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Students attending this year's Association of Veterinary Students congress were encouraged to view themselves as the future leaders of the profession. Lectures and practical sessions presented opportunities to consider new treatments, to debate ethical issues and to learn more about areas of specialisation and alternatives to practice. Arianwen Morris reports.
‘I KNOW I'm looking at at least three of the next presidents of the British Veterinary Association. I know I'm looking at at least three of the future presidents of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.’
So said Stuart Reid, principal of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), in his opening address at this year's Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) congress, which was held at the college's Hawkshead campus from February 3 to 5. ‘One thing that marks those who come to congress is that you, whether you realise it or not, are going to be the leaders of the profession in coming years.’
A packed schedule of lectures, seminars and practical sessions on February 4 offered many opportunities for students to consider how they might influence the profession in the future.
In a keynote talk, Noel Fitzpatrick, of Fitzpatrick Referrals, encouraged students to consider alternatives to the traditional options of amputation and euthanasia for patients with osteosarcoma and severe limb trauma. In other aspects of the programme, a workshop on the ethical issues relating to the religious slaughter of animals stimulated a lively debate; and a lecture on vets in industry reminded students that there were alternatives to a career in practice.
There was also a practical session on farriery, in which students moved between interactive stations, learning about functional anatomy and the signs of lameness and trying their hand at horse shoe removal. Meanwhile, preclinical students watched demonstrations on scrubbing up and stitching wounds before donning gloves and gowns …