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Find out what our undergraduate veterinary medicine students have to say about living and studying in Edinburgh.
3rd Year of Vet Med

3rd Year of Vet Med

Hi everyone! My name is Nina and I am a vet student at R(D)SVS. I am currently in my third year of vet school, but since I am in the Graduate Entry Programme, it is technically my second year studying here in Edinburgh. I am originally from Toronto, Canada and I have been loving my time here in Scotland so far! For this blog post, I’d like to share what I have been doing in my third year up to this point.


We are enrolled in 3 courses this semester: Pathology, Clinical Foundations and Professional Clinical Skills. Our first year of the GEP programme (first and second year of the 5 year programme) consisted of learning about all of the normal behavioural and physiological functions of the mammalian body. This year, we learn about all of the diseases and illnesses that come into play when the physiological mechanisms are disturbed, hence Pathology. In Pathology, we began with an introductory session (10 lectures) before we split the course up into specific organ pathology. We have covered pathological topics such as reproduction, urinary, alimentary, endocrine, cardiovascular,

respiratory, neurology, dermatology, and haemolymphatics. Even though this course is quite intensive, we have practical classes that really help solidify all of the information we learn in class. Next, our Clinical Foundations course covers topics that we will be using in practice, such as surgery, anaesthesia, pharmacology, oncology, evidence-based medicine, and diagnostic imaging. Once again, we are supplied with hands-on practical classes where we put this theory-based teaching into real life examples. Finally, the Professional Clinical Skills class is a yearlong course that we will be

finishing in June 2023. This consists of building communication and teamwork skills that will help us succeed in the field once we graduate. We must attend mandatory seminars and tutorials for this class as well. Currently, as we are in exam revision week, we are all studying for our two finals that we will have next week (Pathology and CF).


In first year/second year, we had to complete 6 weeks of animal husbandry EMS. Now that we are in third year, we must complete 13 weeks of clinical EMS where we will work alongside a veterinarian and put our clinical knowledge into practice. This will be completed before the start of our final year. The minimum requirements are 2 weeks at a small animal practice, 2 weeks at an equine facility, and 2 weeks of farm. EMS is a great chance to network and make connections with veterinarians who are already practising in the field. It allows us to gain strong clinical skills before we graduate which sets us up for our future career. I plan to complete my weeks over the summer of 2023 and 2024 and will most likely do all of my placements at home in Toronto since students are in charge of finding their own placements. EMS is also a great reason to travel, and the school offers grants to those students who apply.

Having fun

Aside from school, I make a great effort to set time aside to be able to enjoy life in Edinburgh. In my spare time, I love hiking at Arthur’s seat or at the Pentlands with friends. As students get Wednesday afternoons off, I usually play volleyball once a week with the dick vet volleyball club. Going to the gym or joining a sports team with friends is a great way to meet people and stay active. I also love exploring the city by trying out new restaurants, coffee shops and pubs as Edinburgh is filled with so many cute and charming places. My friends and I also start a reality TV show (ex. Bachelor/Bachelorette) at the beginning of every semester and set time aside once a week to get together and watch episodes. Even though we are not huge fans of reality TV, this gives us an excuse to hangout during the week. Lastly, we LOVE to travel and explore new cities/countries. This semester we managed to take a trip to Germany where we got to see Berlin and Munich! I also made time to get away for a weekend trip to Ireland to visit one of my high school friends. Since flights tend me to quite cheap from Edinburgh, we always make an effort to plan 2-3 trips during our school semester. Traveling is a great chance to experience different parts of the world and I highly encourage all students to take advantage of it. Even though vet school can be intensive at times, it is important to spend time doing what you love.

I hope this gives you a bit of an insight of what third year in vet school looks like. I love the student life in Edinburgh and I have met some incredible people here that I get to share this experience with. I would suggest coming to Scotland or the UK to any person who is planning to continue their educational journey 🙂

All the best,



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