Student EMS

EMS opportunities at ARMAC Vets

As a precursor to our newly launched graduate introduction programme we have expanded our EMS provisions for students.

We are a small, independent, and genuinely mixed practice with two branches: Biggar in South Lanarkshire; Peebles in the Scottish Borders. Both branches are in areas of outstanding natural beauty, with an abundance of outdoor activities and only a stone’s throw from the cultural centres of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

We see roughly 50% small animal, 40% farm animal (predominantly sheep and beef cattle) and 10% equine. Being a truly mixed practice we believe we can offer students, and ultimately new graduates, a brilliant start to their veterinary career. Half of the vets currently employed by ARMAC saw EMS at the practice and half of the current directors started their veterinary career as new graduates at Armac.

As students, you may already know you would like to ultimately specialise in a specific field such as Small Animal Cardiology or Equine Orthopaedics. Current university teaching would suggest these specialities are totally independent of one another – but they don’t have to be!

It is our belief and experience that, at the start of your veterinary journey, a well-established knowledge base and a broad skill set, best equip you for your veterinary future, whatever that may be.

There are a number of top specialists across the profession who have started their career in mixed practice: the surgical skills that you develop whilst performing a cow caesarean do not become obsolete should you subsequently become an EBVS and RCVS specialist in small animal surgery!

Similarly, small animal medicine is not always as complex as your final year experience would lead you to believe. Sometimes you treat pets and they get better! Remember, that on final year rotations, you tend to only see the most difficult cases that may actually make up only a small proportion of a practice’s caseload.

Farm animal practice is not just dehorning and blood sampling. We will perform an exploratory laparotomy on farm for just the same reason as you would in small animal practice. We get to work with progressive farmers and improve flock and herd health through careful planning.

To encourage as broad an introduction into life as a mixed practice vet as possible, we are now pleased to say we are able to offer students accommodation whilst seeing practice with us. The accommodation is within 2 minutes of each practice. Each flat has a living room, kitchen, bathroom and a separate bedroom for students. At times the flat will be shared with the duty vet depending on the on call duty rota.

The benefits of staying on site are obvious; you will gain experience of dealing with in patients and emergency work.  If we have a calving at 2am you get to come to! If we have a GDV at 11pm you’ll be helping. If we have nothing overnight then neither will you and, believe it or not, there are nights where the phone doesn’t ring!

The minimum duration of EMS is a 2 week block (there is no expectation to be available on call over the intermediary weekend unless you want to).

If you have any questions, or you wish to apply to see EMS, please check for availability on our EMS Booking page where you can also book a slot for the Biggar branch. Please also then email with the following information:

  1. Name, University, Year of study and confirmation of EMS dates requested
  2. A brief CV – Max 1 A4 page
  3. A paragraph outlining your veterinary interests
  4. A paragraph outlining your expected skill set development whilst with us.

We will not process your booking without this information.

EMS is also available at our Peebles branch: please email direct with the above information.

Initial preference will be given to those students in final year as they have missed significant EMS due to Covid restrictions.

Students undertaking EMS with us are expected to be fully Covid vaccinated and undertake a self-provided lateral flow test on each Monday morning. (We respect everyone’s right to self-choice but we are a small team and vaccination reduces transmission rates).