At Vets Now, all our emergency vets share the common goal of helping pets during their most critical moments. Our Cutting Edge programme offers the ideal foundation for those looking to gain the skills and knowledge to take on this incredible challenge.
For Anais Allen-Deal, Cutting Edge not only provided a route into ECC but also opened up a world of development opportunities within the company. Having graduated from the programme, she has since embarked on an internship which will expand her knowledge of veterinary medicine and stand her in good stead for completing a residency in the future.
Here, Anais, known as Lui, explains how Cutting Edge set her up for a rewarding career at Vets Now which complements her personal commitments and professional aspirations.
Can you briefly describe your journey from school up until joining Vets Now?
After completing my A-Levels I took a gap year before going to RVC, but I didn’t do well in the first year and ended up taking another gap year. I eventually graduated in September 2016. I actually think all of that helped me become a better vet as my learning was much more in-depth and I learned to recognise my own personal strengths and coping strategies. I then joined the new grad program with Medivet where I met two vets who had done the Cutting Edge course. They convinced me to go into ECC rather than exotics, which is what I had intended, and that’s how I ended up doing Cutting Edge.
When did working as a vet become an ambition?
I’ve wanted to be a vet since I was seven. Everyone thought it was a phase but I stuck with it.
Has anyone really helped you along the way?
Magda Macios, the night vet I used to work with who was a Cutting Edge graduate. She was a great mentor to me when I graduated. It was really helpful to be able to discuss cases with her and she is still one of my first points of contact when I run into a difficult case.
How do you think Cutting Edge prepared you for life in ECC?
The programme gave me a great foundation to build on. It helped develop my knowledge of things like reading blood gases and using emergency-specific tools. And the surgery weekend was absolutely amazing. I hadn’t really done that much surgery prior to starting and I felt really weak in that area, but it really built my confidence. I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone considering a career in ECC.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering doing Cutting Edge, what would it be?
Get as much experience as possible as it will build confidence and ultimately save time. Personally I wish I’d done more bitch spays before starting.
Do you have any tips on how to achieve a work-life balance?
Exercise prior to a night shift. I do yoga before I start a shift — it wakes me up and makes me feel like my day hasn’t just been spent trying to sleep. Enjoying your days off is also really important. And always get a good rota, that is the absolute priority.
Would you ever consider returning to first opinion practice?
No, I’d never do it again. I do miss having regular clients that I have gotten to know, but first opinion just isn’t where my interests lie.
How has Vets Now supported you and made the most of your potential?
As well as Cutting Edge, which provides endless hours of CPD, we also have Tessello which provides hours and hours of webinars and course materials, all for free. I also had the chance to do a tutor-led course called the Emergency Patient which I really enjoyed. Our clinical governance forum is also really useful and I spend a lot of my commute reading it.