Claire Milller BVetMed MRCVS
As a veterinary surgeon I am continually undertaking further education and development as part of my professional responsibility to ensure my knowledge remains both thorough and up-to-date. However, it is rare to be afforded the opportunity to take time to critically appraise one’s strategies and techniques employed in the completion of their veterinary duties. Having previously given this aspect of personal development little consideration, undertaking this module has enabled me to see the real value of reflection and consequent interventions in delivering better outcomes for both my clients and patients.
My learning outcomes from this module were varied and at times unexpected. Not only was I encouraged to develop the concise nature of my scientific writing and improve my research techniques, but more importantly I was given the opportunity to critically appraise myself as a practitioner and develop specific strategies aimed at both personal and career development. As a result I have experienced greater satisfaction in my work and feel able to provide a better service to both my clients and patients.
Rosie Marshall BVetMed MRCVS
Rosieis planning on enrolling on ECC modules.
I’ve been surprised how much I’ve learnt researching and writing the module B essays. When I first looked at the essay subjects I initially assumed they would be fairly straightforward given the topics were subjects I’d cover every day. It has however been an excellent reminder as to how much I don’t know! While initially I found this somewhat demoralising, I now take much more time considering my approach and treatment with cases I used to consider routine. I’m finding this brings more enjoyment in my day to day work while hopefully improving the care my patients receive.
Michelle Rana BVSc MRCVS
Michelle is planning on enrolling on Medicine modules.
I have found the small animal practice module to be stimulating and very enjoyable to complete. My aim with each essay was to take the opportunity to do some wider reading around the subject as, I must admit, this is something I rarely find time to do. With so much information I initially found it difficult to stick to the word limits, but with each essay I have got better at extracting the most relevant points and my writing has become more succinct. My clinical knowledge and approach to cases has been enhanced, and the module has furthered my desire to complete a designated certificate in small animal medicine. I have found reflecting on my own performance invaluable in developing my skills and I now find myself being analytical in many clinical situations and considering if there is room for any improvement. Reflective skills are recognised as being an indispensible part of our clinical thinking abilities1.
Eve Tarleton BVSc MRCVS
Eve is Australian and has lived in the UK since 2002. She studied at the University of Sydney and came to England to do some locum work and travel. Eve met her husband and has stayed ever since! She is about to start the C Modules in small animal medicine and fits the CertAVP around work and being a mother.
In conclusion, I have greatly widened my knowledge base in the fields of medicine, therapeutics, surgery, anaesthesia and diagnostic imaging while preparing my reports in the B-SAP.1 module. It gives me great satisfaction to realise I’ve become a more confident and knowledgeable professional, and I am inspired to continue learning in order to give my patients and clients the best possible care and service.
Treating medical cases with medications, performing surgeries under general anaesthesia and investigating cases using diagnostic imaging are part of my daily tasks, as a general practitioner. Although it took a lot of time and effort to complete the module, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Identifying problems for improvement and learning from my mistakes have greatly expanded my knowledge in veterinary medicine.
Most of the consultations I see fall into my ‘comfort zone’. Around 30 per cent of cases fall into the ‘challenge zone’ and a few are in the ‘get help zone’ that I need to refer for a specialist’s opinion. In order to maintain a professional relationship with the clients and perform good veterinary medicine, a focused effort is required to handle these challenging cases (Morrisey and Voiland 2007). I decided to take on Module B because I was hoping to improve my skills in decision making and understand more about clinical pharmacology.
All the cases I chose for the B module were in my ‘challenge zone’. I felt writing about them would give me a chance to review what I did, reflect on them and learn from my mistakes.
In conclusion, I have found this module very enjoyable and beneficial. I feel that what I have learnt from it has really helped me progress professionally and that my approach to cases and the standard of care I now deliver my patients has greatly improved. My client communication has also improved as I have gained greater confidence as a practitioner through the knowledge gained from my studies for this module. It has also allowed me to develop skills in literature searching, scientific writing and referencing which I can carry through to my studies for the C modules.
Ruth Meikle BVetMed MRCVS
Ruth presently works at a small animal hospital in Jersey and has enrolled on C-SAM.8, and intends to enrol on C-SAM.9 and C-SAM.10 for a designated CertAVP SAM.
