Filming begins on Vet School documentary

July 4, 2011

Veterinary science students in their final years of study at Murdoch University are being filmed for an observational documentary series commissioned by the ABC.

Fremantle-based company Prospero Productions will be filming the highs and the lows of students on the course as they sit exams and take part in daunting practical sessions run by Murdoch staff.

“The series will focus on the trials and tribulations of training to become a vet, focussing on the pressures students face and will be an honest portrayal of Murdoch’s vet school,” said Julia Redwood, Prospero’s Managing Director.

“We’ll be filming the students at those optimum moments on the course, for example, the first time they perform surgery or examine a large farm animal. In addition, we’ll be getting to know some of the students quite well and showing that they come from a diverse range of backgrounds. We’ll also be looking at how people relate to animals and following an animal through the treatment process.”

Filming commenced on Monday, July 4, and is expected to go on for a six month period, following the current fourth and fifth year students as they come to the end of the five year course. The series is expected to be screened on the ABC at some point in 2012.

Dr Michael Laurence from Murdoch’s School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences has been liaising with Prospero throughout the research and development part of the production. He said he hoped the documentary would show the sacrifices made by students to complete the course.

“Veterinary science is one of the most difficult courses offered at universities because of the large amount of material the students have to learn,” he said.

“There are 40 contact hours every week in the latter years of the course which is a very demanding timetable for the students. They are after all, studying medicine which relates to not one but several different species. Even during their holiday periods they are working in veterinary practices or other such placements so there is very little time for anything else.

“But while it is incredibly challenging this intensity means there is a tremendous sense of community among the students and they are very close-knit which I hope is something the documentary captures.”

Professor Philip Payne, Pro Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences at Murdoch University, welcomed Prospero’s filmmakers to the South Street campus.

“We are very proud of our Veterinary School at Murdoch University and I am pleased to have an opportunity to demonstrate to a wide TV audience the work of our talented and committed staff,” he said.

“I am also very pleased to acknowledge the dedication and ability of our students. We enrol only the best students and put them through five years of rigorous training to become the best veterinarians that they can be – they continually impress me!

“I expect that viewers will find the documentary informative, touching and entertaining – and perhaps inspiring! We’re looking forward to it.”

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Media contact: Jo Manning
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Categories: General, Events, Future Students, International students, school of veterinary and biomedical sciences
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Comments (5 responses)

Paris July 31, 2012

When will this documentary be screened?

Jo Manning August 6, 2012

Hi Paris,
Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately we do not have a broadcast date for Vet School as yet. When a date is confirmed, we will announce it on the Murdoch University website. In the meantime, you might like to keep in touch via the dedicated Facebook website:
Many thanks
Murdoch University media team

Mary studdert July 26, 2013

Watched first episode tonight, anxious to know if Bailey survived , I felt very sorry for owner and son. Mary

Squizzy43 July 27, 2013

I am absolutely disgust, having watched the first episode of Vet School to see the students doing major surgery on a sheep under sedation. I appreciate that they have to learn but why are these poor animals not put under a General Anesthetic. I was horrified to watch the sheep start to wake up and that fool vet saying the sheep was moving because it was bored. Oh My God the sheep was moving because it was waking up and someone was half way through pulling out one of it's stomach. How can it possible be ok or ethical to do any surgery on any animal without a full general anesthetic.

Murdoch University July 29, 2013

We would like to reassure all those watching the Vet School program that we have careful processes in place to regulate and monitor animal welfare in everything we do. All of our scientific work (including teaching) with animals is approved through the Animal Ethics Committee before we are permitted to start. This committee includes animal welfare advocates and lay people as well as scientists and veterinarians and is independent of the Vet School. The Animal Ethics Committee requires that animals are at all times treated with respect and due care, and that wherever needed they are given anaesthetics (local or general) and other pain relief appropriate to the clinical care of the animals concerned.

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