The RVC, Kingston Maurward College and regional veterinary practices are collaborating in the development of a centre of excellence for livestock extension programme. The programme has multiple aims:
- Ease the transition from final year into the first farm vet job for over 60 RVC students opting for careers in farm animal practice, by giving them more time on farm than is delivered by core teaching. This ‘semi-specialisation’ in the final year is called ‘tracking’. The extra time commitment means ‘tracking’ goes further than the elective and day 1 skills. In Dorset there there is a focus on developing the practical skills, communications skills and evidence-based medicine, with an emphasis on population medicine, clinical reasoning and managing the cow/calf at calving.
- Ease the transition from qualification to 1 year qualified through an internship programme. The interns take part in a more intensive CPD and mentorship programme. They have access to RVC electronic journals and online resources. They share a house with the students which gives them company and an opportunity to talk through cases.
- Develop an active RCVS/European Diploma and MVetMed level training through a visionary residency programme, to encourage excellence and innovation of clinical practice.
- Develop an active veterinary extension programme in the South of England, to raise the profile of the vet in extension activities.
- Develop livestock extension services valued by farmers, building elements of prevention and control onto basic livestock health services. For example, developing simple systems for capturing and presenting health records so the farmers can make more informed decisions.