RVC Students Get Their Teeth into Veterinary Business
7 April 2011
The Royal Veterinary College’s first opinion companion animal practice The Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital (BSAH) and its business incubator The London BioScience Innovation Centre (LBIC) are collaborating to provide a new type of extramural study (EMS) called EMS Innovets for clinical phase veterinary students focused on developing key veterinary business and enterprise competencies.
EMS Innovets sets a real veterinary business challenge for students to tackle in a working practice environment. In the inaugural programme students are being asked to explore the commercial potential of veterinary dentistry.
The student team will work with BSAH’s clinicians to research market opportunities and the operational challenges faced by companion animal practices when seeking to provide innovative new services aimed at improving animal health. At the end of the week students will present their findings to the BSAH management team, and any workable proposals will be adopted and trialled by the practice.
Dr Jim Gazzard, Senior Lecturer and EMS Innovets Programme Director said: “Innovets is a new type of EMS which allows vet students to learn about business in a hands-on way within a busy practice rather than passively sat in a lecture theatre. Enterprise is very action orientated – learning daily from success and setbacks – and is a vital part of nearly every vet’s career path. Hence we view Innovets as an important educational programme to develop students’ skills relevant to ethical, creative and effective veterinary entrepreneurship”.
Anne Richings, BSAH Hospital Manager said: “It is great to see the students’ enthusiasm towards the project. This an exciting opportunity for the students to research and contribute towards a realistic challenge facing many small animal practices today. We hope that Innovets will encourage the students to develop the practical business skills required to complement their clinical training in modern day practice. Innovets may lead to real innovation in the BSAH”.
Graham Milligan, Director Clinical Services Division added “The RVC has been providing its students with clinical experience in small animal practice at the BSAH since it opened in 1933. The Innovets programme is a great example of how we are expanding the remit to include more opportunities to learn business and management skills, and contribute to the development of their own hospital”.
Cerrie Perrett - on behalf of the six fourth year veterinary students taking part in the inaugural Innovets programme, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity to participate in this new initiative. Gaining an insight into the fully functioning, recently refurbished, Beaumont Hospital exposes us to veterinary science as a business. This is essential for new veterinary graduates. We are all very excited and hope we can generate some innovative dentistry-related commercial ideas which can be implemented to benefit the staff and clients within the Beaumont”.
EMS Innovets is being supported by a range of enterprising veterinary sector professionals, who will provide expert input throughout the week, from organisations including RVC, Onswitch, Pfizer Animal Health Business Consultants, Healthcare Solutions PR and the British Veterinary Dental Association. The students’ team room will be in RVC’s business incubator, LBIC (adjacent to BSAH), so they will also be able to call on the experiences of entrepreneurs from over 30 high tech companies as they engage with their business challenge.
Jim Gazzard concluded by saying: “We intend to build Innovets into a regular EMS programme where business-interested students from all the UK vet schools can come together as a team in the heart of London to address veterinary business challenges and form new networks that may lead to the next generation of veterinary business innovations”.
Notes to Editors
- The Royal Veterinary College is the UK's first and largest veterinary school and a constituent College of the University of London. It also provides support for veterinary and related professions through its three referral hospitals, diagnostic services and continuing professional development courses. www.rvc.ac.uk
To request further information or an interview please contact:
The Royal Veterinary College
Established in 1791, the RVC is the UK’s longest-standing veterinary college—with a proud heritage of innovation in veterinary science, clinical practice and education.