Vet heaps praise on the support and hands-on training she has received in Glasgow hospital

Leo Roses is Vets Now’s first small animal surgery resident.

She began her three-year tenure in January at our 24/7 emergency and specialty hospital in Glasgow after completing an internship in the hospital.

Leo, who is originally from Majorca and has also worked for Vets4Pets, Fitzpatrick and the PDSA, is realising a long-held dream by embarking on a surgery residency.

In this interview, she expands on what brought her to Vets Now in Glasgow and why she has decided to continue her career journey here.

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What brought you to our Glasgow hospital?

I decided to do my third surgical internship here as the surgeons at the Glasgow hospital have such a great reputation. Once I visited and learned more about the internship programme I knew that it would be fantastic for my CV and my career.

Did you expect the residency opportunity?

My goal was always to do a residency after my internship but I didn’t think there would be a place for a resident in Glasgow, so I started looking further afield. When I found out there was an opening for a resident here it was a wonderful surprise.

Can you explain a bit more about your role?

The residency lasts three years and during that time I’ll work very closely with the surgeons and gradually get more and more responsibility for cases. Research is also a big part of my residency and I’ll be involved in teaching the interns. Once I complete the programme and pass my final exams I will be a specialist in small animal surgery.

What makes the hospital a special place to work?

We see so many interesting cases here and, as a result, I’m constantly learning about how to manage them. The other services we offer at the hospital, like oncology, medicine and imaging, are also the best in the field. It means I’m enhancing my knowledge every day.

We’ve also recently undergone an extensive refurbishment which is fantastic. We have new theatres and everything is set up perfectly. It’s like a brand new hospital, the kind of environment everyone wants to work in.

Image of small animal surgery resident Leo Roses for Vets Now professionals article
Leo started a residency at Vets Now's in Glasgow after previously doing an internship in the hospital

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Do you enjoy the teaching side of your role?

I enjoy teaching and, as I’m also in a trainee position, I appreciate the training I receive too. I think it’s beneficial to see it from both sides. It’s really satisfying to train people that are keen and want to learn and I think people who take on internships are usually eager to learn and do a good job.

Has anyone really helped you along the way?

Working with Liz Welsh has been incredible. I’ve never felt as valued as I do working with her and the rest of the surgical team here. They’ve made me believe in myself and helped me overcome any issues that were holding me back, which has helped me become a better surgeon. They’ve helped me so much and I couldn’t ask for more.

Has Vets Now encouraged you to make the most of your potential?

Vets Now has a reputation for encouraging staff development and they hold regular CPD events. This makes it easier for me to keep on top of my professional development.

In Glasgow, I grab every opportunity I can to learn from the specialists and the ECC team. If I’m free I try to join them when they’re teaching. Being in the same building gives me that opportunity and I definitely make the most it.

Would you recommend the internship to others?

Yes, it’s a great opportunity for interns. Dan Lewis, Davinia Arnott and the rest of the specialists here are unbelievable and they have an excellent reputation throughout the profession. Anyone interested in surgery knows who they are and people come here to work alongside them.

Interns are given a lot of responsibility, but also a great deal of support. There is a high caseload and, of course, it involves ECC work, so it is challenging, but that is to be expected from an internship. But Vets Now are very supportive and their training plan is very well organised.

Image of Vets Now Glasgow hospital for Vets Now professionals article
Leo is delighted with the results of the Glasgow hospital's recent refurbishment

What advice would you give to someone considering following in your footsteps?

Don’t give up, work hard and don’t let rejection bring you down. There will be times when you might feel deflated but persevere and you’ll make it. It’s taken me seven years to get here. You never know when it will happen, but it will.

Also, keep in mind that there’s a lot of competition for residencies nowadays so your CV has to be outstanding. Gain as much experience as possible by going abroad and learning from others who have gone down this route in the past. And keep studying and developing yourself. Learning from others with more experience is the best way to avoid making mistakes. The more you do, the faster you’ll learn what areas interest you the most.

What are your ambitions?

After I finish my residency and pass my exams I’d like to work in a place like this, in a familiar setting with a good team and a wide caseload. I’ve worked really hard and it will have taken more than 10 years to reach that point, so I plan on enjoying it.

How do you achieve work-life balance?

I think I have a reasonably good work-life balance. Our job is our hobby too in a sense, so if something interests us we might be tempted to stay at work and run the risk of burning out. But I think as long as you enjoy what you do and you know when to stop then that’s fine. I also try to get away and meet friends and travel when I can, even just for a weekend.

The team here are great and we can empathise with each other so it’s easy for us to go out and de-stress together. They’re my friends inside and outside of work and we’re there for each other, which makes life easier.

Can you describe your career from graduating to now?

I studied in Valencia and finished my degree in 2012. I came straight to the UK and started working in a referral practice in Norfolk, then I did my first rotating internship in a private practice in Liverpool. I went on to do a year in first opinion, then I did a surgical internship at Fitzpatrick’s, and after that I did some PDSA work for six months. Then, I came to do the internship here at Vets Now in Glasgow.

Why did you choose this particular career route?

I knew I wanted to specialise in surgery before I finished my degree. Surgery was my favourite subject when I was studying as I liked working with my hands and I saw it as an integral part of treating and curing animals. When I found out that I could specialise and only do surgery I knew that’s what I wanted to do.