Peer-led academic support for pre-arrival students of the BVM&S Degree program

Jessie Paterson, Charles Keys, Katherine Phillips, Monique Yntema, Jill R D MacKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mental health challenges are of growing concern to the veterinary community. Within veterinary education, there has been increasing focus on building resilience in students, and identifying likely stressors, such as the transition into the veterinary curriculum for first year students. In this study, we evaluated a peer-led project to provide pre-arrival materials for incoming students. Through a combination of learner analytics and post-course surveys, we investigated usage of resources and the effects on student’s attitudes to the veterinary curriculum. Over the two years the course has been running, 159 students (64% of total) visited the course, but only 39% (n = 98) actively engaged with the materials. The course was most frequently accessed from Friday to Sunday (53% of visits), and over 50% of the visits occurred one week prior to arrival. The post-course questionnaire in the first year of the course’s delivery had a 17% response rate (n = 24) and most students (71%) reflected on feeling anxious about beginning their studies. 88% said they felt they had benefited from the material’s availability. While not all students used the resources, providing peer-led teaching opportunities at high-stress points is an effective method of easing transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Early online date26 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2019


  • curriculum
  • educational methods
  • student health and well-being


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