Two weeks into the latest Cutting Edge programme and our new recruits are quickly learning the skills needed to work effectively in ECC. There are 12 vets in the latest group, and over the coming weeks, this blog will feature a quickfire Q&A with each of them. The third interview in our series is with James Checketts, who is from Upper Wield in Hampshire.
James developed a passion for ECC three years ago and has worked hard to earn his place on the Cutting Edge programme. If you would like to follow in his footsteps sign up here.
Name: James Checketts
Home town: Upper Wield, Alresford, Hampshire.
Where did you go to university: I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Lincoln, before doing a postgraduate at the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacology in Slovakia.
Why did you decide to become a vet: It has been a life-long goal.
How did you end up at Vets Now? I started working in a mixed practice in Devon. My role included disease surveillance on farms along with both routine and emergency care for farm animals. More recently, I focused on small animal surgery. I was bitten by the ECC bug at a conference in Prague in 2014, and my passion was reinforced at recent Vets Now congresses and through work experience. I've been keen to pursue a career in ECC ever since.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about being a vet? That moment when you're discharging a pet, and they see their owner, and their tail starts wagging. And, of course, seeing the reaction from the owner as well.
Why do you want to work in emergency and critical care? I want to be able to deliver the best possible care to those in need at times of high stress and emergency. My aim with every pet I treat is to achieve the best outcome for both pets and their owners.
What would be your advice to someone who is thinking of becoming a vet? Go for it — let nothing stand in your way! I have dyslexia and was repeatedly told I wouldn't make the grades because of it. However, I didn't let it stop me, and through hard work, here I am today. I took the long way round to achieving my dream. But there's always a way of getting there. It's also important to make sure you fully understand what the job entails. Speak to as many vets as you can, see as varied a caseload as possible and make sure you end up doing what you are passionate about.
What do you like to do outside of work? I love all water sports, especially sailing. I also like to ski, and I'm currently teaching myself to kite-surf.
Tell me an interesting fact no one else knows about you: I have a one-eyed Labrador puppy and a vintage Land Rover.
The next intake for Cutting Edge is in January, and places are filling up fast. We are also recruiting for more experienced vets for Refresh Your Edge. If you, or any vets you know, are interested in applying, please call the Vets Now recruitment team for more information on 01383 841181 or click here.