March 3, 2021 | Vet Student | Vet Graduate

Here we catch up with our newly graduated vet and their first month in their first vet job. At Prospect Health we know veterinary work can be full of highs and lows so we hope that this post will offer some support and advice for those newly qualified vets moving into the workplace and navigating their way through their first year… 

“Maybe I do know something..”

I saw a dog for chronic vomiting. She was admitted for some blood tests but there was something not quite right about her. She was regurgitating and her breath smelt rotten!! Why could that be? I sprung into detective mode trying to come up with differentials that fit the case. She had lost so much weight that I had to find out what was going on. MEGAOESOPHAGUS! It came to me. Something I had only seen one case of before even starting vet school, but it had stuck with me. We took some radiographs and sure enough there it was! It’s funny how things come back to you when you feel like you can’t remember anything you’ve spent the last 5 years desperately cramming into your brain. I felt like a real vet. I would now be able to tell the owner what was up….but then it hit me. There was no cure.

The first euthanasia is always going to be one that sticks with a new grad vet and something we’re all so nervous about. Luckily, this one went smoothly and I tried to reassure the owner that this was the right decision and not to feel guilty.

And that’s how it’s been over the last month… highs and lows. But mostly highs you’ll be pleased to know. This month I have completed my first cat spay by myself as well as extracting teeth! Every day there’s something new to worry about and then I do it and things aren’t ever that bad.

I really enjoy consulting and have met some lovely clients. I’m always open about being a new graduate but sometimes you just don’t want to admit that you have absolutely no idea what’s going on with their animal. Cue the excuses to go out the back so you can quiz any colleague in sight and flick through the drugs formulary! “I’m just going to get some lube for the thermometer” – that one never gets any questioning! Purposely leave your stethoscope out the back, or any other equipment so you have your ‘get out of the room excuse’ sorted.

I’ve sussed the computers but one thing I struggle with is charging clients. We’re expensive people to talk to us vets! You’ve got to remember how much time you spent studying and that actually, yes your time is valuable. Trying to keep costs down whilst getting your diagnosis is just one of the many challenges we face daily as vets – both experienced and new grads. But as new grads we have the gold-standard treatments/tests for everything at the forefront of our minds after having just spent the last year and a half in the uni referral hospitals where absolutely everything is insured. General practice is just not like that.

So, yeah. I am loving my job and the challenges it brings with it, because each time I overcome them, I can feel myself improving. Staying in touch with other new grads and also talking openly with my colleagues about how I feel has been key. To top off the first month, I have some exciting news! I have a new cat! I did the classic ‘vet brings patient home’ thing and so far we’re settling in well together.

If you’re a newly qualified vet and are looking for your first role but not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our specialist Vet Team are available and you can contact them on 01423 813 453 or

March 3, 2021 | Vet Student | Vet Graduate