So much of our lives as veterinary professionals is studying. I can’t count the amount of times that I have searched ‘online veterinary resources’ in a desperate bid to collect all the information I can. The recent and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has spurred many organisations, ourselves included, to go the extra mile to ensure education to the masses. Some Universities are moving online, technology is becoming increasingly important, and we’re all trying our best.

Online Veterinary Resources for Students

EMS – Extra Mural Studies – is a requirement in the UK for all Veterinary students. Previously, our governing body RCVS required 38 weeks of experience. The pandemic has reduced this amount variably depending on which graduating class you’ll be a part of, but students are worried that without those extra weeks they’ll be inexperienced. Through no fault of their own, there is a pandemic happening after all.

VetWings is a facebook group where qualified veterinarians around the word are posting cases for students to answer. It  has stepped in beautifully to supplement EMS and mentorship has naturally blossomed. As the community grew, it became an international group. Everyone just wants to help. Co-founder Colin Whiting gracefully put it, in the veterinary profession ‘all along the way there are opportunities to give people a helping hand, to give them some perspective from the other side’.

Online Veterinary Resources for Veterinarians and Nurses

Further education for those graduated and experienced is also becoming more and more available. Some have been in the area for years – see Southpaws Specialty Surgery and Vet Dojo, or ourselves at The Webinar Vet. Other Facebook groups for specialties are absolutely packed with cases – from wound advice groups to tortoise feeding advice groups. Everyone wants to help each other right now.

“We should be proud of this profession, when someone posts asking about ‘oh what do you think of this radiograph, is it a tumour or not’ , you get 45 people chiming in with help!”

-Colin Whiting, Co-founder of VetWings

Conferences & Meets

Even conferences, which we all knew and loved, have been moved online. Here at The Webinar Vet we’ve had the privilege of holding WVAC 2020, Virtual Congress, and now the WCVD9 conference. WHOVA, an app made almost specifically for conferences, came into my sphere of consciousness during the pandemic. Conferences being held on your phone – less drinking but still lots of content and it also means that there’s no travel costs. Getting up at 1 in the morning to watch a cool presentation had some drawbacks, but in the cases where all was recorded, there was no FOMO to be had!

A different format

If you want formats that are different, or if you’re still working and short on time there are always veterinary podcasts. Maybe you’re stuck on furlough still and you just wanted to chat about vet things. Podcasts are gaining in popularity, and there is a whole host of them in the vet world. Even we host one! I even had the privilege of being invited as a guest to a new podcast about life as a new grad.

All in all

I’m really impressed that the veterinary world has stepped up to the plate so well. For such a practical profession, always hands-on in some aspect or another, we’ve done really well. I’m not sure about you but I sure am proud to be a part of the profession.

When you teach someone a bitch spey, with every bitch spey that they do after that, that’s a little bit of you that is working through them.

-Colin Whiting, Co-founder VetWings

What do you think? Is this the new future of veterinary education? Online veterinary resources have been absolutely key through this pandemic and I don’t think we’ll be returning to ‘normal’ any time soon. That being said, when we do get the all-okay to have our conferences and our EMS placements, I’d love to still have these online resources available. The ease of passively educating, scrolling through your Facebook and seeing an interesting wound or a challenging case, is incredible. It’s not having to consciously sit down and start a webinar. Instead, it’s education infiltrating everyday life as well.

How have you given a lesson or helped someone out this week? If you haven’t, have a search for some Facebook groups in your specialty!

We post cases and top tips in our Facebook group regularly. We’d love for you to post your cases and tips as well – have a look!