassador. What that means is that I have to be more conscious of my time because I always expect activities and responsibilities to come from SCoVE. So, I always manage my time to ensure that in case something comes, I will automatically have time for it. I have to ensure that I did all the necessities to serve my purpose as an ambassador. So, time management is really through the scheduling of activities to ensure balancing between academic and ambassadorship activities.
Abubakar Muhammad Mande, IVSA Abu, Nigeria
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DE C EMBER Q: Do you think you could have done more if we didn't have this pandemic?
Robert Capotă, IVSA Romania
Yes, actually I had a project. We wanted to do some conferences with our IVSA MO, and I wanted that before the conference to tell people about SCoVE and about IVSA and about our project because it's much better when you get to talk to people face to face than just post a link on a Facebook group and nobody checks that.
JANUARY Q: What advice could you maybe give to your fellow ambassadors who are also aiming for the next ambassador of the month winner?
A: I don't think I can give an advice, but I want to say, "Fighting!" to all my fellow ambassadors. Keep working and sharing with others about our beloved Standing Committee on Veterinary Education. Of course, don't get tired of sharing your knowledge of veterinary education all over the world.
Cahya Jupisa, IVSA Indonesia
Do you think it will be difficult, being an ambassador with this current pandemic?
A: I think, according to the group dynamics and the teamwork and all of that which we follow in SCoVE- if we think about it in that way, then I don't really think it's that difficult just because of the pandemic because we are clubbed together in groups of people, like also you (SCoVE Ambassador Manager) and Diana and everyone else in the committee. We haven't really met each other in person, like ever. And also, our work also doesn't involve meeting people in person, and you're just gonna call each other up anyway or like have meetings and stuff like that, and I think that would be just the same whether we have a pandemic or not. So, I don't really think that the pandemic affects our group dynamics and our teamwork and all of that, but if you talk about it on an individual level, and like an IVSA MO related level, if you go down that then, it definitely does affect the work what each Ambassador can do in their MO, because right now because of pandemic we might even go into lockdown again in India.
Mohana Marathe, IVSA Mumbai
MAR C H - APRIL Q: Did you find it difficult being an ambassador during this pandemic?
Zuzanna Czekaj, IVSA Wrocław, Poland
It's a difficult question because yes and no. On the one hand, it is easier to organize various types of online events with speakers from all over the world because we are not limited by distance, etc. But on the other hand, for online learning, I cannot promote SCoVE activities at the university as I would like, and I think the situation has its pros and cons.
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Report From "II Ethical and Behavioral Conference" “The influence of nutrition on the behavior of dogs” by Karolina Holda, (DVM Ph. D), a specialist in the field of dog and cat nutrition, 1. The theme: Ethics and behavior in Veterinary practice 2.
educator, and certified science trainer. “Questions and answers (Q&A) session about dogs’ behavior” by Zofia Zaniewska-Wojtków, a
master of Applied Animal Psychology, Bioethics and Sociology at the University of Bath in
participated in the conference:
Behaviorism in practice, use of positive and
faculties of veterinary medicine
negative reinforcement and shaping behavior
from all over Poland
during veterinary treatments in horses” by Julia
Opawska, the only licensed 3-star instructor of 3.
conference was held for 3 days in afternoons, 3/12/2021
platform. 4. Content and speakers report: There were 6 lectures during the event:
the Parelli National Horsemanship school in Poland. “Life and adoption of laboratory animals” by Zofia Pawelska, founder and president of Lab Rescue-
Foundation. "Modification of cats’ behavior” by Joanna Modrzyk, DVM, Lecturer in Animal Psychology at the SWPS University in Poznań “Persistent treatment and well-being – when will this suffering end?” by Paulina Jasińska, DVM, a graduate of the University of Warmia and Mazury.
3 student presentations: “Aggression in dogs and how to fight it?” by Agnieszka Gizicka, 1st year, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences. “Animals vs. people. Are we so different?” by Natalia Pokrzepa, 5th year, University Center of Veterinary Medicine, Jagiellonian University. “Relatives in a Cage: The Ethical Dilemmas and Behavioral Problems of Keeping Chimpanzees in Captivity” by Aleksandra Szefer, 4th year, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences Zuzanna Czekaj, Ambassador from IVSA Wrocław
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SCoVE UPDATES ON TRANSFERABILITY OF VETERINARY SKILLS As you will recall, we launched a survey earlier to harvest opinions about creating a mini course to guide veterinary students and expose them to more resources on first aid and emergency medicine in Veterinary Practice, from the responses, we were able to infer that there is a demand for this. As such, we have put together an online course on First Aid and Emergency Medicine in Animals that will be updated on a regular basis with new resources and modules!
