CENTRAL VETERINARY SOCIETY
Minutes of a General Meeting of the Society held on Wednesday 22nd March 2006 at the Farmers' Club, 3 Whitehall Court, London, SW1A 2EL.
Present: the President Mr. C. Boyde and 30 Fellows and guests.
Apologies for absence had been received from 17 Fellows.
Minutes of the meeting held on 15th February 2006 had been circulated and were approved.
Matters arising: none.
Correspondence: the President had received a letter from Mr. P. Sweeney regarding prophylaxis of tail injuries in dogs. Mr. L. R. Thomsett had sent his very good wishes to the speaker.
Any Other Business: none
The President then introduced the speaker, Professor Gary England, founding Dean of the new veterinary school being set up at the University of Nottingham, to speak on "Shaping the UK's seventh veterinary School".
Professor England reported that Nottingham is among the UK's top ten universities, with outstanding teaching and research. New and different approaches are being taken on the five campuses, including two medical schools, one for graduate-only entry. New campuses are being set up abroad, including in China and Malaysia. This provides an excellent environment for a new veterinary school, with the opportunity to design the curriculum from a blank canvas.
Traditional veterinary curricula are hampered by the fracture between pre- and para-clinical subjects, and between different species groups. With a preponderance of basic science, students may be inappropriately prepared for clinical work. The tertiary referral hospitals attached to veterinary schools may mean that students see only the weird and the wonderful. In addition, research is done only at the end of the course, during electives - when the focus should be on preparing for final clinical examinations. The inertia is such that existing schools find this very difficult to address.
In Nottingham, three divisions are proposed - Medicine, Surgery and Health & Welfare. The curriculum was designed beginning with the end in mind, aiming for the desired outcome, with the emphasis on common and important conditions (business management is considered to be important). Clinical integration occurs from day 1, and research is integrated to provide a BVMedSci degree after year 3. Professor England displayed a schematic of the entire curriculum showing the integration and rationale of the concept. An important feature is the integration of teaching with clinical associate practices (including the VLA, Twycross Zoo and four practices), ensuring that teaching concentrates on first-opinion material. The extra-mural component can then encompass third-opinion and esoteric material.
Wider participation is envisaged, including a preliminary year for non-standard applicants, with RCVS recognition sought by 2011. Professor England gave an interesting overview of the selection process, designed to identify robust students, using structured interviews and aptitude assessment. Also of great interest were the slides of the new facilities being constructed.
Fellows expressed themselves deeply impressed by the concepts. A wide-ranging discussion followed, and the President concluded by inviting Professor England to return in 2011 with his first graduate.
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