The constant development of medical and veterinary education is always crucial, but in the last decade it is more in focus. Numerous highly ranked journals and conferences specialize on this topic.
One of them is an international educational conference, the Graz Conference (GraCo), which was held this year online on the 8th of April 2021. This event took place first in 1995 in Graz, Austria and the name of it comes from this as well (www.grazconference.at). The GraCo has a main theme every year and this year it was “Teaching life skills in medical education”.+ in collaboration with SOFTVETS project, funded by Erasmus+ program. Besides lectures about the life skills topic other interesting lectures were also included in the program. The lectures were given by well-known international experts of the fields.
Sarah Baillie and Philip Duffus (UK) talked about the rapid expansions of Clinical Skills Labs (CSLs) in veterinary establishments. Renate Weller (Germany) and Stephen May (UK) emphasized the engagement of students in their own learning through student-led educational projects in the lecture “Students as Creators”.
After the coffee break, Nicole Mastenbroek (Netherlands) veterinarian-psychologist gave insights and guidelines how to preserve mental health and prevent burn-out in veterinary profession. The second lecturer of this block Vlatko Ilieski (North-Macedonia) put an accent on the ethical education of students using ethical matrix framework.
Following the lunchbreak, the only medical doctor presenter of this year, Harm Peters (Germany) talked about the importance of improving entrepreneurial skills of medical students using innovative methods. Birgit Hladschik-Kermer (Austria) shared her experiences about “What and How to teach communication skills in veterinary medicine”. She explained the positive effect of involving of actors in simulation plays for teaching communication. The last lecturer was Natalia Strokowska (Poland) on the topic “Online communication in vets” who enlightened why and how could we make it better.
The chirrupy conference ended way after the planned time as after the closing remarks of Tibor Bartha and Karl Kremser, the participants continued chatting with each other. We had a successful conference! The Covid pandemic hindered us from gathering together in real life having small talks over coffee, enjoying the indelible poster party or the usual Gala dinner and the important networking. Let’s meet in 2022 hopefully face-to-face!