Maria Ifrose about the new First Aid Course Module on Ophthalmology: "The module realized by me refers to Ophthalmology cases, clinical signs, medications, and surgical treatments. You should see it for Ophthalmology cases because there it is explained how it works the Ophthalmological examination, signs, treatment and what NOT to do, or what TO do. You will learn to recognize ocular diseases in different species and see how to examine simple and after with ophthalmoscope each eye of your patient. I believe it is very useful because the presentation contains detailed treatment for each described disease." In 2021, we announced our first collaboration with an IVSA national MO and all the local MO's that constitute it. Together with IVSA India, SCoVE is creating a course on The Fundamentals of Surgery. The aim is to go deeper in this topic than normally the universities have the chance to go and to help students interested in surgery from all around the world. We are looking forward to work with more MOs and individuals that feel that their local students are missing a course on a certain topic and want to complement their formation!
The aim, spirit, and purpose of the Standing Committee on Veterinary Education (SCoVE) has always been the deepening of our collective understanding of the factors at play in the sphere of veterinary education in an effort to plough back into pedagogy as those experiencing it firsthand. That being said, the very grounding thereof has always been in not only the theoretical analysis and philosophy of veterinary education, but the practical manifestation of the elements at play in the lives of students. In an effort to better refine our goals, methods, and essence, the committee conducts annual surveys on specific themes within veterinary education. There are two surveys currently in circulation that we would like to introduce, as an academic introduction to the field of veterinary education against which the survey is set, and as encouragement of participation in these surveys to ensure the academic rigor of our conclusions. The first survey serves as inquiry into the health risks facing veterinary students. Countless measures and waivers are often put in place to safeguard universities and institutions from being held responsible for damages done to and by students. The student risk, however, is often overlooked or dismissed as either negligible or non-existent. The solution is not, naturally, to decrease the practical component of veterinary studies, which would be an effective recourse albeit a futile one given the very goal of vet school. Before comment, criticism, and recommendations can be made in this regard, one must first grasp the intricacies of the factors at play and obtain an in-depth view of what the reality looks like. Our goal is thus to not only understand the situation better, but gain helpful and practical insight that might lead to future solutions. Thereafter, given our current global crisis, an additional survey was necessitated to better gauge veterinary education worldwide. COVID-19 has left no sphere of our lives untouched. Veterinary education has in many events come to a temporary halt. It has moved online, off-site, and downhill to a large degree. Between emergency online learning, masked muffled lecturers, and simulated spays, every student can vouch for the intrusion of an infective disease that no one saw coming. Subjective opinions will however serve little purpose in the effective analysis of these problems, and statistical analysis of student opinions will enable SCoVE to measure and understand the underlying fault lines in veterinary education that has been highlighted by the pandemic. An effort is made to objectively grade the preparedness of veterinary training institutions as a whole, faculties in general, and lecturers in specific. This survey serves to dive into the experience that students have of their lecturers’ response to the pandemic, their institutions’ preparedness, and their own reaction to COVID- 19 and all its collaterals. The elasticity and adaptability of pedagogical approaches have never been put to the test on quite the same scale. It would amount to a missed research opportunity if no lessons are learnt from this diagnostic dilemma that made visible so many shortcomings in systems that have been left untouched for years. This serves as plead to each reader to empower us to continue our work and continue to learn about learning. The active survey can be found on every social media platform of SCoVE, and any SCoVE representative can be contacted for more information. We are concerned with understanding and impacting veterinary education worldwide, and in order to do so we need to understand the challenges that veterinary students face better. We hope that you are as excited as we are to gain insights into the inner workings of didactic and practical scenes that students find themselves in every day.
In order to foster a wider appreciation of the importance of the One Health concept in medical and veterinary education, SCoVE and SCOH are proudly working together for this year's Essay Competition with the theme of ”Veterinary Education Perspective on One Health” including the professional judges:
Surendra Karki, PhD.
George Lueddeke, PhD, MEd, Dipl. AVES [Hon.]
Albert Osterhaus DVM, PhD.
Apart from facilitating the access to educational materials throughout EDU+ platform, for example, SCoVE is also focusing in providing IVSA MO's with the necessary resources and skills to create successful educational events. The goal is also to promote global networking in order to guarantee more accessibility to quality events where students can complement their academic formation.