COVID-19 has brought its challenges for all members of the veterinary profession, not least our newest members – the 2020 graduating class of veterinary students. The AVBC has been working closely with the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and Veterinary Schools of Australia and New Zealand (VSANZ) to monitor the impacts of the COVID pandemic on veterinary education. Together they are confident that this cohort of veterinary students is ready for practice.
Different Delivery, Same Standards
Due to the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, veterinary schools have had to change how they deliver their programs. They have embraced new modes of teaching, learning and assessment, but the competences and standards expected of veterinary programs have remained the same. Through the Veterinary Schools Accreditation Advisory Committee (VSAAC), the AVBC has reviewed each modified curriculum and continues to communicate regularly with VSANZ and with Schools on all matters related to the accreditation of veterinary degrees. Throughout the year, AVBC has been able to assure the veterinary boards of Australia and New Zealand that Australasian veterinary curricula continue to meet accreditation standards and that final year students are on track to achieving all of the Day One Competences necessary to register and practise.
The issue of clinical placements has been of particular interest as these experiences provide authentic work-integrated-learning experiences to help graduates be work-ready. With COVID-19 restrictions, student involvement in clinical placements has evolved to include a combination of face-to-face, self-directed and online clinical experiential learning.
Resilience and Adaptability
This graduating class have already demonstrated vital attributes of successful veterinarians – adaptability, resilience & resourcefulness. The future for veterinary medicine is bright, and we look forward to seeing the contribution they will make to the profession in Australia and New Zealand.