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Working in a UK Equine Hospital

Thanks to the support of the AVS VDS Training EMS grant, I was excited to undertake my hospital externship at a UK Equine hospital. I have always loved working with horses, but due to my home location I have rarely had the opportunity to gain hospital experience outside of university.

I also absolutely loved working on an Equine emergency and critical care service; triaging, providing emergency treatment and initial diagnostics on cases. I found the unknown of every evening exciting and enjoyed the buzz of rapidly constructing a plan of action. Hand in hand with this was the opportunity to develop my knowledge of hospitalised patient care, gaining experience in collaborating with the whole team including nurses, yard staff as well as vets on twenty-four-seven care to ensure optimum patient welfare. The chance to live on – site for my placement was the reason I applied for this grant originally as, understandably, this was associated with a small cost.

Another key aim for this placement for me was being able to learn more about, and assist with, the innovative research being carried out within the hospital. I loved the experience of collaborating with a team of passionate, experienced vets with a variety of expertise. It was also incredibly helpful to be guided through the process of project design, logistical organisation and ethical aspects of project management. These skills are going to be vital in, what I hope to be, the first few steps in my career.

Throughout my time as a student, I have been passionate about the social importance of animal health and welfare. In the future, I hope to contribute to the evidence-base from which policy that supports sustainable development can be constructed. I am fascinated by the working equid field because, by its very nature, it is intricately intertwined with so many facets of health including environmental, social, cultural, political and economic factors. In particular, I enjoy working in more resource scarce settings where animals may be depended on as far more than simply a food source, in which diseases are often most devastating. Increased understanding of these intertwined relationships could lead to more efficient control programmes and ultimately, improved animal and human health.

This placement has guided me a little closer to my post-graduation goals. Thanks again to VDS Training and AVS UK & I for the grant that allowed me to develop my passion further and support my early career.


VDS Training are proud to be supporting the AVS EMS grants. These grants will offer financial support to veterinary students to complete an EMS placement. The applications for the 2019 grants are open and close of the 1st of December and the successful applicants will be announced at our 2020 AVS Congress at Surrey Vet School in January. There are 5 grants available each of £200 and the application form can be found here and should be emailed to:

For more info see

About VDS Training
VDS Training are passionate about developing all members of the veterinary team, to help you overcome the personal and professional challenges you face on a daily basis, and to build practical skills and techniques to make a real difference to you and your life.