Vets Now EMS programme presentations hailed as a success

Vets Now EMS programme gives vet students exposure to real-life emergencies

  • Congress
  • EMS
  • Undergraduates

Veterinary school undergraduates selected to present at ECC Congress

Six veterinary students have won praise after presenting case studies at Vets Now’s ECC Congress.

Claire Diamond, Kate Brandist, Amy Reynolds, Zoe Nutbeam, Mariana Abreu and Hannah Johnstone were among more than 100 undergraduates to take part in Vets Now’s extra-mural studies (EMS) programme in the past year.

They were shortlisted to present emergency cases they’d worked on during their one and two-week mentored placements in Vets Now’s emergency clinics to a panel of three judges.

Another vet, Collette Taylor, who has since graduated and now works for Vets Now, also presented a case she’d worked on while doing the EMS programme.image of EMS students at Vets Now's 14th annual Congress

The judges, Karen Humm, the RVC's director of the blood transfusion medicine service, Lee Clayton-Harvey of the Vet Times, and Katie Hollingworth, a district vet with Vets Now, said they were hugely impressed with the quality of the presentations.

All seven finalists, including the top three – Zoe from the University of Nottingham, Hannah from the University of Edinburgh and Kate from the University of Cambridge – agreed the EMS programme had been hugely beneficial to their development.

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Kate, who did her placement at Vets Now in Coventry, said: “I really enjoyed it. The staff were supportive and inclusive and they were keen to hear my point of view. I learned a lot, particularly about prioritising during emergencies and the need to think on your feet. I’d recommend the EMS programme to others.”

Hannah, who was at Vets Now in Salisbury, echoed those views, adding, “You really become part of the team during the placement. I learned a lot about triaging cases, diagnostics and other skills that will be useful when I graduate.”

The Vets Now EMS programme was set up to provide fourth and fifth year veterinary students with the opportunity to develop outside of the university lecture theatre by spending time working alongside ECC professionals on genuine emergencies.

Those taking part are encouraged to enter a case from their placement into the Congress competition. As well as being invited to present their case at Vets Now’s annual ECC conference in Harrogate, the finalists are also given a free CPD pass for one of the days, accommodation and an invite to the evening dinner.Image of EMS students who presented at Europe's largest ECC Congress

Aoife O’Sullivan, Vets Now’s head of Edge and EMS programmes, said: “Vets Now is committed to supporting veterinary students and has provided EMS placements for more than 100 in the past year.

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“The EMS case presentations offer a further opportunity to gain experience presenting at a conference and demonstrate how valuable the Vets Now EMS programme is. I was very impressed with the quality of the cases presented — the judges had an almost impossible job to do.”

The students passed on their appreciation to mentors Michelle Dawson (Hemel Hempstead), Rachel Black (Edinburgh), Jacqueline Seymour (Gateshead), Sara Jackson (Gateshead), Stephanie Timmons (Liverpool), Michael Maguire (Salisbury) and Alastair Wilding (Coventry).

Vets Now would also like to thank Woodley and Vet Times for providing the prizes for the case study competition.

The Vets Now EMS team send out a monthly newsletter to undergraduates and regularly participate in career fairs. If you're interested in finding out more about the EMS placement programme, please email



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