izipony
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Hey

I just wanted some advice on intercalation. Its something I've been thinking about for a long time and even applied to RVCs intercalated course but now its come to actually deciding what to do I'm unsure. During school I did some research stuff which was cool but I don't know if its something I would want to do every day for a year. I have a few things I find interesting such as pharmacology and microbiology but unsure if I am interested enough for the deeper level of study that it would involve.

I'm in third year now so need to decide soonish but our lectures for more information aren't for another month. I've been trying to research into it further but most of the information seems to be for medics rather than vet students. Also our housing lists for moving out to Langford have been released so I need to decide asap as to whether I'll be staying in Bristol for another year.

Any advice from anyone whether they've intercalated or not would be great! Thanks

ps. I'm very indecisive!
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by izipony)
Hey

I just wanted some advice on intercalation. Its something I've been thinking about for a long time and even applied to RVCs intercalated course but now its come to actually deciding what to do I'm unsure. During school I did some research stuff which was cool but I don't know if its something I would want to do every day for a year. I have a few things I find interesting such as pharmacology and microbiology but unsure if I am interested enough for the deeper level of study that it would involve.

I'm in third year now so need to decide soonish but our lectures for more information aren't for another month. I've been trying to research into it further but most of the information seems to be for medics rather than vet students. Also our housing lists for moving out to Langford have been released so I need to decide asap as to whether I'll be staying in Bristol for another year.

Any advice from anyone whether they've intercalated or not would be great! Thanks

ps. I'm very indecisive!
What are your reasons and motivations for intercalating?

Unless you plan on going into research or academia intercalating probably isn't going to improve your employment prospects.

If you are interested in getting a feel for research before you intercalate Bristol used to offer a "Summer Vacation Research Scholarship Scheme" of around 3-4 weeks where you were paired up with one of their research fellows. Prof Duffus used to be one of the key people running it IIRC. Much cheaper way of seeing whether research is your thing!

Personally I was eager to get out of vet school to start practicing (and earning).
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FarmVet
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Hi there
I intercalated with a BSc in Comparative Pathology at the RVC. I am currently in my 3rd year of the BVetMed course at RVC after finishing my intercalated degree. Personally, I loved every second of my intercalation and it is something that I would really recommend vet students to consider. Even if you do not want to go into research, if you want to do further residency training after graduation intercalation is regarded really highly. Simply because specialist veterinarians need to have certain research skills.

I personally chose the pathology program as the course is very applied and so far has really helped me in my 3rd year pathology lectures. It gave me post-mortem skills that are not always thoroughly taught on the BVetMed course and many other useful skills that I can use in practice or a research setting. The first term was lectures, practicals and trips and the terms after christmas are based in the lab. I actually really liked my lab work and went on to study on the Cornell Veterinary Leadership program over the summer. The research project is pretty specific but you aren't going to be a PhD level expert in your topic so don't worry too much about it being really deep study.

I still am not completely certain if I want to go into research but for me getting an extra degree in one year, having an advantage for future residency applications and becoming a better scientist to improve my clinical effectiveness was worth the extra year and extra cost.

I hope that helps and feel free to message me with any questions

(Original post by izipony)
Hey

I just wanted some advice on intercalation. Its something I've been thinking about for a long time and even applied to RVCs intercalated course but now its come to actually deciding what to do I'm unsure. During school I did some research stuff which was cool but I don't know if its something I would want to do every day for a year. I have a few things I find interesting such as pharmacology and microbiology but unsure if I am interested enough for the deeper level of study that it would involve.

I'm in third year now so need to decide soonish but our lectures for more information aren't for another month. I've been trying to research into it further but most of the information seems to be for medics rather than vet students. Also our housing lists for moving out to Langford have been released so I need to decide asap as to whether I'll be staying in Bristol for another year.

