Blog | Centre for Veterinary Education


  • By Sana Rehman

    To be quite honest, I’d never really heard of the CVE. A membership form was given out to all the students in our year one class at Massey, and we were told that if we did sign up, we’d be given the chance to win free conference tickets. I signed up, and was lucky enough to win a place at the week-long CVE Immunology conference which was recently held. Another few people from my class had won spots too, but I was the only person who ended up going. Never having been to a conference before, I was a bit apprehensive going alone, as I wasn’t sure what to expect. I can say now that deciding to go was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Every second was worth it.

  • By Sophie Huxley, 2017 CVE Student Ambassador

    On the 23rd of June I was lucky enough to attend* the CVE Dermatology Seminar in Perth. As I am only a fourth year student at Murdoch University, I was a bit nervous about joining qualified veterinarians at the course as I thought I wouldn’t know enough about the topics presented. Once I arrived I realised I had nothing to be nervous about! The speakers for the day were Dr Peter Hill, Dr Mandy Burrows and Dr Meng Siak. All of the topics were presented in a straightforward and understandable manner. Not only did I learn heaps of new things about veterinary dermatology but also everything I had learned at university so far was cemented in my brain for me! In addition it was a great chance to meet other veterinarians and everyone was so friendly. I highly recommend other students to attend these courses, especially if they are being held in your city! They are a great chance to meet the veterinarians in your area and will only improve your skills for when you become a qualified new grad. *Note: Sophie attended the seminar for free in her role as CVE Ambassador. The CVE has recruited volunteer Student Ambassadors at every Australasian university to spread the word about the Centre for Veterinary Education (CVE) and encourage all students to take advantage of the generous FREE Student Membership whose benefits mirror – and exceed – those provided to full-time veterinarians.

  • by Lis Churchward

    Sharing knowledge is like sharing light – at the end of the exchange you both possess it. Recently, the CVE contributed an advertorial published in Vet Practice which stated that ‘Education is not a commodity’. This provoked discussion in the office as to whether that statement was indeed correct.  So, we thought it would be a great discussion starter for a CVE blog, especially now that members have the opportunity to contribute feedback and comments. Many people are ‘pushing back’ against the idea that education is a commodity, the same as a bar of chocolate. Others argue that you buy both, so what’s the difference? We at the CVE believe that there is a world of difference. We don’t consider education or continuing professional development such as a CVE conference, online course or workshop to be a commodity. ‘Please explain’ say the cynics.

  • And the Oscar for Best Scenery goes to... New Zealand. Watch the video and you’ll understand why Rudyard Kipling described the Milford Sound in Fiordland (pictured) as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Are you challenged by immune-mediated diseases…? Are there are a few frustrating cases you treated that baffled you and/or your colleagues and still niggle today? If so, you’re not alone. In September, there’ll be an assembly in NZ of fellow veterinarians who have encountered the same frustrations and who have decided to take action. They are committed to taking leave from their practice to hear from three foremost authorities about how they can improve their diagnosis, management and treatment of immune-mediated diseases in dogs and cats. Read the program. Need help deciding if you will commit to this Immunology Conference?

  • by Lis Churchward

    Just because you couldn’t enrol in a course, you shouldn’t miss the valuable course content! And often you need to be able to get your hands on a C&T or Perspective article ASAP. Let your fingers do the walking… Say, for example, you were wracking your brains to remember in which issue the C&T about ‘Leg Surgery on a Bandicoot’ by Phil Tucak appeared. Or maybe you became a vet after this C&T was published? Login to our website to access the CVeLibrary and type ‘bandicoot’ in the search field. In seconds, 113 results are returned where ‘bandicoot’ is mentioned either the C&T Series or course proceedings.

