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Publication - Dr Louisa Slingsby

    Introducing the topic of ‘Wellbeing’ in the undergraduate veterinary programme at Bristol


    Slingsby, L, Bates, L & Baillie, S, 2016, ‘Introducing the topic of ‘Wellbeing’ in the undergraduate veterinary programme at Bristol’. in:, pp. 50


    The Vet Futures initiative (from RCVS and BVA) has highlighted mental wellbeing as an
    ongoing issue for the veterinary profession. A veterinary undergraduate mental wellbeing
    curriculum is being developed at Bristol University with the aims of promoting a positive
    perspective on wellbeing and developing relevant skills.
    A literature review was undertaken to identify practices for promoting mental wellbeing in the
    veterinary and medical undergraduate and practising populations. Findings indicated that
    curricula rarely focus on positive mental wellbeing; instead students are taught how to
    recognise and deal with stress, develop time management skills and create self-care plans
    (Drake et al. 2014; Collins & Foote 2005; Gelberg & Gelberg 2005). Emphasising the need to
    develop coping strategies in order to work in the profession may result in an expectation of
    poor wellbeing, despite a veterinary career having the potential to be rewarding and
    contribute to positive wellbeing (Cake et al. 2015).
    Based on the literature, a “Mental Wellbeing Toolbox” has been created and will be
    embedded as a vertical theme in the curriculum. It aims to provide students with skills that
    will both support and promote a positive, fulfilling and successful career, whilst also
    developing coping strategies for professionals who may be faced with mental ill-health.
    Teaching sessions using the toolbox will highlight how anyone can benefit from improving
    their mental wellbeing, resulting in improved job (and life) satisfaction. An initial version of the
    toolbox has been presented to focus groups of final year veterinary students.
    Cake MA, Bell MA, Bickley N, Bartram DJ (2015). The Life of Meaning: A Model of the Positive Contributions to
    Well-being from Veterinary Work. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 42 (3): 184-193
    Collins H, Foote D (2005). Managing Stress in Veterinary Students. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 32
    (2): 170-172
    Drake AS, Hafen Jr M, Rush BR (2014). Promoting Well-being among Veterinary Medical Students: Protocol
    and Preliminary Findings. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 41(3): 294-300
    Gelberg S, Gelberg H (2005). Stress Management Interventions of Veterinary Students. Journal of Veterinary
    Medical Education. 32(2): 173-181

    Full details in the University publications repository