At Vets Now we offer vets a number of routes into emergency and critical care.
One of the most popular is our rotating vet internship programme which is aimed at new and recent veterinary graduates who are keen to expand their skills, knowledge and experience in all aspects of small animal practice.
The programme serves as an excellent foundation for those wishing to pursue specific discipline specialist training in the future, or those keen to experience frontline work in emergency medicine.
This Q&A is with Tanvi Kamat, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh who did an internship at the Vets Now emergency and specialty hospital in Glasgow and is now veterinary surgeon at Vets Now’s Edinburgh clinic.
Tell me about your background?
My family is from Aberdeen but for the past few years I’ve been living and studying in Edinburgh. I graduated in veterinary medicine from the University of Edinburgh last year. I heard about the Vets Now internship from one of our lecturers, who was a specialist at Vets Now’s emergency and specialty hospital in Glasgow. I jumped at the chance to work with him in a busy emergency hospital as I’d heard so many good things about it.
When did working as a vet become an ambition for you?
I’ve wanted to be a vet from a young age as I have a real love for animals. But at school, I was also really interested in science and considered going into human medicine. I did a lot of work experience, both human and veterinary, and quickly realised my true passion was veterinary medicine.
Tell me a bit more about the Vets Now internship?
It’s a rotating internship so you spend five weeks working in each of the different disciplines in the hospital. It’s great because in university you only tend to get one week in each discipline and then you have to pick a few to study further, which means you don’t get a huge amount of experience. On the internship, you’re always learning from people with vast experience in each discipline.
Is it good preparation for working in emergency and critical care?
Yes, as it allows you much more time to develop your skills. I really wanted the out-of-hours experience because most general practices no longer do their own emergency out of hours. As a new graduate, the prospect of doing that sort of work without any on-the-job training can be daunting. It’s great to get experience dealing with emergencies in a training environment. We have people supporting us so it’s not such a scary prospect, and you learn a lot in a relatively short period of time.
What did you enjoy most about the Vets Now internship?
I learnt a lot and saw so many cases in a short time. The fact I got to learn from lots of different people was also a huge benefit. As a new graduate, you don’t have a set way of doing things so you’re quite open to learning different approaches to find out what works best for you.
Tell me what kind of specialisation you’re interested in?
I’m really interested in ECC and I’m hoping to gain more experience in this discipline. Before the internship, I hadn’t had much experience in ECC and I wanted to see as much frontline action as possible before progressing in my career.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
At the moment, I want to go down ECC route but I’d also like to experience general practice as well at some point. That way I’ll be able to properly understand both sides of veterinary medicine.
What is it you enjoy most about working in ECC?
It’s a good balance of medicine and surgery. I also like the fact you regularly see acute cases and have to respond to them quickly which is exciting. I’m interested in how ECC vets react to emergency situations and that’s what I want to get better at.
What did you enjoy most about working for Vets Now?
The company is really supportive of its interns and makes sure all the interns are happy and everything is going well. The hospital in Glasgow is a fantastic place to work and the staff are great. Everyone is really interested in teaching us each of the different specialties. The senior vets regularly take time out of their days to do tutorials. You also get to go to lots of events and CPD.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a vet?
Do as much work experience as you can to make sure it really is the job you want. Taking care of very sick patients and managing pet owner’s expectations can be emotionally draining. Because I did lots of work experience before I went to university, I feel I had the drive to get this position. You have to be committed to everything that the job holds if you want to succeed. On the plus side, it’s extremely satisfying saving patients’ lives and making a big difference to their families.
We recently caught up with Tanvi to find out how she feels about her internship looking back and how it has influenced her career path.
Did your internship influence where you are now?
I am currently working at Vets Now Edinburgh after a brief period in general practice. The internship helped me build on my interest in emergency medicine and I’m currently working on the ECC certificate to further my knowledge in this area.
How do you feel about your internship now?
The internship was a great opportunity to learn more from specialists in their field while being an active part of the cases. It was a lot of hard work but I feel it prepared me well to deal with cases while sole charge.
Why should recently and newly qualified vets consider an internship at Vets Now?
I found the internship really helped me gain confidence working with emergencies, which can be scary as a new or recent graduate. It also allows you to learn from the specialists and experienced staff to improve your skills in a variety of fields.
If you would like to discuss our internship opportunities, call our talent team on 01383 841181 or for more information email [email protected]. For more information about our current opportunities, click here.