Six vets with a passion for emergency and critical care have just embarked on Vets Now’s pioneering Cutting Edge programme. In the first of a series of blogs about her experiences on the 10-week induction, Emma Passmore tells us how it's going.
Six of us have been selected to begin the Vets Now Cutting Edge programme in this intake and while we're all a little nervous, we're ready to take the next step in our careers. At the moment it feels a little like we're leaping into the unknown, but I know that feeling won't last. It's also safe to say we're all very excited about what the future holds.
The first thing that struck me when I met my new colleagues was their diverse backgrounds. While I'm from the UK, Shannon is from the US, Agata and Agnieska come from Poland, Alex is from Ukraine and Esther is French. On top of that, all of us have varying degrees of work experience, and we've all done different things since graduating from university. It goes to show there is no archetypal Cutting Edge vet.
It's been particularly interesting learning about the ways veterinary medicine is approached in their respective countries. It's also been nice sharing stories and getting to know new people in a supportive environment.
Read more: At the Cutting Edge: Aoife tells how Vets Now provides perfect launchpad for career
Aside from the multi-cultural aspect, I've also been taken by the fact five of us on the programme are women. I'm not sure if Alex, the only male, feels in luck or overwhelmed! But I don't suppose anyone will be surprised given females now account for almost 60% of practising vets and 80% of veterinary degree undergraduates.
As for the programme itself, the first day was full of introductions and, to be honest, it was quite tiring. But it gave me great respect for those in our group for whom English is a second language, although they seemed to take it in their stride.
The clinical lecturing in the first week was brilliant. We covered a whole range of subjects from shock to fluid therapy to dyspnoea. We also spent time on client communication which was very useful.
Read more: Breaking through the glass ceiling: Vets Now leads the way for gender equality
I now feel as though I'm beginning to fully understand some of the emergency and critical care concepts I learned about while at university. And I'm really looking forward to going out into the clinics and developing those learnings.
It was clear from the start that each of the vets in our group has different strengths and weaknesses. But this is a real positive as it’s helping us gain information from each other.
The lecturers have also accepted question after question from us without hesitation. It sometimes feels like they're on a firing line, but the learning environment is superb, and they've all been very accommodating.
Read more: Claire says programme has provided invaluable route into ECC
At the end of our first week, we took a tour around Edinburgh, and some of us tried haggis and even vegan haggis. Thankfully, the weather was kind, making the view, scenery and atmosphere all the more rewarding.
Here's to the next nine weeks and becoming an emergency and critical care veterinary clinician.
The next intake for Cutting Edge is August and places are filling up fast. Anyone interested in applying should call the Vets Now recruitment team now on 01383 841181 or click here.