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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Picking Veterinary Journals

Ashley sends this in....

I have an interview at the University of Glasgow in a few weeks and have been told by previous interviewees that brushing up on current issues in vet medicine is a must.  Can you recommend any journals that you find to be particular helpful?  Also, do you know of any that are easy for a lay person to understand? I was reading the Veterinary Journal but had to stop every four sentences to look up the meaning of scientific terminology!

If you're in Scotland I may not be able to help because I'm only familiar with American journals.  But I'll give it a try anyway.  

If they are wanting "current issues" they likely mean some of the current discussions such as vaccine duration, allergy treatment, rising student debt load, and so on.  You're not going to find much on these topics in the hard-core scientific journals.  Also, if you're not yet a veterinary student (as I gather from your email) the language can be pretty intimidating even for an experienced vet.

There are many purely scientific journals such as the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Journal of Veterinary Science, and Veterinary Record.  As a practitioner I actually don't like those publications because most of the articles are on rare diseases, uncommon procedures, or minutia of physiology that have little to no application in day-to-day veterinary practice.  In fact I dropped my membership in the AVMA in large part because I found no value whatsoever in the journal and couldn't really apply it in my practice.

I like journals that combine practical medicine and surgery with new developments in the field and human interest stories.  These include Veterinary Forum, Veterinary Practice News, and DVM 360 (formerly DVM Newsmagazine).  A great one to understand the business side of veterinary medicine is Veterinary Economics. If you want more details on medical and surgical cases, check out Veterinary Medicine.  Keep in mind that this is all based on my personal experiences and opinions and I have no stake in any of these publications.  Several of these are available free on the Internet, and I've provided links above.  That way you can check them out even outside of the US!

I would love to hear of other suggestions for journals from my readers, especially those outside of the US.

Best of luck with the interview, Ashley!