Vets Now Glasgow is proud to contribute to developing the next generation of surgeons and play a crucial role in shaping the future of specialist clinicians in referral veterinary medicine.

In our recent conversation with Paula Bartolome, our Surgical Intern, we delved into her experiences and gained insights into her placement at Vets Now Glasgow.


Paula, you have been in post for seven months now. Let’s talk about you and your time at our hospital.  Can you tell me a little about your background and what inspired you to pursue a career in veterinary medicine?

Growing up, my dad, a vet, immersed me in the world of veterinary medicine. From a very young age, I found myself captivated by veterinary surgery, often trying to join him in theatre. My passion for this field ignited during those early experiences, and it became clear to me that I wanted to contribute meaningfully to the veterinary world.

I graduated from the Cardenal Herrera University of Valencia in 2018, and since then I have completed rotating and discipline specific internships, as well as working as a first opinion and as an out-of-hours veterinary surgeon. In 2021, I decided to move to the United Kingdom to pursue further specialization in small animal surgery.

How's your placement been so far? What kind of cases or surgeries have you had a chance to work on?

My placement at Vets Now Glasgow has been incredibly enriching. I felt a sense of belonging right from the first moment. The entire team shares a deep passion for their work and a collective commitment to providing the best care for our patients.

The diversity of cases we handle at Vets Now Glasgow has allowed me to be involved in a wide range of surgeries, both orthopaedic and soft tissue, spanning routine procedures to emergency interventions. This exposure has honed my skills and broadened my understanding of veterinary surgery.

Paula Barolome, Surgical Intern at Vets Now Glasgow Hospital

What sets our hospital apart is the variety of cases and exceptional facilities available. Working alongside specialists in a collaborative environment allows for a thorough assessment of each case, ensuring that we can deliver the highest standard of care

Paula Bartolome - Surgical Intern

Are you settling into the hospital routine comfortably? Have you had any interesting or challenging experiences while adapting to this environment?

I have found myself settling comfortably into the hospital routine at Vets Now Glasgow, thanks to my prior experience in a rotating internship at the Vets Now hospital in Manchester. The shared ways of working between the two locations have facilitated a smooth transition. Adapting to this environment has presented its challenges, but each one has been met with a sense of reward. One notable aspect has been the increased case responsibility, which has been both challenging and immensely fulfilling.

The opportunity to take on more responsibilities has allowed me to develop my skills and decision-making abilities further. Despite the increased responsibility, there is always a strong framework of supervision from experienced clinicians. This balance has made the experience invaluable, creating a supportive learning environment where I can grow as a veterinary professional.


What made you choose the path of becoming a vet? Was there a specific moment or reason that pushed you in this direction?

Seeing my dad’s dedication to providing compassionate care, witnessing the intricate procedures, and understanding the profound impact of veterinary surgery on the well-being of animals, inspired me to follow in his footsteps.

The unconditional and unequal love that animals provide is truly special, and I’ve always felt a strong calling to contribute to their health, happiness, and overall wellbeing. The innate connection between humans and animals is a source of joy and comfort, and I wanted to play a role in preserving and enhancing this bond.

It can be tough work at times. What keeps you motivated and excited to come to work each day?

Maintaining motivation in our demanding profession is crucial, and for me, it hinges on the importance of working in a healthy environment.

At Vets Now Glasgow, the emphasis on creating a workplace where each individual feels valued, and an integral part of the team has been a driving force. The veterinary profession undoubtedly comes with its share of stress and challenges, but the presence of a supportive team makes a significant difference.

Knowing that we are surrounded by colleagues who understand the demands of the job and are committed to each other’s success creates a positive and uplifting atmosphere.

Paula Barolome attending to a patient at our Vets Now Glasgow Hospital

The collaborative and encouraging spirit within the team at Vets Now Glasgow serves as a daily source of motivation.

Paula Bartolome - Surgical Intern
Are there any specific surgical procedures or aspects of surgery that you find particularly fascinating or fulfilling?

I find both emergency surgeries and routine procedures equally fascinating and fulfilling. While the urgency and complexity of emergency surgeries are inherently captivating, I also place significant value on routine surgeries that aim to improve the quality of life for our patients.

For example, I find procedures such as BOAS surgery and surgical strategies to manage elbow dysplasia to be exceptionally rewarding.

These routine surgeries play a pivotal role in enhancing the well-being and comfort of our patients. Witnessing the tangible difference that these procedures make in improving their quality of life is truly gratifying.


In what ways do you feel you’ve been growing and learning as a surgical intern at the hospital? Any valuable lessons or skills you’ve gained?

My time as a surgical intern at Vets Now Glasgow has been a dynamic and enriching learning experience that extends beyond the realm of surgery. The multidisciplinary nature of the hospital environment has allowed me to gain valuable insights into various facets of veterinary medicine.

One notable aspect of my growth is the exposure to emergency and critical care, anaesthesia, internal medicine and imaging, among other specialties. Collaborating with interns and residents from diverse specializations has been instrumental in this broadened knowledge spectrum.

The unique opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary environment has taught me the importance of seamless collaboration among different specialties. It has enhanced my ability to approach cases comprehensively, considering various aspects of patient health and well-being.

This broader perspective contributes to my growth as a surgical intern and fosters a well-rounded skill set that I believe is crucial for providing the highest standard of care.

Paula Barolome with fellow Interns at Vets Now Glasgow Hospital
What’s been the most challenging aspect of your internship, and how have you been tackling it?

I think communication is always a part of the surgical process that you need to get right. You want your client to be well informed and have a realistic and honest discussion. It can be a very challenging conversation at times.

I have been tackling this by looking at the example set by the clinicians and management within the hospital, how they can react, and how they can also customise these moments to give the clients what they need with professionalism. It’s incredible to watch the impact of good communication on the client experience.


Lastly, what do you hope to achieve or take from this experience as a surgical intern, professionally and personally?

On a personal level, I hope to carry the friendships and professional relationships forged during this time. The colleagues and friends I’ve made here have become mentors and important figures in my life. Their dedication, passion, and commitment to the veterinary profession inspire me daily, and I aim to maintain these connections as lifelong references and friends.

Professionally, my overarching goal is to advance towards achieving an ECVS residency in small animal surgery. This experience has been pivotal in refining my surgical skills, broadening my knowledge, and exposing me to a multidisciplinary approach to veterinary care.

The aspiration for a residency aligns with my commitment to continuous improvement and learning. I aim to become the best surgeon I can be, providing the highest quality of care that our pets deserve.