Any advice from anyone whether they've intercalated or not would be great! Thanks

ps. I'm very indecisive!
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Nemo9000
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Hi, Im also thinking of intercalating and the whole not sure if i want to do research things isnt an issue for me because i'm pretty set on that although definitely understand the drive to just get into work and start earning. My main concern is funding as I want to do an Mres and with Student finance being... well student finance I'm getting the feeling they aren't just going to hand over another years tuition fee. Has anybody got any info on that either from what your unis have said or from personal experience?
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izipony
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(Original post by Nemo9000)
Hi, Im also thinking of intercalating and the whole not sure if i want to do research things isnt an issue for me because i'm pretty set on that although definitely understand the drive to just get into work and start earning. My main concern is funding as I want to do an Mres and with Student finance being... well student finance I'm getting the feeling they aren't just going to hand over another years tuition fee. Has anybody got any info on that either from what your unis have said or from personal experience?
Hi we had an intercalators lunch the other day with students that had intercalated. Apparently student finance now give you a £10,000 loan which has to cover both your tuition fees and living costs. I'm not actually thinking of doing a masters so that's just what I picked up from it. Maybe you can find more information on their website or if you call up?
Student finance seem to get very confused by intercalation and don't quite understand what it is. Though the older students said most of the issue was when returning to veterinary medicine they didn't want to give them any more funding as they were a post grad student by then.
At Bristol I think they get round this by not awarding your degree until you graduate veterinary or something to save student finance the confusion
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izipony
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(Original post by Vetstudent333)
Hi there
I intercalated with a BSc in Comparative Pathology at the RVC. I am currently in my 3rd year of the BVetMed course at RVC after finishing my intercalated degree. Personally, I loved every second of my intercalation and it is something that I would really recommend vet students to consider. Even if you do not want to go into research, if you want to do further residency training after graduation intercalation is regarded really highly. Simply because specialist veterinarians need to have certain research skills.

I personally chose the pathology program as the course is very applied and so far has really helped me in my 3rd year pathology lectures. It gave me post-mortem skills that are not always thoroughly taught on the BVetMed course and many other useful skills that I can use in practice or a research setting. The first term was lectures, practicals and trips and the terms after christmas are based in the lab. I actually really liked my lab work and went on to study on the Cornell Veterinary Leadership program over the summer. The research project is pretty specific but you aren't going to be a PhD level expert in your topic so don't worry too much about it being really deep study.

I still am not completely certain if I want to go into research but for me getting an extra degree in one year, having an advantage for future residency applications and becoming a better scientist to improve my clinical effectiveness was worth the extra year and extra cost.

I hope that helps and feel free to message me with any questions
Sorry for the slow reply, completely forgot I even posted this!

This does seem to be the trend I've noticed. Anyone that's done it thinks it's great and definitely worth doing whilst people that haven't don't seem to get the point!

I think I'd like to research along side clinical work when I graduate so I think doing some research whilst at university would help getting into that. Thanks all that info is so hopeful! The Cornell veterinary leadership program sounds great but I've already booked my entire summer with EMS! Maybe next year haha.

I think I'm going to do it just need to decide what actually in now (the decisions are never ending I swear haha). I'd really like to do the research project which is definitely a perk or intercalating.

I've thought of a few questions:

How did you find the style of teaching? Was it that different from vet med? I've heard of people struggling with the essays which is the main thing I'm worried about

How have you found moving back into the year below in a social sense?

Did you find you had to do a lot of work to catch up as you haven't had the same teaching for the first 2 years or was it not that much of jump?

Thanks so much. Really appreciate the help 🙂
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FarmVet
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(Original post by izipony)
Sorry for the slow reply, completely forgot I even posted this!

This does seem to be the trend I've noticed. Anyone that's done it thinks it's great and definitely worth doing whilst people that haven't don't seem to get the point!

I think I'd like to research along side clinical work when I graduate so I think doing some research whilst at university would help getting into that. Thanks all that info is so hopeful! The Cornell veterinary leadership program sounds great but I've already booked my entire summer with EMS! Maybe next year haha.

