The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has joined forces with an agricultural college in Dorset to help boost the practical knowledge of its future large animal vets.
The RVC and Kingston Maurward agricultural college have opened a regional vet centre for the south of England to give the vets school students hands-on experience.
The venture could also provide a valuable resource for the local farming community.
Over the next year, 55 students in their final year will visit the centre in groups of three to four to develop farm animal clinical decision-making skills as part of the optional module.
The centre will be headed up by RVC’s lecturer in livestock extension services, Nick Bell, who will be involved in guiding vet students, as well as teaching within Kingston Maurward.
Speaking at the centre’s launch, Tim Stevens, from the agricultural college, said the centre is adding value in both directions. “We will be using Dr Bell as part of some of our practical courses, including our farm management course.”
The centre will also offer training opportunities for vet post-graduates looking to specialise. Dr Bell said there was a real need to help young vets transition from their final year into practice.
The vet centre has linked up with about 10 local large animal vet practices, which will be able to draw on the services available for the benefit of their clients. For example, this could involve undertaking a whole farm appraisal to establish the cause of a disease problem.
The service is heavily subsidised so farmers will only have to pay a nominal fee to cover costs. Producers will also have the opportunity to be involved in research trials.