Finally, mainstream media organisations are picking up on the mental health crisis facing the veterinary profession, with newspaper articles, local radio interviews and features Continue reading
Mentoring – One aim of the Vet Futures initiative (pg38) is to create an intra-professional mentoring scheme. Some pilot schemes are currently underway (e.g. University College Dublin, click here for info). Would you like to take part in a mentoring scheme post graduation? Have your say on our forum
The Vets Christian Fellowship offer an informal mentoring scheme to provide support to members.
If you have connected well with a vet during EMS, or a fellow student a year or two ahead of you, you could request they provide you with peer support when you graduate.
What are your views on mentoring? Do you think it would be helpful? Necessary even, especially in relation to the PDP phase? Have your say on our forums.
What are we teaching our vet students outside the lecture theatre? A worrying culture seems evident, based on recent studies both in the UK and over the pond. Continue reading
I had just had E-NOUGH of revision. 6 years of jam-packed timetables, then a 6 week block at the end with nothing but grim revision… I was stir crazy by the end of the first week, and threatening to quit! My brain just couldn’t hack the monotony of cramming day after day.
So, I broke up my day:
6am: wake up, revise with a cup of tea for a couple of quiet, productive hours. Phone off!
8am: stop, eat a good breakfast, chat to housemates for half an hour
8.30-11am: revise. Phone off!
11am: Enough! No more! Can’t hack it any more!!! Stop for half an hour and make a revision super smoothie. Half an hour of chilling with social media.
11.30am: cycle to vet school library and revise until 1pm. Phone off!
1-2pm: lunch with the library crowd. Preferably outside. Often followed by a nap for half an hour in the sun!
2-4pm: revise in the library. Phone off!
4-5.30pm: go for a run / do some exercise of some form then cycle home, shower
5.30-7pm: final bit of revision. Phone off!
7pm: make dinner. Sit on sofa with housemates, watching utterly mindless television. Big Brother… Real housewives… Eastenders….
10pm: bedtime, utterly relaxed and brain able to process all the information from earlier.
It worked for me… although I later learnt that anyone in the library after 8pm became part of the mutual massage club. They would take it in turns to massage each others’ shoulders and neck. Missed a trick there!
Other friends decamped to coffee shops. Some went home to their parents. I went up to the Lake District to a practice where I’d seen lots of EMS… I sat and went through their X-ray library and went out on calls for a break… I even did my first solo cow C-section during my revision period. I learnt more there than I did in the library.
The day before my first exam I went for a deep tissue back massage at 2pm and did no revision afterwards. It was a great decision – I was fresh and relaxed for exams, and had much better perspective.
EXAM SUPER SMOOTHIE I created this in my final year (what else do you do when you’re supposed to be revising?!). It was the perfect psychological boost in the middle of the morning when my enthusiasm was starting to wane. Tastes like chocolate milkshake. Contains caffeine. Is healthy. What more do you need?
1 ripe banana (too ripe to eat so it’s super sweet!)
1 shot of espresso, or 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules (optional caffeine kick)
1-2 rounded teaspoons of cocoa powder
Squirt of honey (start with a small squeeze and test the sweetness – you might need more if your bananas are still at the edible stage of ripeness).
Some milk – how much depends on how thick you like your smoothie.
You’ll need a smoothie maker, but mine was a £10 handheld stick one from a supermarket, so it doesn’t have to be fancy.
Try adding a handful of porridge oats for a tasty breakfast
Add a few drops of vanilla essence to add a bit of sweetness (optional), or vanilla yoghurt (adds a bit of rich creamy taste)
Like it colder – more like a milkshake? Simply peel and freeze your spotty old bananas in a bag and break them into the smoothie maker straight from the freezer.
Milk variations – soya, almond, or try it with coconut milk (I’ve never done this… let me know if you do!)
Make up your own and post below – I graduated over a decade ago and I still make this smoothie as a pick me up… but I’d love to try your alternatives.
Exam tips – learn to think like a vet, rather than regurgitate a load of facts for an exam.