Diana Stan MRCVS is a vet at Vets Now’s thriving Birmingham clinic. Diana, who is originally from Romania, has taken the step into ECC medicine thanks to the acclaimed Cutting Edge programme. 
Was a veterinary life always your goal? 

Not really. My mum is a lawyer and I thought I would follow her example by doing that. But I went to college after school, and I realised I was really good at the science, chemistry and biology. We had cats when I was a kid and I always loved animals, so with that in mind and seeing that law wasn’t what I was passionate about, my mum supported me when I made a decision in my final year to switch plans. 

 

What did that involve? 

I went to university and did six years of training to be vet. My plan was to stay in Romania after I graduated, but between my fourth and fifth years I got a chance to join a programme to go and work in America. I had three months in Colorado, and it helped me improve my English as well as getting more experience and a bit of a taste of a vet life in another country. That started me thinking about maybe working somewhere other than Romania, which isn’t as developed as some places in pet care. 

 

What brought you to the UK? 

I was recruited by another group, graduating in the July of 2018 and working here by the September. I was based between a few different practices around Shrewsbury, gaining experience and getting a feel of different areas. There was a bit of exposure to ECC when I did shifts at the main hospital. It was quite scary as I was more used to just being in day practice, but I realised that pressure motivates me. 

I found that when I was put in a stressful situation, I was able to focus and to make good decisions, which made me think this was something I should explore. 

Diana Stan
Diana Stan from Vets Now Birmingham clinic
So, what made you make the move to Vets Now? 

I was talking to a vet from Vets Now about ECC and when she saw how keen I was, she suggested I might want to apply. It was a big decision, but after sleeping on it I decided I was up for the challenge. Right from the first interview everything was spelled out and, rather than running straight into this new world, it was suggested that Cutting Edge would be the best approach. It would help me process all the information I needed and guide me through it step by step. 

 

How did you find the 10 weeks? 

There was so much help. Everyone who took a session was so knowledgeable, friendly and available to answer questions. It was very well structured, and I found it topping up everything I knew, but with ECC in mind. It was building on the experience I had and focusing it on what I would come across. I loved the surgical side of things, and the case clinic discussions were so useful. We were able to share our experiences and get different points of view. The lecturers let us see both the good and the bad points. 

Having the time in the clinic was great in letting us see practically what we were learning. It wasn’t just like being back at university as you felt attached to reality. 

Diana Stan
How did you find the 10 weeks? 

There was so much help. Everyone who took a session was so knowledgeable, friendly and available to answer questions. It was very well structured, and I found it topping up everything I knew, but with ECC in mind. It was building on the experience I had and focusing it on what I would come across. I loved the surgical side of things, and the case clinic discussions were so useful. We were able to share our experiences and get different points of view. The lecturers let us see both the good and the bad points. Having the time in the clinic was great in letting us see practically what we were learning. It wasn’t just like being back at university as you felt attached to the reality. 

 

How did you find the clinic time in Birmingham? 

I had four weeks of shadow shifts, getting the chance to really do things with the supervision of the vets and the nurses at Vets Now Birmingham. Even when they were busy, they were always happy to help, and I felt really well supported. Cutting Edge does a really good job like that. Everyone knew me and was ready to do everything to make me feel I had their backing. 

 

What was it like to finish the programme and start properly at the clinic? 

I felt Cutting Edge had given me everything I needed to feel relaxed and confident going into my shifts sole charge. I had all the experience, lectures and notes to reassure me that I could do this. In the 10 weeks I had time to really process the information and get ready to put it into practice. I was mentally prepared for what I’d face. When I spoke to a vet I knew when I first came to England, I realised I had learned so much more in that time. It had made a huge difference and I feel I’m a better vet. 

 

And how are you enjoying it? 

I feel quite proud of myself. I still go back to my notes and I’m still learning, but I feel great to be a part of the team. I had been a little concerned about doing nights, but it has actually been working out better for me. I have so much time off compared to being in a practice five days a week and I have more control over my life. I’m going to the gym more and I’m enjoying getting out running.