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Nazrene Moosa

Should vets be as comfortable reading balance sheets as blood results? asks guest blogger

Although the rise in employment within corporate practices has enabled young vets to focus on the veterinary science aspects of practice life, our latest guest blog argues that business training should still be an integral and encouraged part of undergraduate vet training.

The blog is written by Nazrene Moosa, a small animal vet who works in a busy practice in West Sussex. In the last 20 years, she has worked as a sole practitioner and owner, as well as for independent and corporate-owned practices.

Nazrene argues that through offering an environment that concentrates on hands-on work instead of involvement in practice finances and management, young vets working in the corporate sector might be missing out on developing vital business skills. She argues that such skills are essential if they want to leave the corporate world and move into an independent practice or even strike out on their own.

“The usual mantra from the corporates is that they allow vets to be vets rather than managers, they enable them to concentrate on the stuff that matters, rather than the humdrum financial and management issues that many vets have little or no interest in,” says Nazrene, arguing that while such business issues may not be “the sexy end of the job” they require skills that are “sadly lacking in many vets today.”

Nazrene believes a shift in attitude is required, to ensure that gaining greater knowledge and insight into the running of a successful practice is seen as a positive opportunity to make the practice the best it can be both for staff and clients. She concludes: “Ideally vets would be as comfortable reading balance sheets as blood results.”

This month’s poll asks visitors ‘Do you feel that you were given adequate business training at vet school?’ If you have a view on this topic, please make sure to take part in the poll and leave a comment on the blog.

Last month’s poll asked readers if there is a need for another veterinary nurse training option. This was in response to the guest blog by Laura Kidd, who discussed how more vet nurses can be encouraged into the profession and how practices can keep those nurses they have already. Over 100 people took part in the poll, with 57% agreeing that there should be another option to train to become a veterinary nurse.

Should vets be as comfortable reading balance sheets as blood results?

Nazrene Moosa qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1988. She has been in small animal practice ever since – first in South Africa and, for the last 18 years, in the South East of the UK. In the last 27 years she has worked as a sole practitioner/owner as well as for independent and corporate-owned practices, and currently works in a busy small animal practice in West Sussex.

When I first arrived in the UK almost 20 years ago, there were major changes afoot in the profession. My first job was in a corporate practice in Portsmouth, and I have some fond memories of being at the forefront of this new trend.

Nazrene Moosa

Nazrene Moosa

Since then the inexorable march of the corporate practice has forever changed the landscape of the veterinary profession in this country. The sheer number of corporate-owned practices means that, for many vets, and especially for newly graduated vets, a corporate employer will be all they know. Independent practices are becoming less the norm, especially in the small animal sector, and there is an almost inevitability that many of these will succumb to the lure of the corporate pound at some stage.

So the corporates have ensured the survival of many practices that may otherwise have disappeared into the annals of history. They provide employment for many young vets and formulate development programmes that support new graduates. They aim for gold standard care and try to achieve this within a financially sustainable environment. The usual mantra from the corporates is that they allow vets to be vets rather than managers, they enable them to concentrate on the stuff that matters, rather than the humdrum financial and management issues that many vets have little or no interest in. They have experts in human resources and management to do all of the non-veterinary stuff. But is there a way of incorporating (pun intended) vets in a more positive way so we’re more than ‘just vets’?

Fast forward to 2030 and I believe the profession is likely to be predominantly corporate based. Personally I would feel more comfortable if, over the years, something of a paradigm shift had occurred in the way vets viewed their roles. I am hoping, at some stage, the penny will have dropped and the powers that be at teaching institutions will have recognised the need for an increased amount of business training being an integral part of the undergraduate degree. It’s not the sexy end of the job, but needs must and it is an everyday skill that is sadly lacking in many vets today. I remain optimistic that the many development programmes that the corporates of today have in place will have translated into a new breed of vet who is comfortable with the multiple roles of vet/manager/financial expert. Ideally vets would be as comfortable reading balance sheets as blood results and be able to make decisions affecting ‘their’ practices with the knowledge and authority that will ultimately impact on their own lives, and those of their patients, in a positive way.


Read more about Nazrene Moosa →

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of either the RCVS or the BVA.

Only half of recent graduates say their career has matched expectations

Only half of veterinary surgeons who graduated within the last eight years say their career has matched their expectations, according to a survey that the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) are dubbing a “wake up call” to the profession.

