Student AVMA hosted its first panel of recently completed veterinary graduates in January. Five veterinarians who graduated from various institutions in 2020 answered questions from future veterinary graduates. The panellists discussed what their first day of work was like, what life is like after graduation and how one can choose between an internship and getting started in practice.
Internships versus practice
Dr. Laurie Mangi is a 2020 graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine and works at a small animal veterinary clinic in Nevada. She said during the panel that she was torn between doing an internship and practicing.
“I was very interested in surgery and internal medicine,” she said. “I wasn’t sure about the finances and had to think a little. I found a hospital where I could get the care in surgery and the medical aspect so that I could expose myself to what I am passionate about. I found it wiser to be able to study on site before an internship. “
Dr. Perry Koehler, who graduated from Cornell University’s Veterinary College last year, said during the panel that he was confident he would like to do a residency. Dr. Koehler is a rotation intern for small animals at the University of Florida and wants to go into anesthesia.
“If you don’t want it, this atmosphere is probably not for you,” said Dr. Charcoal burner. “If your goal is to stick with general practice, you will get better at studying in private practice with a family doctor.”
Dr. Kyre Larrabee graduated from Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2020 and is now an intern at a Colorado equine hospital. She told JAVMA News that new veterinary graduates should think about their core values when choosing a job.
You know a lot more than you think. It’s in your head and you know who to ask to find answers. It is a matter of time. You will struggle with it, but it will pass. I’m six months old and I’m still confused, but I feel a lot better about it.
Dr. Perry Koehler, a 2020 Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine graduate and Small Animal Rotation Intern at the University of Florida.
“During your time in veterinary school, you will visit many clinics and work with multiple vets,” she said. “Use this time to your advantage. I chose a practice that had values similar to mine when it came to work-life balance, customer and patient care, and mentoring. “
Dr. Larrabee said she was nervous but excited before her first day. She suggests new vets preparing for their first day to get a good night’s sleep and breakfast.
“Many people will use their first day to establish a routine and find their way around the clinic or hospital,” she said. “You may even have an appointment planned for you on the first day. In this case, you should be prepared for your first customer to call you to the doctor in real time for the first time. It definitely surprised me. “
Some of the panelists agreed how difficult or strange it was to introduce yourself.
“I had to remind myself that I had to introduce myself as a doctor,” said Dr. Lacki during the panel.
Dr. Koehler had a different perspective for his first day because he had to start teaching students.
“I’ve been a doctor for 45 minutes and now I’m going to teach you something,” he said during the panel. “It was a bit of a hassle, but it’s gotten easier. … you know a lot more than you think. It’s in your head and you know who to ask to find answers. It is a matter of time. You will struggle with it, but it will pass. I’m six months old and I’m still confused, but I feel a lot better about it. “
Additional advice, resources
Panelists suggested the following advice and tools for new graduates:
- Speak to the other doctors in the office or with people you graduated with if you need help or have a question.
- Use the Veterinary Information Network’s Student Loan Repayment Simulator and watch Dr. Climbing Mt. Debt videos. Tony Bartels and try using a budgeting app like Mint.
- When applying for a job ask yourself, “If I have to come up to this person and tell them I screwed up, how convenient would it be to do that?”
- Think about how practitioners are paid within a practice. If the pay is production-based, it can have an impact on the amount of mentoring you receive.
See the full SAVMA panel.