The Royal Veterinary College has introduced a new type of extramural study (EMS) for clinical phase veterinary students focused on developing key veterinary business and enterprise competencies.

The Royal Veterinary College has introduced a new type of extramural study (EMS) for clinical phase veterinary students focused on developing key veterinary business and enterprise competencies.
 
L-R (front): Nicole Hashash, Cerrie Perrett (with Finn the dog, about to have his teeth checked), Jade Searle, Helen Tyler.  L-R (back): Andrew Ayers, Jessica May, Jim GazzardA collaboration between RVC’s first opinion companion animal practice The Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital (BSAH) and its business incubator The London BioScience Innovation Centre (LBIC), 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.

The programme is being supported by a range of veterinary sector professionals, allowing students to call on the experiences of experts from more than 30 high tech companies as they engage with their business challenge.
 
EMS Innovets programme director Dr Jim Gazzard.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: “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.”

Cerrie Perrett.Cerrie Perrett, speaking on behalf of the six fourth-year veterinary students taking part in the inaugural Innovets programme, said: “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.”

Dr Gazzard concluded: “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.”

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