The results form the latest output from Vet Futures, a joint RCVS and BVA initiative that aims to help the veterinary profession prepare for and shape its future.

The online survey gathered views from 892 veterinary students (via the Association of Veterinary Students) and 1,973 veterinary surgeons who had graduated within the last eight years, during May and June this year.

Although 37% of graduates reported that their working lives had met their expectations, and a further 13% said it had exceeded them, this left 50% partly or wholly unsatisfied. Furthermore, 10% said they were considering leaving the profession entirely.

Vets who have been qualified for five years or more were least optimistic about the future, rating their opportunities for career progression less positively than more recent graduates, and were also least likely to feel that their degree had prepared them for their current work. Meanwhile, only 34% of students felt that their degree was preparing them ‘very well’ for the work they wanted to do.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of students intended to work in the UK, with most aspiring to work in small animal/exotic or mixed practice, although one in 10 was as yet undecided. Of students, 45% said they wanted to become practice owners or partners, yet this aspiration dropped to 25% among graduates. In addition, nearly double the amount of graduates said they wanted to work outside clinical practice (18%), compared to students.

When seeking a role, the three factors that both graduates and students agreed would have the greatest influence on their choice of career were intellectual satisfaction, location and a supportive environment.

This last requirement chimes with the fact that among the most popular suggestions for improvement to the veterinary degree were compulsory modules on managing stress, personal development and work-life balance, alongside more teaching of business and finance skills, and extra-mural studies (EMS) placements in a wider range of settings, such as industry.

The results are “a wake up call to the profession”, according to BVA President, John Blackwell, who adds: “The drop off in career satisfaction for vets during this crucial first eight years in practice is something we can’t afford to ignore. It points to frustration over career development opportunities and dissatisfaction with support available in practice. For the veterinary profession to remain sustainable, and an attractive career choice for the best and brightest, we need to address these issues with some urgency.”

RCVS President, Dr Bradley Viner, commented: “We clearly need to address the disconnect between expectation and reality for many recent graduates. Reviewing the educational foundation of the profession is a thread that runs through many of the proposed actions that will be outlined in the Vet Futures report due this autumn. The teaching and assessment of non-clinical skills – both as part of the undergraduate curriculum and within postgraduate education – will be important, as will be the promotion of non-clinical career pathways.”

The survey also covered issues such as students’ aspirations in terms of the type (size, ownership, sector) of practice in which they would like to work, and graduates’ future career plans. It also considers attitudes from both groups with respect to new technology.

The full research report “Voices from the future of the profession,” can be found here.

The Vet Futures report and action plan will be launched at the London Vet Show on Friday 20 November, at 1.20pm, in the Pillar Hall of Olympia London, as part of BVA Congress.

David Main

Veterinary professor argues that the profession should prove its animal welfare advocacy credentials

In this month’s guest blog, an academic specialising in animal welfare argues that the profession needs to do more to deliver on society’s expectation of vets as animal welfare advocates.

David Main is Professor of Animal Welfare at the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol, with research interests in welfare assessment, animal welfare education and intervention strategies to improve welfare.

In his blog Professor Main makes two key arguments. His first is that the profession urgently needs to deliver on society’s expectation of vets as animal welfare experts and, second, the introduction of safeguards to prevent inappropriate profit-seeking behaviour.

“Veterinarians could perhaps… do more at an individual level to act as animal welfare advocates. It is easy to inform clients on the technical rationale for a specific husbandry change but then walk away knowing full well the client will not action the advice. In the medical profession, advanced communication techniques are becoming more widely accepted to promote positive change within their patients. Perhaps we should be more explicit in teaching our veterinary students influencing skills,” he says on the first point.

On the second aspect of his argument, he believes the vast majority of individual veterinary surgeons and practices are not motivated by money and do have animals’ best interests at heart. However, he argues that “perceptions as well as reality matter amongst our clients and society,” adding: “The obvious difference between the business structure of veterinary and medical practitioners in the UK means the profession will always be at risk of challenge for excessive profiteering.

“Since we still live in the age of the media scare story, it would seem prudent for the profession to embed some anti-profit seeking safeguards in our regulatory controls before, rather than after, a problem is highlighted.”

