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Thrive as a vet student

Be part of the equine veterinary community from day one. Join us to access the BEVA benefits and find out where equine practice could take you.

Apply to be a BEVA student rep for 2024-2025

Applications are now open for our 2024-2025 student reps. If you're passionate about equine we want you to help us spread the word about BEVA membership and organise in-person and virtual events for your fellow students. Applications close on Monday 8 July 2024.

View our vacancies here. If your university is not listed, please get in touch as we're always looking to increase the number of universities with BEVA reps.

Apply now
Your questions answered
How do I find an equine EMS placement?

Most students will find EMS placements through word of mouth. You can ask others at your vet school to see where they have been and where they would recommend. 

You can also use the BEVA network to help you find an equine EMS placement. 

How can I get the most out of my equine EMS placement?

Before going research the practice you are going to, via websites or people who know it, and think about what you want to achieve from the placement.

When you are on placement:

  • Commit your time and energy to the placement; they should return the same.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Keep a notebook.
  • Gauge the practice dynamic: the people, workflow, teams involved.
  • Check in with people as to how they want to work and interact.
  • Ask how you are getting on. 
  • Make friends (these people could be your future colleagues, co-authors and comrades!)
I'm not horsey, does that matter?

No. 

Your background doesn't matter and should not stop you from seeing what equine practice could offer you. You may just need to become familiar with the peculiarities of the equestrian industry and the language it uses. From polo to Pony Club to dressage to drag-hunting, the disciplines are all quite different. Few 'horsey' people understand the whole industry themselves and you will pick up what you need as you go.

Our advice if you are not horsey but want to see if equine practice is for you is: 

  • Approach horse handling and husbandry as you would any of the species. Learn it and practise it. 
  • If you want to understand the industry, spend time with people that are in it. You will learn a lot by osmosis! 
  • Remember that the 'veterinary skills' required are not helped by prior horse knowledge, so you can be a good equine vet without a background in horses.
  • Client skills and horse handling skills will still need to be developed regardless of your background.

What can I get involved with whilst on placement?

In ambulatory equine practice there is less opportunity to get hands-on experience of veterinary skills, because the support team is not always there, the presence of clients may not provide the best learning environment, and time pressure can be significant. 

Exposure to cases is what's important for you right now, irrespective of whether you are carrying out the procedures yourself. Absorb all of the cases you can. The less exciting cases are often the 'bread and butter' of equine practice so don't switch off from them - if you do them well, you'll be halfway there.

We would also recommend when on placement concentrate on learning the 'other skills' that will benefit you including how to manage clients, making it work within the constraints of the facilities you have, listening to how cases are managed, how to make referrals, managing client costs, managing client expectations, working within equine practice teams, familiarity with medicines and equipment... these are all things you'll wish you paid attention to once you graduate. Cleaning up and resticking is not something to be sniffed at. This is an important part of being an equine vet so get it under your belt now. Watch the vet call clients, keep notes and write up reports. One day this will be you and it's not as easy to do as it looks! 

What will my first month as a new graduate be like?

It will probably be a bit scary, and it will probably seem a bit boring (if that is even possible?!)

With a bit of luck, you'll be out doing the easy calls, chatting to clients, vaccinating ponies, but don't assume it will stay that way for very long, you will soon be thrown a learning opportunity to grasp with both hands. 

In your first month, we'd recommend ensuring you dedicate time to bonding with the practice team - accept dinner invites, ask people down to the pub for a drink, stay for a coffee, and buy cakes. To feel supported it is important to have a good bond with the rest of the team. 

We'd also recommend spending as much time as you can shadowing other members of the team so you learn the way they do things. You can change the way you do things later on, but for now embrace the team you are entering and the practice they form.

How can I impress at my first job?
  • Ask questions.
  • Answer your phone. 
  • Reply to your emails. 
  • Offer to go along to that tricky call when you're free. 
  • Offer to pick up the late calls when you can. 
  • Buy cake! 

And remember, soon you will no longer be the 'newbie' and will be the one offering advice to a new team member.

Student events

Our Student Reps put together a series of talks that take place across multiple universities and we sometimes run online events exclusively for vet students. See what's coming up and watch back previous sessions.

Find out more

Online resources for you

We host hundreds of online learning resources that will help build your knowledge and confidence in equine veterinary medicine.

Access the resources

 

BEVApod

Listen to the latest from our podcast channel.

 

Equine Infectious Disease Surveillance

Equine Infectious Disease Surveillance (EIDS) collaborates with equine industry stakeholders to control and prevent infectious disease outbreaks in the UK. Tell-Tail text alerts ensure you're up to date with the latest cases/outbreaks of infectious disease.

Find out more

 

 

Our student partners

Our free student membership and dedicated resources are made possible via our Student Partners.

Baker McVeigh CVS IVCNEH Rossdales Vet Partners XL Vets