Dr Catriona Bell
International Scholar 2012
Job title: Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Education
Organisation: Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
Read Catriona's International Scholarship Report:
Veterinary Clinical Skills Simulation and Faculty Development
Dr Catriona Bell graduated as a veterinary surgeon in 1995, and spent two years working in ‘mixed practice’ in the Norfolk Broads before heading north to Glasgow University Veterinary School to undertake a residency in Farm Animal Medicine (1997-1999). This role enabled Catriona to develop both her teaching and farm animal clinical skills, and also led to her undertaking a PhD in Tanzania (1999-2002) which focused on designing, delivering and evaluating novel educational interventions for farmers in developing countries.
During her time as a resident Catriona realised that she “got a real buzz” from teaching, and her PhD then further fired her enthusiasm for veterinary education. In her subsequent role as a Farm Animal Lecturer (2002-2005) she was then able to apply much of her PhD work to UK undergraduate veterinary education, and became particularly interested in the design of novel methods for teaching key practical skills to veterinary students.
In 2005 Catriona made a career decision to move away from clinical veterinary medicine and pursue veterinary education as a specialist discipline. She was fortunate to be employed as the first ever Teaching Fellow in Veterinary Medical Education at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, and she is currently a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Education. During her time here Catriona has been actively involved in the design and delivery of teaching and assessment on a variety of courses from first year through to final year. Her key academic and research interests include staff development, clinical skills training, peer-assisted learning, student support, and knowledge dissemination. Along with her colleagues, Catriona has secured both internal and external funding for various educational projects, and has produced a number of relevant peer-reviewed publications.
Catriona aims to further promote Veterinary Education as a recognised discipline, and to collaborate with colleagues to actively contribute to its growing body of evidence in the literature. Her ultimate goal is to optimise the undergraduate learning experience for veterinary students, whilst producing new graduates that have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to flourish within the profession.
Through her International Scholarship Catriona will visit institutions in Calgary, Canada and Colorado, in the United States. These institutions are some of the leaders in the field of clinical skills and Catriona will investigate their use of veterinary manikins to aid in the development of a new simulator for her own clinical skills teaching. After testing and evaluation, this simulator would then be made available to the wider veterinary community both in the UK and overseas.