He believes that such safeguards, which he says could be incorporated into the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme, would be a “healthy demonstration” that the profession has animal welfare rather than profit as its main priority.

In response to David’s blog, this month’s Vet Futures poll asks visitors ‘Do vets always act as animal welfare advocates?’ If you have a view on this topic, do make sure to take part in the poll and leave a comment on the blog.

The previous month’s poll, which was based on the blog co-written by Erwin Hohn and Adi Nell from MediVet, asked to what extent vets would be willing to work collaboratively with others if it would benefit all. Of the 50 who answered, 60% said they would be completely willing to work with others, 32% a lot and 8% to some degree – no one said they would be unwilling to work with others.

Are we animal welfare advocates or profit-seekers?

David Main is Professor of Animal Welfare at Bristol Veterinary School. His research interests are welfare assessment, intervention strategies to improve welfare and animal welfare education. He is a former member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council, and current member of Soil Association Council. He is project co-ordinator of the AssureWel project; a collaboration with RSPCA and Soil Association, that aims to embed welfare outcomes into the assurance process of certification schemes.

He was principle investigator for the Healthy Feet project that has been widely adopted by the dairy industry and he is also part of the EU WelNet project that is a network of welfare scientists providing welfare advice to the European Commission. 

The recent survey from the Vet Futures project shows that the public place a high degree of trust in the veterinary profession. Despite this encouraging assessment I will argue in this article that the profession should work harder to deliver on a societal expectation for us to be animal welfare advocates and that it ought to introduce safeguards against profit-seeking influences on our clinical decisions.

David Main

Professor David Main

Profession urgently needs to deliver on society’s expectation as animal welfare advocates
Individual clinicians would be well justified to say that their daily ambition in veterinary practice is to promote the interests of animals in their care. However, a minimal scratch below the surface reveals obvious tensions in this well-intentioned mantra within the profession.

At an organisational level, the BVA can be applauded for campaigning for stunning at slaughter. However, this campaign is relatively uncontroversial as it does not conflict with the interests of clients of many BVA members. Could you imagine the BVA launching a public campaign encouraging the pig industry to change its husbandry system in order to reduce the need for tail docking in pigs or improving the prevention and treatment of lameness of dairy cows? It requires strong leadership for the profession to discuss issues that raise difficulties for clients that pay the practice bills. Hopefully discussion around the BVA Animal Welfare Strategy will focus our attention on such issues.

Veterinarians could perhaps also do more at an individual level to act as animal welfare advocates. It is easy to inform clients on the technical rationale for a specific husbandry change but then walk away knowing full well the client will not action the advice. In the medical profession, advanced communication techniques are becoming more widely adopted to promote positive change within their patients. Perhaps we should be more explicit in teaching our veterinary students influencing skills.

Advocacy requires us to promote our patient’s rather than our client’s interests at both an organisation and individual clinician level.

Profession ought to introduce safeguards preventing inappropriate profit-seeking behaviour
Whilst the profession is clearly focused on our client’s interests, widespread profit seeking behaviour amongst clinicians is unlikely. Clients are likely to avoid veterinary surgeons that they perceive to be focused on performing unnecessary expensive treatments. Furthermore, you do not talk need to talk to many veterinary clinicians to realise that money is rarely a primary driver.

I have also argued previously that offering the best veterinary treatments from the animal’s point of view is very often the most profitable for the practice. In practice I suggest that many veterinarians fail to offer the best treatment as they are overly worried about the financial impact on the owner. Since it is not our role to make judgments on how our clients should spend their money, our default position should be to offer the best treatment option. However, we should be careful to avoid causing guilt amongst owners that are not able to afford the treatment. Concentrating on the animal’s interest need not conflict with a legitimate need to operate a profitable veterinary business.

However, perceptions as well as reality matters amongst our clients and society. The obvious difference between the business structure of veterinary and medical practitioners in the UK means the profession will always be at risk of challenge for excessive profiteering. Since we still live in the age of the media scare story it would seem prudent for the profession to embed some anti-profit seeking safeguards in our regulatory controls before, rather than after, a problem is highlighted.

A potential safeguard could be a prohibition within the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme of crude turnover-based incentives. Salary based on performance, of course, is a legitimate management tool, but incentives could be based on health outcomes rather than simply selling more stuff. A debate at a practice or national level on the nature of these safeguards could be a healthy demonstration of the profession’s desire to act as animal advocates.


