As part of Endell’s commitment to both the veterinary profession and the farming community, we have become involved in training and educating final year veterinary students from London’s Royal Veterinary College (RVC).
Our aim is to encourage more veterinary students to take an interest in farm animal practice and to show them the joys of working with farmers and their livestock but also to improve the knowledge and practical skills of all the students that pass through our doors. Since February 2017 we have been delivering a two week Core Rotation that all final year students have to take and pass. It is a residential rotation, so the students stay with us at Newton Wood Barns in groups of 10 to 14 students and they arrive every fortnight for 48 weeks of the year. We have a set timetable of subjects that we teach aiming to cover as many of the day one skills and clinical competencies that we expect our new graduates to have when they leave university and start work. A few of our teaching sessions are classroom based in our large seminar room at NW Barns but most involve practical skills training and so are out on farm or in our practical teaching facility.
All of the vets and some of the vet techs from Endells are involved in the rotation and many of our clients are providing venues for the on-farm teaching and are enjoying their role in producing better vets for the future. During the two week rotation the students have seventeen different classes including a calving practical where they learn about normal and problem calvings and then get to practice their skills with ropes and a calving jack on our two replica blue barrel cows.
Out on farm there is a fertility morning where the students learn the importance of fertility on a dairy farm and are involved in a routine visit, a clinical examination morning where they can practice their diagnostic skills and discuss common conditions and diseases seen on farm and how best to treat and control them. We also cover disbudding and blood sampling as well as visits to beef and sheep farms to teach the basics for herd and flock health and management.
As well as seminars on infectious disease and responsible antibiotic use we have a foot trimming practical where the students can improve their foot trimming abilities and perform some basic surgery using our purpose built foot trimming table.
We have now taught a whole year of RVC vet students, a process which we believe has benefitted not only the students, but also everyone involved in the rotation including all the farmers who have so kindly given us their time and leant us their animals to help educate the vets of the future.