Back in August I wrote an essay discussing the importance of veterinary economics in undergraduate education and amazingly won a trip to the second NEAT Annual Meeting in Wageningen. Unfortunately due to the unforgiving commitment of rotations I was unable to attend. However, I was able to attend the London Vet Show this weekend instead, with considerable thanks to Barbara Haesler and many others at the RVC, who very kindly worked to make this possible.
Although my initial essay summed up the importance of economics in veterinary medicine, it was not until I attended the Vet Show that I truly appreciated the magnitude of this. I was blown away by the variety of veterinary businesses in existence and - with most stands offering free prize draws for iPads, and one offering an Aston Martin - these business were evidently thriving.
The businesses included every aspect of the veterinary sector imaginable, from a multitude of veterinary supplies, to financial, business and law consultancy to a number of innovative equipment ideas including veterinary leadership board games and inside toilets for dogs!
I was also struck by the relatively low attendance for the business lectures compared to the clinical based talks, outnumbering them by at least 20 times. For me, the vet show highlighted how veterinary business is an incredibly lucrative economy, the potential of which, amazingly, is still yet to be fully discovered by vets.
Tom Hinchliffe, Veterinary Medicine student, Royal Veterinary College