BEVME is changing...

01 March 2013, at 12:00am

CHRIS WHIPP explains the changes taking place with BEVME in order to provide clear and practical solutions to the challenges being faced by veterinary surgeons in general practice

THE Best Evidence Medical Education Group (BEVME) was formed in 2010, its purpose being to support in-practice research regarding veterinary education and to foster the development of a Community of Practice (CoP).1,2

CoPs bring together individuals with shared interests and provide the opportunity for collaboration and collective action.

The research component of the project came to an end in December 2012 and some of the recent findings were published in the January edition of Veterinary Practice indicating some areas that should be of concern to us all.

BEVME is now changing. The message from GPs has been loud and clear: they need clear practical solutions to the challenges being faced rather than discussion and debate of the problems as they are. With immediate effect, the aim is to identify and support the provision of these practical solutions in an evidence- based way.

In this article we are pleased to announce a unique opportunity to become a part of and benefit from this process plus information about the two first areas that we will be focusing on.

It’s good to talk

The solutions that we are developing here have grown out of more than a decade of research by eight very experienced GP vets and they can now be made available to the wider profession.

Based on a broad range of knowledge (Table 1), a comprehensive “toolbox” of methodologies has been brought together in such a way as to be available and accessible to practising GP vets.

For a limited period you can take advantage of a free consultation; all you really need to do is decide what are the three things that you would most like to be different and e-mail to arrange an appointment or get more details.

A great start!

The first few months in practice can be traumatic both for the graduate and for the supporting practice. The best solutions are often counterintuitive and finding the time to implement the support can be difficult.

During this year we will be developing two new support packages: one for the new graduates and the other for the supporting practices. Both will build confidence and capability and offer the opportunity to smooth the transition into practice. They will be both cost effective and practical.

If you are a practice that may employ a new graduate in 2013 please go to Employers or if you are a final-year student please go to Grads to take our short survey. Alternatively, just leave your contact details and we will provide you with details of the schemes.

Don’t forget the boss!

Partners, principals and JVPs carry the same burdens regarding their clinical work as other members of staff but it is often overlooked that they also have a huge additional set of responsibilities associated with the running and proper functioning of the practice.

Whilst it can be hugely fulfilling, it can also be incredibly tiring and isolating when all the problems of the practice find their way to your door. The vast majority of GP vets will cite a lack of time as the most difficult challenge they face and expecting somebody to perform effectively with multiple additional responsibilities is often unrealistic. 

 A three-step programme is now available to offer those in positions of responsibility the additional support and resources that make the necessary practical and the desirable possible. The service is entirely confidential and completely flexible whether it is just one or all of the steps that are required.

For more details, e-mail or telephone 01353 723885.  

  • Time to think

Our brains simply do not work at their best when we are tired, stressed or under pressure; working with someone who can provide a safe and effective environment can provide both the time and space to support better decision making. 

As Stephen Covey said in the book Seven habits of highly effective people, it gives you the chance to deal with the important but not urgent issues that otherwise tend to be ignored.

Creating time to think may appear counterintuitive because your instincts are to work harder or faster, whereas creating time to think provides the opportunity to work smarter rather than just harder.

  • Finding the way 

Creating a safe and effective space within which to think and work is the prerequisite to the next step, “finding the way”.

Only when you can step back and look at the whole situation can you make the best choices about which path to follow but this is incredibly difficult to do if you are running at full speed just trying to keep up with immediate demands.

In this stage you will work with someone who helps you identify opportunities and solutions whilst at the same time providing challenge to build your confidence in the decisions you make.

  • Making it happen

Making it happen is often the most difficult part of the whole process and yet often receives the least attention. Humans do not like change and in the task-rich, time-scarce environment that is veterinary practice it is often easier for staff to resist change than make the time and expend the effort to participate in the process. 

 This is often the time that the boss can feel most isolated and beleaguered. Here you will work with someone who will help you set realistic expectations and then stick to them; when everyone around you may seem to be blocking your progress, you have someone who offers you non-judgemental support and yet, at the same time, holds you to account, helping you to get to where you want to be.

These are just the first two of a number of innovative approaches that we have planned for 2013 and we would really like you to get involved. Let us have your suggestions for areas worthy of attention, share with us your problems and your aspirations. Tell us how we can help you and you can help us.

To join the BEVME Community of Practice, go to or e-mail

1. Communities of Practice – Theory ( 2. Etienne Wenger – Homepage (