Read more about Prof David Main→

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of either the RCVS or the BVA.

Fortune favours Lincolnshire vet as winner of ‘Headlines of tomorrow’ competition

A Lincolnshire veterinary surgeon has won the Vet Futures ‘Headlines of tomorrow’ competition for his suggestion that the veterinary and medical professions work together to tackle obesity in animals and humans.

The competition was held at BSAVA Congress in April where our Vet Futures-themed fortune cookies contained a message asking those attending ‘What future headline do you want to see?’ and providing a weblink to enter the competition.

The winner, as chosen by the Project Board which oversees Vet Futures, was David Bull with his headline of ‘Vets and medics collaborate to prevent human and animal obesity’.

David, a joint partner at Vets4Pets in Lincoln South and an Advanced Practitioner in General Small Animal Surgery, has now received a Kindle Fire for his efforts.

Speaking of the inspiration behind his entry he said: “The headline was inspired by topical issues, having ‘One Health’ in mind and the issue of obesity in our patients, as well as the general human population. I feel that these are some of the big issues of our time, especially that of obesity which has been linked to so many other diseases and is essentially a self-induced problem.

“We see so many overweight cats, dogs and rabbits on a daily basis. It seems to be becoming a more common problem, as well as seemingly more accepted in society. This is to the extent that we have some clients that come in worried because they have been told that their dog is too thin, when in actual fact they are in an ideal body condition and are being compared to overweight pets which have become perceived as normal.”

Some of the other topics raised in the competition include the veterinary profession taking the lead in tackling ‘superbugs’, veterinary surgeons topping job satisfaction and wellbeing polls and the profession taking a leading role in One Health and medical advancements.

Remember, you can also enter our essay-writing competition, in which you can pen an essay of no more than 1,000 words on an idea that will transform the profession by 2030. The deadline for submitting an entry is Monday 31 August and the winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the London Vet Show in November.

Can vets work better together by playing to our strengths? ask guest Vet Futures bloggers Erwin Hohn and Adi Nell

In this month’s blog, Erwin Hohn and Adi Nell, Senior Partners at Medivet, argue that the way forward for veterinary practices large and small is to work better together by following nineteenth-century economist Daniel Ricardo’s stricture – stick to what you do best.

In Medivet practices, say Erwin and Adi, “we play to our vets’ strengths by allowing each one to do what they do best. We’ll refer to each other internally or between branches in a group. That’s just what Ricardo suggested.”

The innovation suggested by Erwin and Adi is for individual vets to expand this principle out to work collaboratively with external parties – even “those we think of as competitors, both veterinary and non-veterinary. This would serve to advance the health and wellbeing of our patients, not just cure or prevent disease.”

Taking on board the Vet Futures ethos of the veterinary profession shaping its future for itself, Erwin and Adi argue for an extension of what, to a certain degree, happens already, such as the sharing of out-of-hours work or referrals to specialist centres. The pair argues:

“We can apply this more widely. Breeders could refer puppies to a small vaccination clinic. That branch does the vaccination, but sends the puppies to a larger practice for x-rays when they’re lame. In turn, the larger practice sends its inoculations to the vaccination clinic or small satellite, and they refer clients who want to buy puppies back to the breeder. I could, for example, support your investment in an MRI unit and you could support my laparoscopic surgery.

“This is how many human community health programmes work all round the world, right now.”

Refuting the claim that such working might be ‘pie in the sky’, Erwin and Adi make the case that such a collaborative approach deals with many of the challenges the profession  has identified, including reducing costs and enhancing financial viability as well as offering a way in which corporates can become part of the solution for smaller and independent practices. Erwin and Adi argue:

“It’s easier to develop business skills for a narrower range of services than a much broader one – and it’s easier to choose your own hours. That same focus makes regulators and legal compliance easier. Non-veterinary competitors become collaborators. Rising costs are controlled by the same narrower focus, and evidence-based medicine is enhanced by sharing outcomes.”

In relation to Erwin and Adi’s blog this month’s Vet Futures poll asks “To what extent would you be willing to work collaboratively with others if it would benefit you all: Not at all, To some degree, A lot or Completely?”

