My sorry start as a Veterinary Surgeon 24 years ago…. How things could have been different

When I qualified in 1990 I went to a large mixed practice in Cheshire to work in their cattle department. It was during the heights of BSE and there was not a lot of work around. I was supposedly under the tutelage of a vet who thought I would cramp his style on the farm so I was under-worked and left at the practice. There were big projects like castrating and de-horning about 50 wild and over-aged Highland cattle which was fun and frightening in equal measure. I also contrived to fail my first ever professional exam, for my LVI cert. I was let go within 6 months. I then went to live in North Wales and did not receive the support I think a young graduate deserves. By the time I went back to my roots to work with Bryan McVey in Liverpool my confidence was shot and it took time to build that back up again in thanks partly to Bryan’s gentle encouragement.

I’m pleased to see things have moved on and we now have PDP for young vets which is organised and run by The Royal College. Veterinary students, graduates and their employers are invited to participate in a free webinar we have organised with The Royal College on the importance of the Professional Development Phase (PDP).

The webinar – titled The Professional Development Phase – helping build confidence – takes place between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Tuesday 24 June and will be led by RCVS Postgraduate Dean Jill Hubbard (pictured below)

RCVS Postgraduate Dean Jill Hubbard

During the webinar Jill, who is responsible for helping graduates with any queries and monitoring their progress through the PDP, will be explaining why the Phase is important and how it helps graduates gain confidence and develop their clinical skills during their first year of practice. I knew Jill during my time in North Wales, although, I never worked in her practice and she was an ophthalmology certificate holder working in her own first opinion practice. I think I copied her approach when I opened my own practice in Liverpool

The PDP is a self-assessment system that provides a structure for new graduates, allowing them to reflect on how their confidence and competence is developing across a number of clinical areas. This progress is measured against the RCVS Year One Competences – the standards expected of a veterinary graduate after one year in practice.

I would highly recommend this webinar not just to new grads but also students and anyone who mentors our young colleagues.

Please register by clicking the button below even if you can’t make the time and we will send you the recording once it is available

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