I think I'm going to do it just need to decide what actually in now (the decisions are never ending I swear haha). I'd really like to do the research project which is definitely a perk or intercalating.

I've thought of a few questions:

How did you find the style of teaching? Was it that different from vet med? I've heard of people struggling with the essays which is the main thing I'm worried about

How have you found moving back into the year below in a social sense?

Did you find you had to do a lot of work to catch up as you haven't had the same teaching for the first 2 years or was it not that much of jump?

Thanks so much. Really appreciate the help 🙂
Hi no problem In answer to your questions:

1. How did you find the style of teaching? Was it that different from vet med? I've heard of people struggling with the essays which is the main thing I'm worried about

The first term for the BSc Comparative Pathology at RVC comprises of 2 modules. The teaching is very similar to that on the BVetMed course with exams just before Christmas. Everything is just geared for a smaller group of students so there are more opportunities to discuss questions with the lecturer etc. After christmas in the labs it is different to the BVetMed course. It is very practical as you are doing a lot of new techniques but I really enjoyed learning some new skills. This is when you also write your thesis (approx. 4000 words). This actually felt too short for me as your research project is over several months so there is plenty to write about. The style of writing is slightly different but not too dissimilar to research projects completed in the BVetMed course, just more in depth

2. How have you found moving back into the year below in a social sense?

I actually lived with a student in the year below during my second year of the BVetMed degree so I already knew a few people. Plus all the students that intercalate move down together so there is always someone you know. It is intimidating to see so many new faces but everyone is lovely. I worried about this myself and honestly looking back there has been no problems and I have actually really enjoyed getting to meet lots of new people. This definitely shouldn't be a major concern.

3. Did you find you had to do a lot of work to catch up as you haven't had the same teaching for the first 2 years or was it not that much of jump?

The BSc Comparative Pathology is brought in as new material for the 3rd year Biovets as well so it wasn't really a jump it was the same level as BVetMed. I would say the bioveterinary students had more knowledge with regards to writing scientific style papers and more lab experience. But everyone is there to help you, you have a personal supervisor for your research project and 1:1 time with them to make sure you are on the right track. Plus the BVetMed students actually had some advantages as some of the material was quite clinical and the Bioveterinary students hadn't really been taught this before as they had focused on the science. So there benefits of being each type of student but it wasn't that much of a jump and being different from the other students meant that you could really help one another.

Hope that answer's your questions and let me know if you have any more
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Angry cucumber
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I personally wouldn't. 5 years was a awfully long slog, let alone doing anymore!
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Paulina-paulina
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(Original post by izipony)
Hey

I just wanted some advice on intercalation. Its something I've been thinking about for a long time and even applied to RVCs intercalated course but now its come to actually deciding what to do I'm unsure. During school I did some research stuff which was cool but I don't know if its something I would want to do every day for a year. I have a few things I find interesting such as pharmacology and microbiology but unsure if I am interested enough for the deeper level of study that it would involve.

I'm in third year now so need to decide soonish but our lectures for more information aren't for another month. I've been trying to research into it further but most of the information seems to be for medics rather than vet students. Also our housing lists for moving out to Langford have been released so I need to decide asap as to whether I'll be staying in Bristol for another year.

Any advice from anyone whether they've intercalated or not would be great! Thanks

ps. I'm very indecisive!
Hey, I know you might not be on here anymore but did you intercalate after all? If so how was is and would you recommend it? I’m going into second year at Bristol as well so will need to decide soonish if I want to intercalate or not. Thanks
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FarmVet
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(Original post by Paulina-paulina)
Hey, I know you might not be on here anymore but did you intercalate after all? If so how was is and would you recommend it? I’m going into second year at Bristol as well so will need to decide soonish if I want to intercalate or not. Thanks
Hi there

I realize I am not the intended recipient of your message but if you have any further questions about intercalation I would be happy to help?

All the best,
FarmVet
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Paulina-paulina
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(Original post by FarmVet)
Hi there

I realize I am not the intended recipient of your message but if you have any further questions about intercalation I would be happy to help?

