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Wasting valuable study time? Join BVA Live debate on the introduction of single species training

British Veterinary Association

2 min read Partner content

New statistics from the Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey show that 30% of vets treat only one or two species on a regular basis, prompting the question ‘What if vets trained in only one species group?’. This hypothetical question will form the basis for a hot topic debate at BVA Live at 2.15pm tomorrow afternoon (11 May).

With vets reporting that on average they spend 61% of their work hours treating a single species, this hot topic debate is a prime opportunity to explore whether veterinary education could be drastically overhauled to offer a fast-track, single species qualification. BVA Officers - President Malcolm Morley and Junior Vice President Anna Judson - will lead this stimulating discussion session, alongside guest speaker Bronwyn Orr, Australian Veterinary Association President.

British Veterinary Association President Malcolm Morley said, “These statistics are very thought-provoking, as they give us a real insight into just how much time vets on the ground are spending focused on a single species. They prompted us to use this discussion session to ask whether vet students are potentially wasting valuable study time on species they will ultimately never see in practice. The flip side is that mixed-practice vets still form the important backbone of veterinary practice—particularly in more remote and rural areas.

“We’ve all trained in the existing, broad-spectrum educational model so it will be fascinating to consider whether a single species approach could really work; what benefits it might bring regarding the delivery of vet education and what we might lose as a profession without our shared beginning.”

The new statistics, released today from the Spring 2023 Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, showed that the average number of species vets treat regularly is just 4. Unsurprisingly, equine vets see the fewest different species on a regular basis, averaging just 1 species, large animal vets see an average of 3 species, companion animal vets 4 species and mixed practice vets 5 species. Exotic vets see the biggest range of species, offering regular treatment or care to an average of 15 species.

The BVA Officer team will also be digging into other ethical dilemmas, exploring contentious issues and announcing the winner of the BVA Veterinary Photographer of the Year competition during these informal, walk-up sessions in the Interactive Zone. The pop-up debates are just one element of a jam-packed, two-day programme taking place on 11-12 May, at the NEC Birmingham, offering 17 hours of high-quality CPD.

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