The B-SAP module has made me focus on various aspects of general practice, and take time to investigate certain subjects in more depth. Having completed it, I feel more able to provide continuously improving care for my patients. By having a broader knowledge base, I feel better able to provide owners with appropriate information, which in itself will improve their level of satisfaction with the care their animal has received as well as their compliance with the aftercare. I found the 'In Practice' articles relevant and helpful to the management of cases in general practice, and many of them I have kept aside to refer to in the future. I feel this module has taught me many skills; dealing with cases in an evidence based manner, using clinical reasoning from scientific papers, preparing reports in a succinct and accurate manner and taking time to reflect on what has been learnt and instigating positive changes to future case management. I feel this has made me a better clinician and prepared me well for the C modules of the CertAVP. I look forward to continuing that challenge.
Vanessa Nichols BVSc MRCVS
Vanessa qualified 20 years ago and now lives and works just outside Cambridge. She has just completed the B module at the RVC and plans to start Medicine C Modules soon.
Completing module B has been a significant step forward in my development as a veterinary surgeon. I have gained knowledge by writing these case reports but more importantly I have made some significant improvements in how I practice veterinary work. Our work team and I personally have benefited enormously, hopefully our clients and their pets have too.
Christopher Booth MRCVS
Christopher graduated from Bristol in 2004 and is currently Clinical Director at Oakham Veterinary Hospital small animal department. He has completed his A module, two C-VC Modules and has just completed his B-SAP.1 all at the RVC.
I have learnt a lot from the B-SAP.1 module. A problem based approach when investigating cases and thorough consideration of differential diagnoses has now become part of my approach to new cases. I am motivated to research the medications and techniques I am using, and to communicate these to the owner. I have refocused on surgical asepsis and the important role of the nurse in anaesthesia and surgery. My choice of cases has enabled me to reflect on my performance, and to keep identifying areas for improvement.
Karl Underhill BVetMed MRCVS
Karl lives in the UK and has been working on a Surgery CertAVP since April 2009
Since completing the B module I have noticed various changes in my approach to clinical cases. I feel that there has been a natural progression involving the identification of weaknesses and using sound planning and research to correct these. Undoubtedly the internal medicine question is the best example of this. My interests lie in the surgical field and the majority of my continued professional development to date has focused on this area. It was therefore tremendously useful to remind myself of the problem based approach and I now feel my approach to such cases is more systematic and logical. The technique is particularly useful when patients present with multiple clinical problems. Assimilating these problems in this manner enables sound decisions to be made with respect to the best next diagnostic step and improves the chances of obtaining significant results.
Module B of the Cert AVP has encouraged research around each individual case that I treat, has encouraged a more systematic and thorough approach and has therefore helped maximise the chances of a successful outcome for each individual case. I feel that my confidence in areas other than my main interest has increased and my client communication has improved significantly. I am now better prepared to recognise when a second opinion from a more experienced colleague, or even referral to a specialist, would be indicated. I understand in more depth the limitations of which each diagnostic modality provide and therefore find myself better able to request more advanced diagnostics like magnetic resonance imaging for example.
Dan Makin BVMS MRCVS
To conclude, completion of this B module has proved beneficial in several ways as well as being an enjoyable process to complete. The general requirement to examine in detail techniques and approaches to routine surgery, medicine and imaging have allowed a better awareness of mistakes or habits I had developed and how small alterations in these processes can have much more significant benefit. I have had to revisit subject matter that I had not reviewed since university and have found that now being a little more experienced those subject areas are more easily understood, this was particularly noticed during the work for the anaesthesia and therapeutics reports. I would consider the most valuable thing I have learned which will be essential when completing the small animal medicine C module is the technique and format required to successfully complete a medical case report. The benefit of having my first draft report assessed was invaluable and I feel confident now to have a clear understanding of the thought processes and writing technique required for future case submissions.
Philip Witte BVSc MRCVS
Philip works in a referral centre on the south coast of the UK. He is working on a surgery CertAVP since May 2009 and hopes to complete in September 2013
The further reading involved with the writing of the medicine, therapeutics and anaesthesia cases has been a useful reminder for me that merely doing what others around me are doing is not a sufficiently high standard of practice. Whilst learning from what others do is no bad place to start, a good clinician should be able to fully justify decisions made. I have enjoyed researching some subjects to which I am infrequently exposed and would otherwise not have devoted time to, and other subjects which are a relatively common part of my routine work and deserve more thorough understanding.
