The presentation made by Dr Adam Little, guest speaker at this year’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Day, is now available on the RCVS YouTube channel. In his talk, ‘Digital Veterinary Practice’, Dr Little, President of Exponential Vet Inc., discussed how evolving technology could impact upon veterinary medicine and practice.
RCVS Day, an annual event held this year on 14 July, is made up of the Annual General Meeting and the awards ceremony. It includes the investiture of the new President and Council members, and a guest presentation from a leading veterinary practitioner.
Dr Little investigated some of the emerging technologies that could be applied to veterinary practice, citing how, for example, every 12-18 months the amount of computing power available for a set price doubles, and how, though there are now about 9bn devices connected to the internet, by 2020 there are expected to be 50bn. Dr Little predicted that more and more of those are going to be worn by animals: to measure reproductive health in farm animals; to track performance in equines; and to monitor behaviour and activity in companion animals.
Dr Little discussed how there’s already a smart litter box which measures an animal’s habits, an oral pill camera that can take 360 degree photos, 3D printed drugs, and digitised microscopy. By uniting these technologies with increasingly accurate virtual reality technology, he said, long-distance examinations could become a real possibility.
More specifically in relation to the role of the RCVS, he explored how the profession could be proactive in engaging with these technologies, such as by: using regulation as a mechanism to attract ‘disruptors’ to work alongside the profession; identifying areas of retraining and creating targeted learning opportunities; fostering an entrepreneurial mindset; creating an early-adopter network of practices to foster initial collaboration; and framing industry challenges as targeted problems whose solutions can be crowd-sourced.
The video of Dr Little’s speech is available on the RCVS YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoZhiCAQ2g0
A video of the event is also available on the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqib7vvOhHg
There’s just over two weeks until national Bring Your Dog To Work Day - and Britain’s favourite day at the office is again taking the nation by storm.
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Vets can develop their practices’ professional and business skills including integration of new graduates, with a flexible online resource from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA).
Newly qualified vets and their employers will find the BSAVA Professional Development Phase (PDP) Resource Bank particularly useful when it is launched on May 24.
The resource will help the whole practice – from supporting and appraising new graduates, to coaching and mentoring staff teams – all aimed at developing an ethos of reflective learning and continuous professional development (CPD) alongside veterinary expertise.
There will be materials to help staff members understand the organisation, management and economic pressures of practice, their responsibilities as employees, and building strong communication skills across the business.
The BSAVA PDP resource bank provides CPD support matched directly to the RCVS PDP competences, allowing members to pick and choose those most appropriate to their professional development. They include webinars, podcasts, videos, PDFs and web links, with accessible timings from 15 to 90 minutes.
The content is reviewed by committee and there will be ongoing development of new resources – including employer specific resources for practices supporting new graduates.
BSAVA President Susan Dawson said: “This exciting and easily accessible resource puts continuous professional development at the heart of veterinary practice, helping everyone to meet the changing demands of delivering 21st century veterinary medicine,” she said.
“Whether you’re an employer supporting a newly qualified graduate in your practice, a new or recent graduate starting out, returning to work after a break, or simply wanting to refresh your professional or clinical skills, we believe the support within these pages will be a welcome addition.”
Kate King, BSAVA Education Manager, said: “We understand the many challenges of beginning your first job; everything is new and knowing where to turn for help can be difficult. At university undergraduates are expected to focus on the technical skills and knowledge of veterinary science, rather than areas more focused on the practice business, customer care and team-building, such as so-called ‘soft skills’ like emotional intelligence and strong communication.
“Equally, vets in practice may have to prioritise the effective management of a practice’s workload ahead of taking extra time to help newly qualified vets find their feet.”
For more information visit www.bsava.com
As this year’s extended Volunteers’ Week (1 – 12 June) kicks off, the British Veterinary Association is shining a spotlight on the majority of veterinary surgeons in the UK - more than 4 in 5 (84%) - who give their time and veterinary expertise at a reduced rate, while more than 2 in 5 work unpaid with animal charities and rehoming centres to treat thousands of abandoned, mistreated or injured animals each year.
The charitable contributions that vets make to assist animals are highlighted today with results drawn from the Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey by the British Veterinary Association (BVA), which asked vets about the arrangements they have with charities. The results show that across the UK:
- 72% have formal arrangements with charities to provide veterinary services at a reduced fee with the figure rising to 84% when including less formal set-ups
- 43% of vets do unpaid work for animal charities or other animal welfare organisations
Charitable activities vary from practice to practice and vets and vet nurses often work with local animal rehoming centres and national animal charities to provide a range of pro bono or reduced fee services, such as health checking, medicating and treating, neutering and vaccinating.
- Many vets and vet nurses give up their time providing veterinary care at animal rescue and rehoming centres to improve the health and welfare of animals in need, ranging from treating injured wildlife to caring for abandoned and mistreated dogs and cats.
- Many veterinary practices provide veterinary advice to homeless people and those in housing crisis, and care for their dogs as part of the Dogs Trust Hope Project. Vets also support other projects, such as the Freedom Project, which temporarily fosters animals belonging to families fleeing domestic violence.
- Overbreeding of cats and dogs contributes to thousands of unwanted and neglected pets each year. Vets help reduce the numbers and help improve animal welfare by teaming up with charities, some of which provide neutering vouchers to owners on limited incomes.
- Over 300 veterinary practices undertake work for the veterinary charity PDSA, providing treatment to animals of owners on means-tested benefits. The scheme ensures some of the most disadvantaged people in society can access veterinary treatment to keep their pets healthy.
- Vets never turn away an un-owned or wild animal needing emergency treatment. The RSPCA and BVA recognise the essential role vets play with the Initial Emergency Treatment (IET) scheme. When a member of the public finds a sick or injured stray or wild animal, vets will always provide necessary treatment, and may receive a charitable contribution towards the cost of that treatment, for instance through the RSPCA IET scheme.
- Many vets volunteer overseas, from rabies control programmes in India and Africa, and animal sanctuaries in Goa, to horse and donkey welfare in The Gambia and treating stray animals in Greece.
Commenting, BVA President Sean Wensley, said:
“Behind these statistics are countless stories of veterinary teams – who already often work long, demanding hours – giving their time for free to support animal rescue staff and charities to care for abandoned, injured and neglected animals, as well as help owners to keep and care for much loved animals in times of hardship and crisis. The UK’s network of animal charities and rehoming centres do a fantastic job protecting wild and domestic animals each year.
“Animal welfare legislation is clear that animal keepers and owners are responsible for meeting their animals’ needs, and prospective animal owners must be aware of the cost and time commitment involved in animal ownership. But we appreciate people’s circumstances can change and that vets volunteering their time and expertise contributes not only to animal health and welfare but also to human wellbeing and our communities.”