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‘WHAT is a vet?’ asked the outgoing RCVS President, Bradley Viner, during his address to this year's RCVS Day, held at the Royal Institute of British Architects on July 15. The answer, he said, ‘is not as obvious as you may think and is of fundamental importance’.
A major theme of the joint RCVS/BVA Vet Futures project had focused on the fact that, while clinical practice was ‘a perfectly valid career choice’, being a vet ‘can be about a whole lot more than that’. During the consultations that formed part of the project, vets were found to be working very effectively in a wide range of spheres, including research, education, business, management consultancy, policy and One Health, among many others.
‘Are they failed vets? Not at all, although sometimes some of them talk about their work almost apologetically,’ said Dr Viner. He believed that these vets were very much part of the profession and had a major effect on the influence that it had within society.
So, if being a vet meant much more than solely being a clinician, was it correct to train vets primarily to be safe in practice from the day that they qualified? ‘That's more than theoretical,’ he said, ‘because the veterinary schools’ curricula are geared towards meeting the …