Monday, April 10, 2017

BSAVA Congress 2017

I've known about BSAVA Congress for the past few years as it's always been held in my hometown of Birmingham and the vets I see practice with always go as well as vet students friends. I attended for the first time this year and wish I'd been before - it was great!
It's the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress where veterinary professionals from all over the world gather to for lectures, to present research and award ceremonies as well as an exhibition.

There are 16 lecture streams running simultaneously throughout the day covering a huge variety of topics so we sat down and decided which we wanted to go to. Every delegate has a lanyard with their name badge which is scanned as you enter and the lectures are emailed to you at the end of the day; they also count towards CPD points for vets. I think videos of all streams are available to download but I've not had a chance to look yet.

Highlights for me were the Vet Student stream and How to... where we learnt about performing your first bitch spay, euthanasia consults and clinical stuff. Sophie Adamantos is an ECC clinician at Langford and I could have spent a whole day listening to her, the was she explained working in Emergency clinics was so calm, collected and funny. There was a Bloopers stream which was great to learn from other peoples mistakes and I took a lot away from Matt Gurney, even little things to make a habit of checking as you walk into theatre or kennels.
Neurology was something I've not covered at university yet but I went to two lectures by Laurent Garosi which were really interesting and delivered so that I would understand everything, so I'm looking forwards to that next year.
It made such a difference listening to native and fluent English speakers as they go through topics quickly but you can keep up as they explain it so well and crack jokes throughout to keep it interesting and engaging.

I've been wanting a miniVET guide for a few months after seeing people with them in lectures but didn't want to pay postage to Slovakia so luckily I was able to buy one in the exhibition.
As we're International Delegates we were invited to drinks at the SeaLife Centre on Thursday evening for drinks and canapes for a chance to network with people.
Every day at the exhibition they provided lunch as well as hot drinks and Prosecco all day (which I may have taken full advantage of).
Walking around I saw lots of people I know from the various clinics I've seen practice with so had lunch and went to lectures with a few. They all asked me to keep in touch and book weeks with them over summer which was really nice.

I also met Chris and the team from WVS who I'm going to India with this summer so it was nice to put a face to a name. We picked up lots of information about the course, what to expect and what to take (a head torch!) so I'm really looking forward to that now.
We got so many freebies that I don't know what to do with them! A rucksack, thermos flasks, water bottles, fob watches, torches, books, a tourniquet, waterproof catheter covers and countless pens which will be great for seeing practice.
I even spoke to a lady on the KRUUSE stand and she gave me loads of boxes of suture material on Sunday for suture practice!

It only costs £90 to attend as a vet student and the value for money was excellent considering all the lectures we attended, they fed us and all the Prosecco I consumed! I would highly recommend going, I still have two years of vet school left and learnt so much so I'm sure those in final year took even more away.
I've emailed Angharad, Head of Congress, to say what I great time we had as I know from my old job, people are quick to complain but don't say thank you enough. I had a fantastic time and will definitely be attending next year.