  • by Lis Churchward

    Cycads – Sago 'palm' seeds from the cycad family. Recognise these…? More importantly, did you know they were highly toxic? This beautiful image is a close-up of seeds from the Sago cycad, often mistakenly referred to as a palm. If you didn’t recognise this image, there are probably 2 reasons: You’re not familiar with the plant and its seeds, or You didn’t see this image in the eBook. If option 1, you didn’t recognise these seeds, don’t worry – you’re not alone The aim of Amy Lam’s C&T was to warn vets about this plant which is becoming increasingly popular; correspondingly, there has been an increase in poisoning cases with the Small Animal Specialist Hospital treating at least 10 cases in the last 6 months. A small pretty palm, its seeds are highly attractive to dogs – and also highly toxic. Although other parts of the plant have toxic capacities, it’s the seeds that have proven to be most attractive and dangerous to dogs which suffer acute liver failure after ingesting them.

  • by Lis Churchward

    I remember feeling overwhelmed more times than I can count that first year out. Practice is just so…practical, and I certainly didn’t feel ‘practice ready’ when I graduated. I was really lucky that my first workplace had a CVE practice membership, which allowed me to enrol in my first TimeOnline course. TimeOnline are short, 4 week, highly practical and very easily digestible online courses on a wide variety of topics. My first one was Avian Medicine and I was hooked! Care of wildlife, pain management, managing diabetics, neonatal medicine, dermatology, behaviour, clinical pathology, emergencies in a variety of species, nutrition, pharmacology and the list goes on. After completing my TimeOnline courses, I feel confident and competent in a variety of areas that previously made me shudder when I saw them listed on the scheduler. Since moving onto a new role, I have maintained my CVE membership at my own expense.

  • Was your initial reaction to this statement ‘you’ve gotta be joking’? (Or something more colourful… which involved a few beeps?). You’re probably aware that mental illness is being increasingly recognised in humans. The causes of illnesses such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder or aggression may have some environmental component but often they have a genetic basis as well. You may know someone, a close friend or family member, taking medication such as Prozac to deal with anxiety or depression issues which are having a debilitating effect on their daily lives. Why should pets be any different? In fact, the medications humans are taking to deal with their mental health issues have been tested on lab animals first to see if their moods were altered by them. So, if society is willing to take medications tested for their efficacy in animals, why are some people sceptical about using those same animal-tested drugs on their veterinary patients? Especially if training has not helped and behaviour modification and change of environment are not successful in helping their pet. Owners, like parents, understand that loneliness and separation anxiety are powerful emotions which, for pets left alone 5/7, can have disastrous consequences. Pets in 2-pet households can also embroil themselves in physically abusive relationships. Non-pet owners may find this concept laughable, but owners experiencing this frustrating and injurious problem certainly do not.

  • Register for the Non-accidental injury cases in vet practice podcast with Lydia Tong to find out. Lydia’s fascinating podcast will enlighten you about the links between violent behaviours toward animals and humans, what that can mean for you in the clinic, and what to do if you are also worried about human welfare. Research has proved that animals that are the victims of abuse do present to private practice but many vets have never received formal training about how to deal with distressing cases where suspected non-accidental injury is involved. Participating in this podcast will show you how to identify the warning signs, how to safely conduct a consultation in these circumstances, how to get further assistance and what your ethical, professional, and legal obligations are in these situations. This podcast will be of immense benefit to all staff at your practice. Please put the dates in your diary now.

  • Proceeds will be donated to veterinary mental health charities.

    It's not too late – entries close 31 December 2016, so please share this with as many veterinary friends and colleagues as possible. Don't let your practice go unrepresented! Support your colleagues. Being an experienced practitioner brings its own stressors, whether these are practice ownership, the ever increasing complexity of life, burnout or higher expectations of ourselves or others. While there are now some support structures for veterinary students and recent graduates, experienced practitioners may feel very isolated at times. Sometimes the best thing you can do is drop in for a cuppa with a colleague. A problem shared is a problem halved. A problem shared over food is a problem minus hypoglycaemia, which is bound to be better. Being stressed is bad enough, but everything’s worse when you’re ‘hangry’.