Veterinary school undergraduates impress judges at ECC Congress in Harrogate

Vet students and recent graduates who undertook EMS placements at Vets Now have won praise after presenting case studies at our ECC Congress in Harrogate.

Daniel Low, Alex Hattersley, Mariana Abreu and Elizabeth Lamb were among more than 150 people to take part in our extra-mural studies (EMS) programme in the past year.

They were shortlisted to present cases they’d worked on during their mentored placements in Vets Now’s emergency clinics to a panel of three judges.

Two other vets, John Burgess and Petra Cerna, who are currently doing internships at Vets Now, also presented an emergency case they’d been involved with.

The judges, Emily Thomas, senior lecturer in emergency and critical care at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Susie Lynch of the Vet Times, and Shannon Thorell, a vet with Vets Now in Kirkcaldy, said they were impressed with the quality of the presentations.

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This year's EMS case study presentation finalists and judges

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All six finalists agreed the EMS programme had been beneficial to their development.

Daniel, 25, who won first prize in the student category, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time seeing first-opinion emergency work at Vets Now Hemel Hempstead.

“I had the opportunity to experience out-of-hours small animal practice in a busy clinic under the supervision of experienced vets. I also had the chance to practice clinical skills such as performing a physical exam and catheter placement.

“Every practitioner needs to be aware of their shortfalls, and this process allows you to review your decision-making process, allowing you to improve as a professional.

“I felt extremely honoured to have been awarded the top prize, but I would also like to congratulate the other presenters for their excellent presentations as well.”

A final year student at the Royal Veterinary College, Daniel said he’d “strongly recommend” Vets Now’s EMS programme to other undergraduate vets.

He added: “It’s an excellent chance to apply your knowledge learnt from lectures to practical cases, completing the cycle of learning.”

John Burgess, who is currently halfway through a one-year internship at our emergency and specialty hospital in Manchester, came first in the graduates’ category.

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The Vets Now EMS programme was set up to provide fourth and fifth-year veterinary students with the opportunity to develop outside of the university lecture theatre by spending time working alongside ECC professionals on genuine emergencies.

Those taking part are encouraged to enter a case from their placement into the Vets Now ECC Congress competition. As well as being invited to present their case in Harrogate, the finalists are also given a free CPD pass for one of the days, accommodation and an invite to the evening dinner.

Aoife O’Sullivan, Vets Now’s head of Edge and EMS programmes, said: “Vets Now is committed to supporting veterinary students and has provided EMS placements for more than 150 people in the past year.

“The EMS case presentations offer a further opportunity to gain experience presenting at a conference and demonstrate how valuable the Vets Now EMS programme is. I was very impressed with the quality of the cases presented — the judges had an almost impossible job to do.”

To find out more about our EMS programme click here or email [email protected].