Owners of animal-based workplaces such as farms, livery yards, animal shelters and charities, are urged to consider taking on veterinary students for short placements to support them in their journeys to becoming fully-fledged vets.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the regulatory body for UK veterinary surgeons, explained that workplace-based placements are an important aspect of all veterinary degree programmes. They prepare future vets for the practical side of work in the form of extra-mural studies (EMS).

In the early years of the veterinary degree – usually students in their first or second year of study – this is focused upon gaining experience undertaking animal husbandry duties to get student vets used to handling and caring for
animals in a variety of settings. This can be anything from working on a farm supporting with the milking of cattle, lending a helping hand in lambing season, working in a livery yard, or supporting an animal shelter or charity.

With the number of vet students steadily increasing, the RCVS are keen to increase the number of EMS placements available to students in order to meet this rise in demand and ensure there are a sufficient range of placement types to choose from.

“While increasing the number of available animal husbandry EMS (AHEMS) placements available to students will
be invaluable for the students themselves, there are also benefits to the establishments willing to provide these opportunities,” said Dr Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS Director of Education.

“In return for providing a supportive and positive learning environment, EMS providers often appreciate having passionate and knowledgeable students working alongside them who care deeply about animal health and welfare.

“Additionally, establishments who offer EMS placements will be helping to support the vital development of our country’s future vets. It’s a mutually beneficial experience for all involved.”

To find out more about becoming an AHEMS provider, email ems@rcvs.org.uk

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