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Veterinary students face an increasing array of pressures and this has been reflected in the findings of several surveys which demonstrate high levels of stress amongst this population (Hafen and others 2008, Mellanby and others 2010, Totemeyer and others 2012). In response to this and the inclusion of ‘student support’ in the National Student Survey, there is an increased need for effective pastoral support in Universities. Improved communication between pastoral support staff and veterinary students is therefore essential to identify the causes of stress and to develop effective support management and solutions. Ultimately, good support will make problems manageable, may improve behaviour and enable successful graduation. It will also provide students with the coping skills to thrive in clinical practice where different stresses apply (Platt and others 2010, 2012, Hawton and others 2011, Bartram and others 2012, ). Furthermore, identifying causes of stress and their effects on student wellbeing will enable veterinary schools and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) to promote best practice and inform future changes to the curriculum and student support policies.
A workshop was held involving relevant staff from all seven veterinary schools in the UK and representatives from the AVS. The aims were to identify and discuss common issues associated with the …