Penn Veterinary Medicine has claimed to have made changes to students’ work hours amid several fourth-year students and recent graduates describing the unendurable workloads, writes Julianna Feliciano Reyes for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
65 students and graduates had signed a letter to the school administration, stating that they were working more than 100-hour weeks. This exceeds the Student American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines. Although there is no authority to enforce it, the guidelines are heavily encouraged. Students expressed that these unsustainable hours were hindering their educations and leading to a lack of effective patient care.
Penn Vet students work primarily unpaid clinical rotations at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square and Ryan Veterinary Hospital. According to two fourth-year students, the changes made by Penn Vet were only made at the New Bolton Center.
One of the main student concerns focused on the nursing duties assigned during shifts, such as walking dogs and cleaning litter boxes. Students stated that there was a lack of educational benefit during these shifts and that they felt as though they were being used to combat a nursing shortage.
Brady Beale, chief medical officer of Ryan Veterinary Center, sent an email to students, saying, “We want our hospital teams to be informed that changes have been implemented and that patient care has not been compromised should they receive questions from clients, vets or community members.”
Despite this, two students claim that there have been no changes implemented.
Read more about Penn Vet’s students getting reduced workloads at The Philadelphia Inquirer.