Exploring UK veterinary students’ use of online resources as a tool for studying small animal internal medicine

Ashleigh J.R. Bevis, Khalil Saadeh, Gary Tse, Kamalan Jeevaratnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite an increase in the use of online resources, their use by veterinary students, especially in the study of small animal internal medicine (SAIM), remains poorly understood. Methods: A questionnaire-based study consisting of 26 survey items and 263 responses from seven UK universities investigated the use of online resources among clinical veterinary students studying SAIM and whether this was affected by age, gender, year of study or entry status. Results: Random internet searches were the preferred method of clarifying queries, except for graduate-entry students and age categories 18–21 years and 28 years and over who preferred traditional textbooks. Online searches were preferred over emailing instructors or contacting instructors in person. Despite 73.3% of participants not automatically trusting information from online sources, only 47.1% fact-checked, although this was higher among the graduate-entry group (62.5%). Frequent social media use was reported; however, only 44.8% of students reported using social media to discuss SAIM. Video clip usage was high, and 82.9% of students reported video clips were useful for understanding SAIM concepts. Conclusion: Online resources are a useful tool to complement traditional resources; however, a level of academic oversight may be required to ensure appropriate and effective use of these resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)no
JournalVeterinary Record
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical veterinary education
  • digital literacy
  • e-learning, online resources
  • open educational resources
  • small animal internal medicine
  • social media as a teaching tool


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