Sharon Lewis MA VetMB MRCVS
Sharon is from Essex and is working on a small animal CertAVP
Having been in practice for several years I found CPD available could be repetitive, so I decided to do online CPD. In completing these courses I became enthusiastic about how much could be gained from study that involved constructive feedback and decided that I would benefit greatly from studying for the modular certificate. Having been away from academia for many years, I initially found the process of writing essays and case reports daunting. However, I felt I needed the challenge to improve my knowledge, develop my ability to handle difficult cases and enhance my expertise through reflective learning. Previously, I would start to develop new techniques and skills only to let them dwindle when time pressures at work increased. The structure of the module allowed me to take my time while providing ongoing challenges with each new case report.
Dawn McClung MVB MRCVS
Dawn is currently working as a locum in Bristol. She plans to study either three small animal medicine modules or possibly two small animal medicine modules and a clinical pathology module.
The completion of the small animal practice B-module has certainly been a challenge and taken much longer than anticipated. It has been my first experience of writing detailed accurate case reports since university and I had forgotten the number of hours of work needed to research, produce and reference them. Despite the pressures of veterinary working hours and job changes slowing progression through the module, I am now very satisfied and somewhat relieved to have reached its endpoint. The skills I have developed range far wider than expanding my knowledge base. Time management, recognition of the need to set myself targets and deadlines and the importance of detailed and accurate referencing have been key learning points.
Natalie McDonald BVMS MRCVS
Natalie is working part time in a mixed practice in the Scottish Borders. She has chosen C SAM 8 to enrol on next and is planning to work on the A module simultaneously.
This module has enhanced my small animal practice skills across all disciplines. I now justify everything I do for a case which has improved my attention to detail and has reduced errors. I have improved my writing style throughout the module and have learnt to be concise and reference correctly. I have enjoyed studying for this module and feel motivated and confident in all aspects of small animal practice as a result.
Jacquie Griffiths BA(Hon) VetMB MRCVS
Jacquie works in a small animal hospital in SW London with both first opinion vets and referral vets. She will be selecting a surgical module, a diagnostic imaging module and poss another surgical module, poss medicine or an emergency and crticial care module.
Overall I feel I have benefitted greatly as a general practioner from undergoing the studying required to complete this module. It has reignited my desire for learning and self-improvement, highlighted weaker areas in my knowledge and approach to cases and increased my confidence in my abilities. I am now more comfortable criticising my approach to cases and changing as necessary. Having recently been the owner of a very sick dog myself I found the most reassuring qualities in my vet were confidence, clarity and kindness; I aim to emulate this to the best of my ability.
Jacqui Ward BVSc MRCVS
Jacqui is an Australian vet (Uni. of Qld graduate) working in a small animal practice in Wales. She is hoping to do ophthalmology C modules if they become available for assessment, or feline medicine and/or clinical pathology C modules.
I now understand the value of reflecting on cases to identify areas of weakness, in order to improve my methods. Assessment has highlighted the importance of finding the most up to date scientific papers on a topic, as even current editions of textbooks can contain out-dated information. The confidence I've gained through this research, has helped my clinical decision-making and also helped me to educate my clients, in order for them to make informed decisions. This will benefit my patients by improving the efficiency of investigations and will reduce unnecessary costs to owners by using the most appropriate tests to reach a diagnosis. I have also gained an improved sense of job satisfaction. I will continue to apply what I have learned so far, both at work and when embarking on Module C.
Richard Rallings BVetMed MRCVS
Richard works in small animal practice in Aylesbury and enrolled on the Cert AVP in 2009. He is planning to do three small animal medicine modules (C-SAM.8, 9 and 10).
In conclusion, the process of writing the Module B case reports has reiterated to me that continuing professional development is not the attainment of specific goals but to derive the benefits of improved knowledge and skills learned during the studying process. I feel that my approach to problem solving has become more logical and that I give more consideration to the selection of appropriate therapeutics and am better able to justify the use of diagnostic procedures. I have also been able to make a transition from writing in an objective, factual style to a more reflective one which has helped me to critically assess the way in which I work and question our protocols rather than accepting the status quo. This has been reinforced through my further reading to help integrate more up to date thinking and has enabled proactive discussions with my colleagues to help effect change based on current best practice.