BSAVA Travel Scholarship 2018 winners report

5 June 2018

“The visit to BSAVA Congress 2018 was probably one of the most important events in my professional life.”

Certainly a bold statement, but one made with feeling by Ukrainian BSAVA travel scholar, Denis Seleznev after attending the annual BSAVA Congress in Birmingham.

Denis was one of four scholars from Eastern European countries, for whom the opportunity to attend this major CPD event was a significant experience, both professionally and socially. Those who may consider a trip to Birmingham a long journey from some parts of the UK, might be surprised by the efforts made by Denis and fellow scholars Tsvetelina Dimitrova (Bulgaria), Izolda Miminoshvili (Georgia) and Alexandra Volkova (Czech Republic) in order to take up the offer of the coveted BSAVA Travel Scholarship.

“BSAVA Congress was better than I could imagine and the lectures were amazing,” wrote Alexandra after devoting much of her time to lectures on orthopaedics, emergency medicine, neurology and cytology.

Izolda shared the enthusiasm for the interactive cytology lectures, whilst also taking time to bring herself up to date on urology and dermatology.

She said: “I have a lot of patients in Georgia with these problems and I’ve already started to use the information and knowledge in my everyday practice.”

The practical application of the lecture content was also highlighted by Tsvetelina, who said: “I could finally find answers to issues in my practice and solutions for better treatment of my patients. Though I couldn’t attend all that I wanted I feel my knowledge so enriched. All the lecturers were so good and responsive; they explained everything and didn’t mind spending their time for a chat.”

For Denis, who had struggled through layers of bureaucracy and long flight arrangements to arrive on the second day, the effort was fully worthwhile.

He added: “I am always interested in oncology so I liked the clear algorithms starting from description to managing the pathological process.”

Denis was also impressed by the interactive format in the pathology lectures, as well as the nuances of anaesthesiology in relation to caesarean section and different systemic diseases, with the emphasis on the need for full pre-operation examination and high quality monitoring of the patient. He intends to improve the anaesthesiology protocols in his clinic as a result.

But it was not only the educational nature of Congress that impressed the scholars. From the moment they were introduced to each other on their arrival by BSAVA host, Krista Arnold, the group bond, which has become part of this annual outreach from BSAVA, was formed.

“I met so many new and interesting people, and made new friendships, which maybe someday will elevate to working relationships,” said Tsvetelina, adding her thanks to her fellow scholars for the friendly support offered by Krista and BSAVA Volunteer Manager, Carole Haile. “All the organized events were great fun, and I felt a part of this society, almost like a little part of the big veterinarian world that matters.”

Izolda agreed that the social aspects were equally enthralling and added: “I would like to thank the organisers for our leisure time. The banquet was gorgeous, as was the music festival. Every evening was interesting in its own way. Now I have a lot of friends worldwide.”

But for all the scholars, the principle enduring impact is undoubtedly one of renewed enthusiasm for their chosen careers in the international veterinary family.

“The educative side is important but for me the greater value was to gain new enthusiasm for my work, meet colleagues and share experiences with them and maintain good relationships,” said Alexandra.

Izolda agreed: “You gave me the motivation to move forward, to work hard and to have more inducement to take care of the animals in a proper way.”

Tsvetelina concluded: “My eyes are now open for the world, and I will do my best to become a better veterinarian and go to more congresses like this. And all this is because you gave me the chance to make the difference and to be a little part of your world – THANK YOU BSAVA!”

If you are a practising vet in a FECAVA member country, you can apply for the 2019 BSAVA Travel Scholarship here by 31st July 2018.