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Association spotlight

Published: 1/15/2019

Meet our affiliate member the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA).  Veterinary students carry the future of the profession with them so we are delighted to have a close relationship with IVSA. Its President Magda Jannasch tells us about its work... Could you briefly introduce IVSA to WSAVA members?
Our goal is to improve the standard of veterinary education internationally through the exchange of ideas, knowledge and culture.  We achieve this through our international events, through facilitating exchanges between our members, through endorsing events and projects at national and local levels and through other projects and educational opportunities focusing on animal welfare, one health, education, soft skills and wellness.  Our activities help to increase the worldwide collaboration of more than 30,000 students, enriching their student experience and improving their skills as future veterinarians.

One of our key activities is the production of the IVSA Journal, our online magazine. It contains our news, together with committee and group updates and details of forthcoming events.  The current issue contains our report of WSAVA World Congress 2018 too!  You can read it here.

What are the key challenges facing veterinary students globally – and how does IVSA help them?
Veterinary students face many challenges. In some cases they are linked to cultural or societal beliefs, financial pressures or a lack of training.  Many feel inadequately prepared for the workplace once they graduate and find it difficult to adapt to a profession which is changing quickly and in which expectations of them are very high.

We try to help them to deal with all the challenges they face.  We may not be able to reduce the cost of vet school or control the curriculum across the globe but we try to provide opportunities for our members to get involved with projects they find interesting and to develop skills that they won’t learn in the classroom.

Much more information on the breadth and range of activities we run is available here.

How does WSAVA membership benefit your members?
The most important benefit to our members is the opportunity to attend WSAVA Congress, either as a delegate or as a volunteer. We are grateful for this as it gives at least 50 of our members a chance to network with leading figures in the veterinary sector globally, to make connections with potential future employers and to take part in discussions on a wide variety of topics in veterinary medicine. It is also an opportunity for students to gain a better understanding of the veterinary world and to find out more about the environment in which they will be working in when they graduate.

We collaborate on other WSAVA projects, providing a student perspective and working with the WSAVA’s Clinical Committees.  The educational resources that the WSAVA creates are also useful to us.  For example, the recently launched Global Guidelines on Animal Welfare have helped to shape many key concepts communicated to our members by the IVSA Standing Committee on Animal Welfare. 

How else does IVSA collaborate with the WSAVA?
The missions of IVSA and the WSAVA are very much aligned so we have much in common and offer a great deal to each other in terms of opportunities for collaboration.  Many students worldwide are unaware of the WSAVA so we promote it, showing our members the benefits of belonging to a ‘global veterinary community.’ Once our members graduate, many want to get involved with a similar association and involvement with the WSAVA is the logical next step.

How do you see the relationship going from here?    
Our relationship is symbiotic and we both benefit tremendously from working together.  IVSA provides a platform for engagement with the world’s largest group of future veterinarians and we look forward to continuing to work with the WSAVA and broadening the scope of our collaboration still further.