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A PROJECT focusing on the needs of veterinary graduates starting out in practice has been launched by the RCVS Charitable Trust.
The project, which is being jointly funded to a maximum of £25,000 by the trust, the Higher Education Academy and the Joint Information Systems Committee, aims to identify the key needs of new graduates and to review what resources are already available, or could be adapted, to meet those needs. It will also encourage the sharing of various educational resources that are available and ways of making them more accessible to new veterinary surgeons.
The trust will work in partnership with the universities of Bristol and Edinburgh, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the RCVS, the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons and the Veterinary Benevolent Fund; it hopes that the project will complement the RCVS's Professional Development Phase (PDP) for new graduates, particularly the ‘Year 1 competences’ that new graduates are expected to achieve within their first year of practice. It notes that supervision during the PDP is provided by the new graduate's employer, while progress towards achieving the Year 1 competences is monitored by their RCVS-appointed Postgraduate Dean. The project, it says, ‘will look at what other resources are available or could be adapted to support new graduates as they attain this level of competence’.
‘New graduates moving from university to veterinary practices can face significant challenges, whether these come from long hours, demanding clients or finding that limited supervision may be offered by their employers,’ said Nick Short, an RCVS Trust trustee and head of the eMedia Unit at the RVC. ‘Veterinary practice by its nature can be emotionally fraught as well as intensely rewarding, as it involves, for example, helping clients make decisions about the treatment or euthanasia of pets, or advising farmers about valuable livestock. This means it's important that appropriate support is available to new practitioners.’
A project coordinator is currently being recruited to work on the project until September. The findings will then be disseminated through a report and associated workshop. Further information can be found at www.rcvstrust.org.uk/graduateoer
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