Kristýna is currently a postgraduate student at the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Brno, Czech Republic. She is very passionate about anatomy teaching and new approaches in veterinary education.
This is the first award of this scholarship by EAVA and it will help Kristyna to fund her professional stay at Nottingham Veterinary School, where she is gaining new experience in both the anatomy teaching and research.
Kristyna was very delighted to receive this scholarship and will share her new experience with the rest of us upon finishing her stay at Nottingham Veterinary School.
2019 Scholarship Report
I chose The University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, for completing my month scholarship in order to experience and get to know different types of teaching. Despite being a relatively new veterinary school, it is already well established amongst world veterinary universities. It has very good ranking (42nd) in the most recent ranking amongst the world universities. During my time I was familiarized with the organisation of education within the scope of my stay. I was introduced to many lecturers who informed me about their activities at the school and explained to me their way of teaching assessing students’ knowledge. I also had an opportunity to take part in lectures with students of the first and third semester. I attended an introduction to case studies with students in the tenth semester, which was followed by dissections and discussions. Part of my stay/visit contained practical radiography and ultrasonography which is closely linked to anatomy as at Nottingham anatomy is taught very closely alongside other subjects. However, most of my time I have spent in the dissection hall. Most lectures took up to 45 minutes and where longer lecturing time was required, breaks were taken after every 25 minutes, which certainly has a positive effect on attention of the students/participants. This is unlike what I am used to where most of our lectures are of 90 minutes duration. Another very positive thing I have found useful is the availability of all the teaching material/text online, so that students can readily access those at any point. Their friendly environment also raises the fact that students call their teachers by first name not by their title. The last lecture of the week, taking place every Friday, was devoted to discussion mainly between two teachers who provided lectures of this week and students. Students could ask questions relevant to that weeks topics. After answering all questions there is always a quiz for students from the subject matter of previous week. A student with the highest number of points receives an award, which not only motivates that particular student, but all the others as well. The dissection hall was equipped with screens and a big projection screen which most students appreciate. There is an unbelievable number of 150 students (year-class) who participate in each practical. The structure of practical lectures in dissection hall is perfectly organised. The students are divided into groups of four at one autopsy table. Each group has its own cadaver of animal on which they do dissection which is followed after the subject matter of given week. Students are required to set up all instruments at their autopsy table. During one practical there are usually four lecturers, one of which is the practical leader. The leading teacher makes a theoretical introduction and practical dissection of the particular area the students are expected to dissect by themselves. All of this is recorded via camera and streamed across the dissection hall. The students work individually in their groups assisted by protocols. The protocols describe individual incisions, which structures should be found and what the students should focus on. The lecturers walk around answer questions and advise students. The teachers permanently initiate students to ask questions and whether they are satisfied and happy with lectures. There are books and atlases available to students during the practical lecture. The lecturers have models of individual species for better imagination of placement of individual organs and muscles. I was pleasantly surprised by the great emphasis on practical part of lectures during all classes. In the scope of one week, when the students learned about hind limb, they could try palpation of hind limb on live animals (dogs and horses). Then they could check and specify individual muscles by ultrasound. A stuffed animal dummy/toy was used for the right position for radiographic views. The students could also dissect required muscles. The dissection hall provides the possibility of several stations where the students could try adjustment of hooves and proper bandage technique of wound. The school not only provides high standard of education in veterinary medicine but also develops skills as sport, communication abilities, presentation, editing texts and takes care of students’ mental health and satisfaction. All students have their assigned tutor during their five-year study who they regularly meet. In my opinion, students of Nottingham Vet School are being well prepared for the veterinary profession.
In addition to my teaching experience, I had an opportunity to visit labs and scientific meetings which enriched me with new ideas and tips on how to approach and improve my postdoctoral study I am currently undertaking.
Dr. Catrin Rutland, who was my host, took an excellent care of me and my colleague Ewelina Prozorowska from Poland and in addition to professional education she made sure that we thrived culturally. Together we all wrote a scientific book chapter which has been accepted for publication, alongside another EAVA member and another intern (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.92628). It was great to be able to acknowledge the EAVA in that book chapter for bringing us all together. We were also able to see the research facilities. We attended a scientific conference at the Royal Society in London and even got to see Buckingham Palace that evening. In our spare time we explored historical places of interest, made new friends and attended university events. It was also a month of floods, the worst Britain has seen for decades but it did not dampen our spirits.
I would therefore like to thank Dr. Catrin Rutland for making this great stay possible.
I am very grateful for this opportunity and in addition to Dr. Catrin Rutland. I would like to thank particularly to EAVA board and the whole EAVA for awarding me this scholarship without which this stay would not have been be possible.
I can only recommend that my fellow postdoctoral students take the opportunity of applying for the Young Researcher Career Development Scholarship which is available through the EAVA.
Thank you for this opportunity.