All the best,
FarmVet
Hey, thanks for the help. I think I would like to specialise in something after uni and I know I would have to do a residency for that. Would intercalating increase my chances of getting into a residency? I’m aware you might not know. Also separately from that if I intercalate would I earn more as a vet cause I have another degree or does it not matter?
I assume you intercalated - how did you find the whole thing and joining a year group below you? Did you find people to live with and so on?
thanks again 😄
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by Paulina-paulina)
Would intercalating increase my chances of getting into a residency? I’m aware you might not know.
Probably not.

While research has a small role in most residency programs, completion of an internship, interview performance and practical experience (ie; working for a number of years in practice, post graduate certificate, etc) have a far greater influence.

Also separately from that if I intercalate would I earn more as a vet cause I have another degree or does it not matter?
No.

Most vet salaries are determined by performance and turnover. Unfortunately most intercalation programs give you little or no advantage in this regard (ie; heavy academia/research bias with little relevance to general practice).

Also bear in mind that by intercalating you're forgoing a year of salary (est £25,000-32,000) while also running up £1,000s of further student debt.

how did you find the whole thing and joining a year group below you? Did you find people to live with and so on?
It depends how outgoing you are. Easy for some, not for others.
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FarmVet
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(Original post by Paulina-paulina)
Hey, thanks for the help. I think I would like to specialise in something after uni and I know I would have to do a residency for that. Would intercalating increase my chances of getting into a residency? I’m aware you might not know. Also separately from that if I intercalate would I earn more as a vet cause I have another degree or does it not matter?
I assume you intercalated - how did you find the whole thing and joining a year group below you? Did you find people to live with and so on?
thanks again 😄
Hi there no worries

Sorry for the delay moving house soon so lots of packing has taken over life . Personally intercalation was and is the best decision I have ever made in my professional career .

I will try to briefly answer your questions but please feel free to send me any further questions if you need.

Would intercalating increase my chances of getting into a residency?
Yes, personally I believe it does increase your chances of getting into certain residency programs. I intercalated in pathology for example and there is no internship option for this and experience in practice can be limited. I have met with several pathology departments at different universities and having an additional degree in pathology is a positive factor in any application I may wish to make in the future. Similarly, the research component is extremely useful for residency programs as most specialist board exams require you to be up to date with scientific literature and complete research projects. However, while intercalation can bring many transferable skills to a residency application which are not covered on the standard vet course, the whole application will be taken into account and experience in practice etc is also highly valued.

If I intercalate would I earn more as a vet cause I have another degree or does it not matter?
No personally my additional degree has not made a difference, most new graduate vets in practice start on a fairly similar salary. I guess the only difference could be that your intercalated degree may open up other career paths not in practice which in the long run potentially could earn more. I am entering practice so I can't comment on these options in industry, government etc. I would say intercalation can definitely make your new graduate job applications stand out though. As a new graduate vet, entering farm practice, my new boss is already keen to use the skills I gained on my intercalated degree to benefit the practice so personally it has given me additional skills which will be beneficial as a new graduate.

I assume you intercalated - how did you find the whole thing and joining a year group below you? Did you find people to live with and so on?
I intercalated on the RVC BSc Pathology program it was my best year at university, the class size was much smaller (20 students on my course) and you really got to know the professors plus it helped massively on rotations and for my final year research which was published as a result. Different university intercalated degrees will vary so it's important to see how the course is taught, if you will be joining an established year group or a year group that are all new to each other etc. Joining the year group below was fine for me, I had friends in both years so it didn't feel too dramatic and the added benefit of friends graduating before me meant when it came to job hunting they had fantastic advice with what questions to ask, good points and bad points to consider etc. It meant I had a very well rounded view of what to expect in my first job as my old flatmates are one year out already. Do not let the fear of social circles influence this decision honest, I worried about this at the time and looking back it really didn't make any difference to my time at university and 10/10 would do it again
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