Educating the Veterinary Students of Tomorrow
Carrie Daly from IVC:
My story about graduating from vet school....
I was that animal obsessed child who only ever wanted to be a vet.
I qualified as a veterinary surgeon in July 2018 and I am now nearly
four months into my first job on the IVC graduate scheme.
I studied at Nottingham University where, not only did I learn to be a vet,
I learnt from specialist clinicians, I learnt about research and I discovered
my passion for surgery. Before we knew it, we were starting our final year
rotations, moving from being the “baby vets” to fully qualified.
Around October of our final year we’re all beginning to think about
qualifying. My peers started to declare they had jobs lined up, they’ve negotiated this amazing salary, they’re moving in with their partner, they’re buying a house, they’re getting a puppy and they’re doing all these adult things. I started to panic, I’ve always known I wanted to be a vet, but I didn’t know exactly the kind of vet I wanted to be. I enjoyed all the specialisms within the veterinary industry that we experienced in our final year, and so I was torn about which direction to take.
A friend had applied for the IVC graduate scheme and suggested I applied. The idea of a graduate scheme really appealed to me. I would have a structured, relevant CPD programme, a support network, see other graduates regularly, have a dedicated mentor and not have to negotiate contract terms. Initially I had a telephone interview, then that very same day, I was contacted by my practice manager asking if I would be interested in a small animal hospital in a beautifully rural location. I loved the practice at interview - it is a dedicated hospital so has a range of equipment, there is always a nurse on site overnight and there is the ability to work up cases. I was offered the job, and in September I packed up all my belongings, and my two dogs, and moved to the South West.
My first day in practice was terrifying! They hadn’t booked me anything for the first couple of days to allow me to settle in ( it’s hard enough learning 50 staff members names, never mind being a vet!). I started to pick up vaccine consults and then sick animal consults. I have a surgery morning every week where I am always with a more experienced vet. Most of the time I have the option to “time out” of a consult and seek advice from another vet.
I’ve already had some heart-breaking cases in the short time I have been in practice. Emotional involvement with animals and their owners has been particularly challenging for me. It’s important not to fixate on the more difficult parts of the job, because we do amazing things every day, even if they only seem like small things. My most rewarding case so far wasn’t an exciting or medically challenging case at all. The case involved treating a very severe ongoing ear infection in an elderly dog, and unfortunately an ear flush under sedation was not an option for him. The bacteria cultured from his ears was resistant to most antibiotics. We had one attempt at treatment and with dedicated owners we resolved the infection. They came in for a recheck, so happy with him, and told me he is like a different dog. His ears were a small thing to treat but for that dog has made a big difference to his life. These are the cases that I enjoy because I have made a big difference
Now that I am settled in to the practice my next challenge is joining the out of hours rota next month. I am both apprehensive and excited for this. I will have a backup vet for my first shifts, so when that exciting GDV comes in, I will have the support of another vet throughout. Every day is different in my job, and I think that is the best thing about it. I am very excited to see what the next year brings and look back on these months and to my first ever consult and realise how far I’ve come, and that I am now living that childhood dream.
..... advice about getting into vet school and how to make the most of it!
..... was it all worth it in the end?
Talk to the Vet
A tab with words of wisdom from a recent graduate about why you should pursue a career in veterinary science and how to make the most of university life at vet school!
Julian Sanchez from IVC
A day as an IVC new graduate
The amount of things you can do in a day as a vet is incredible. It can
be stressful and challenging at times so it is important to keep your
mind focused on everything you do, from a not-so-simple phone explanation
for a client who is expecting blood results, to taking an emergency
about a chocolate-poisoned dog.
Vets find their determination from different things. For me, it's the challenge which makes me try and work better than day before to help people and their pets.
A normal day may start with surgery. This is exciting because each animal is different and will present with different problems - they may need different drugs and you might even have surprises, like an unexpected pregnancy.
Then I consult after lunch. Each new graduate begins with health checks or vaccination appointments, but more complex questions arise each day - lameness, sore ears and skin conditions are common problems that will test your skills as a new graduate. Thanks to IVC I am having the opportunity to explore my skills and improve every day. Who else wants to try?