Last month’s poll focused on the balance between business skills and veterinary practice as a caring profession, asking “Can vet practice embrace the need for better business skills without damaging its reputation as a compassionate profession?” This was based on the blog written by John Sheridan, a management and business consultant to the veterinary profession and former BSAVA and VPMA President, who argued that veterinary businesses must be viable to continue to care and that “better business is essential for better medicine.” A significant majority of those who responded to the poll agreed that veterinary practice can embrace better business skills without damaging its reputation as a caring profession: 81% of respondents answered “Yes”, 14% said they were “Unsure” and only 5% answered “No.”

Could we work collaboratively with those we think of as competitors?

Erwin Hohn and Adi Nell are both Senior Partners at Medivet. Erwin has a postgraduate degree in sociology and an MBA. Adi has advanced clinical qualifications and has recently completed MBA studies.

What’s coming?
None of us knows what the future will bring. There’s been much written in the vet press and many meetings have been held to look at the challenges we face. Major issues included work-life balance and

Erwin Hohn

Erwin Hohn

financial viability, the rise of corporates and feminisation in the profession, as well as standards of care. There are others: business skills, student debt, lack of leadership, excessive regulation and legislation, lack of evidence-based veterinary medicine, competition from non-vets, online pharmacies, mobile veterinary clinics, the Internet and its legions of unqualified experts, the rapidly-rising cost of offering a comprehensive service, and rising client expectations, to name just some.

We propose a new model of working together that could change the face of veterinary care. This model offers new ways of working and solutions to many of these challenges.

In 1817, the renowned economist Daniel Ricardo came up with a novel idea: stick to what you do best. This has been proved successful over and over again – but, oddly, is often overlooked. If you do what you do best and I don’t compete with that, but offer another service that I can do really well, we’ll maximise our profits and can support each other rather than competing.

Can we apply this to our profession?

Theory into practice
In our practices, we play to our vets’ strengths by allowing each one to do what they do best. We’ll refer to each other internally or between branches in a group. That’s just what Ricardo suggested.

Adi Nell

Adi Nell

By expanding this principle, we could work collaboratively with those we think of as competitors, both veterinary and non-veterinary. This would serve to advance the health and wellbeing of our patients, not just cure or prevent disease.

We already do this to a degree: practices share out of hours work, for example, or refer to specialist centres. The problem with the referral example is it’s currently one way only – if a complex fracture repair turns into an amputation, could it not be referred back to you?

We can apply this more widely. Breeders could refer puppies to a small vaccination clinic. That branch does the vaccination, but sends the puppies to a larger practice for x-rays when they’re lame. In turn, the larger practice sends its inoculations to the vaccination clinic or small satellite, and they refer clients who want to buy puppies back to the breeder. I could, for example, support your investment in an MRI unit and you could support my laparoscopic surgery.

This is how many human community health programmes work all round the world, right now.

Pie in the sky?
This collaborative approach deals with many of the challenges the profession has identified. By specialising in what each party does best, costs are reduced and financial viability is enhanced. Those who do what they love doing have fewer problems with work-life balance. Corporates become part of the solution. And client expectations are much easier to meet if we play only to our strengths.

It’s easier to develop business skills for a narrower range of services than for a much broader one – and it’s easier to choose your own hours. That same focus makes regulators and legal compliance easier. Non-veterinary competitors become collaborators. Rising costs are controlled by the same narrower focus, and evidence-based medicine is enhanced by sharing outcomes.

This utopia may seem difficult to achieve. But there are simple, practical steps that we can take right now to make our lives more professionally fulfilling, less stressful and more financially rewarding.

Reference:
Hohn, Erwin W (Sep 2014) The Development of Veterinary Community Health. Proceedings of the 39th World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress, 249-252.


Read more about Erwin Hohn→
Read more about Adi Nell→

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of either the RCVS or the BVA.

Image with sign depicting bright future ahead

The veterinary future’s bright, but levels of stress causing concern, finds survey

A new Vet Futures survey of more than 600 veterinary surgeons and students has found that they are generally positive about the future of the profession, with 59% saying they are very or fairly optimistic.

However, vets also highlighted the need to reduce stress – the single highest priority goal for the future, with nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents choosing it from a long list of options – and secure greater public recognition for the profession.

