Vetsim 2017

On the 15th and 16th of July, I was lucky enough to attend Vetsim at the University of Nottingham. It was a weekend packed full of interesting lectures, skill sessions and animal handling sessions.

The Saturday started with a talk by a veterinarian who had studied at the University of Nottingham. She talked about her current job at the RSPCA and her experiences at university, including her numerous trips to South Africa to work with the big cats and sharks! Needless to say, her anecdotes further instilled a love of animals in all the Vetsim delegates.

The next talk was given by James Ridgeway and was on ‘The GMO Project’; a project where we are given the opportunity to design a genetically modified organism and write a paper detailing its significance in the world of veterinary medicine. In the brainstorming part of this talk, we considered the bioluminescence gene and came up with ideas as to how it could benefit society.

Immediately following this inspiring talk was a lecture on the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), a style of interview that many universities are now adopting. This talk was followed up the next day with a practical session.

After the MMI lecture, I got lost on the (MASSIVE!) campus but eventually found my way to Derby Hall where dinner was being served.

The evening was dedicated to practical sessions and a ‘Q&A’ with students studying veterinary medicine. The practical sessions were on auscultation and keyhole surgery.

Sunday commenced with a hearty breakfast and a second practical session. Skills taught were suturing and bandaging, animal CPR, MMI practice and small animal health checks.

Sunday afternoon was by far my favourite as we got to see and handle some exotic animals. I was surprised to learn that many of the animals (including skunks!) can be purchased without a licence, which raised some within all issues and made me feel uncomfortable at times. However, the highlight of the afternoon was handling the snakes!

I was also kindly allowed to have a meerkat on my shoulders and to hold a baby skunk!

Other animals seen included a possum, blue-tongued skink and a snapping turtle.

Overall I enjoyed Vetsim very much and would recommend it for any aspiring vets out there!

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