For all the ambitious vet students out there: Bhavisha’s journey with IVSA is sure to inspire you to get involved!
My name is Bhavisha Patel and I am a final year veterinary student at The University of Bristol and intercalator in Neuroscience. I am going to talk about my history of involvement with The International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA) Organisation and the opportunities it can bring you.
Since attending the UK and Ireland hosted IVSA Symposium in 2013, I have been fascinated by the power and responsibility veterinary students can hold in determining the directionality of their own education. IVSA is a great channel to incessantly share ideas and resources, which by default allows veterinary students to join the movement of global interconnectedness.
In this technology savvy age, the scale of communication, politics, medicine, education and economy has been globalised. So no doubt that today and in the near future, an element of our lives will involve international activities, whether that be volunteering, relocating or working for international organisations. IVSA is thus a great way to start this new transition.
One of my biggest passions in life is education, so much so that I further my knowledge on this on a daily basis, to understand the variety and benefits of different educational systems. From 2015-2016, I was grateful to be elected Chair of the newly established Standing Committee on Veterinary Education (SCoVE) of IVSA. The ultimate aim of SCoVE is to globally improve veterinary education by promoting inter-disciplinary collaboration to standardize educational resource availability to all students. SCoVE has worked with other IVSA committees as well as companies such as Wikivet, VetMedAcademy, Vetstream and EchoVet. The two most beneficial projects created so far are:
There have been many more projects developed by the SCoVE team and further information can be found on www.ivsacommittees.org.
But from my perspective, I feel from my IVSA work, I have been able to enhance my non-technical skills, such as leadership, critical thinking and public speaking. As the lead on the education sector of IVSA, I have been invited to many conferences globally from SAVMA, NEAT, AMEE, and presented in the VPHA and OiE Conferences. For instance, the 2015-2016 IVSA president and I recently attended the OiE Global Veterinary Education Conference in Bangkok. We represented the views of veterinary students on the current education system and advocated recommendations on curriculum changes from a student’s perspective.
After finishing my chair position, I am continuing to attend conferences and I still support the SCoVE team as an advisor. I have gained an incredible amount of skill from leading and being part of a team of motivated students globally. You automatically learn new knowledge in business as well as the logistics of non-clinical fields of veterinary medicine, such as veterinary public health and pharmaceuticals. You thus understand more about what career or sector you want to be part of in the future. IVSA provides many opportunities ranging from international exchanges, to educational material provided by the IVSA Committees. IVSA is also a great way to network with future leaders and current representatives in every corner of the veterinary medicine world.
My final thought to you, would be to always follow your passion in life. If you don’t know what that is then, if you are happy to sacrifice a few hours every evening to work on something you enjoy for a good year, then that is your passion. If you would like to match your skills on insistence to follow through on your passion, then be part of the global picture. A good starting point would be through IVSA.
I have really enjoyed my time in IVSA. A LOT of my spare time has been dedicated to IVSA and at times it was challenging to fit in with the UK curriculum schedule. But it nevertheless was worth it, to push SCoVE to what it has achieved so far. It has built my confidence and allowed me to channel my energy to preserving veterinary education to the path of ascent and as an adjunct I have met inspirational lifelong friends. I recommend this global IVSA position for any ambitious diligent and change-maker student. All the work is for the benefit of every student internationally, by providing ready-access to resources and supporting equal educational opportunities to all students regardless of their background. So, why not have this similar type of life to start fulfilling your ambitions?
Be the change-maker.