The survey was carried out by Vet Futures through the British Veterinary Association’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession panel which tested findings from the early research phase of the project, explored attitudes towards the profession, and asked them to prioritise the key issues and rank some of the major threats and opportunities for the profession.

Priority goals for veterinary surgeons varied according to different areas of work and seniority in the profession. However, an overriding and uniting theme from the findings is the pursuit of greater recognition for the role vets play across the board.

Vets’ perception of the veterinary contribution to non-clinical roles, such as research, food supply and security, and public health, is high, but they don’t believe the general public values their contribution in these areas.

Looking ahead to the future, four of the respondents’ top five goals for 2030 relate to recognition:

  • Veterinary leadership on animal welfare
  • Respected and valued role in society
  • Valued role for vets in education on responsible animal ownership
  • Higher profile on animal-related issues that affect public health

In relation to the “respected and valued role of vets in society” priority, the Vet Futures national ICM opinion poll of more than 2,000 members of the public found that 94% of the general public trusts the veterinary profession generally or completely.

In terms of their own careers, 59% felt that they had met or exceeded their expectations, leaving 41% saying their careers had only met some expectations (38%) or not met any (3%). Amongst this large minority of dissatisfied vets the reasons for their responses included few opportunities for progression; pay; and working hours.

The survey also asked vets to rank threats and opportunities for the profession and found that respondents considered the three greatest opportunities to be:

  • Increasing expectations around customer service – seen as the greatest area of opportunity
  • The structure and content of undergraduate courses – vets want training to reflect the real breadth of career choices and allow students to specialise earlier
  • Public health concerns relating to animal disease – vets are eager to increase awareness and understanding of their contributions to public health

The full survey results can be found here.

Commenting on the findings, BVA President John Blackwell said:

“It’s heartening to see that, at the moment, the veterinary glass is half full for many. But we know that younger vets are disproportionately represented amongst those who are feeling less positive about their own careers, which is a real concern for future generations. There is clearly work to be done, through Vet Futures, for the profession to think innovatively in order to tackle some of their concerns around career progression, pay and working hours, as well as stress.

“The good news is that, through the Vet Futures UK-wide roadshow and our online engagement, we have been hearing new and interesting ideas for the future. We want to hear from as many vets, vet nurses and others who have a stake in the future of the profession as possible and I would encourage people to get involved through our ‘Veterinary Vision’ essay competition or via the Vet Futures website.”

RCVS President Stuart Reid added:

“There is a lot for the veterinary profession to be proud of but the Vet Futures survey shows that vets are concerned the general public doesn’t understand or value the variety of roles we undertake outside clinical practice.

“We have also heard through our guest blog that vets working outside of practice sometimes feel that they are treated as second-class vets.

“Through the Vet Futures project the RCVS and BVA aim to address the lack of public awareness about the variety of roles undertaken by members of the profession, as well as increase understanding and access to these varied career opportunities amongst the profession.

“We want to enable all veterinary surgeons to not only feel optimistic, but confident in their future.”

Please feel free to take part in our Vet Futures ‘Veterinary Vision’ essay competition, where you could get the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the London Vet Show.

Pen your vision for a chance to win London Vet Show trip

The Vet Futures team is offering the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the London Vet Show (Olympia, 19-20 November) to the lucky winner of its ‘Veterinary Vision’ essay competition.

London Vet Show logoThe winning entry will also be included in a time capsule, to be opened by the veterinary profession in 2030.

Entrants – who could be vets, VNs, practice managers, students, in fact anyone with a veterinary interest – are being asked to pen an essay in no more than 1,000 words which outlines ‘An idea that will transform the veterinary/veterinary nursing profession by 2030’.

The topic might look at a new business model, a new approach to education, a technological innovation or perhaps a way that the working lives of those in the practice team could be improved – the approach is totally up to the author.

The entries will be judged by the Vet Futures Project Board, which includes the Presidents and Chief Executives of both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association.

Entries will be anonymised then scored on a range of criteria, including originality, potential impact for the future and realistic prospects of change.

The closing date for entries is midnight on Wednesday 30 September 2015, and the winner will be notified the week commencing Monday 5 October 2015.

The full rules and details of how entries can be submitted can be found on our competition page.

 

19.08.15 Note the deadline for competition entries has been extended from the original deadline of 31 August 2015.

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