FECAVA Wise Nuggets – Dr Freda Scott-Park
FECAVA Wise Nuggets new initiative aims to instill a sense of contemplation, confidence, and security in the heart and minds of young veterinarians.
Veterinarians who are experienced, battle-scarred, well versed, and practiced have invaluable advice and life lessons to offer the younger community. We will ask them 3 main questions:
– What advice would they offer to younger vets?
– If they could change one thing in their career, what would that be?
– How should young vets approach their early carrier?
All veterinarians above the age of 60 are welcome to participate and share their experience in the vet profession.
Today, we are bringing you the first pearls of wisdom from Dr Freda Scott-Park BVM&S, PhD, Hon.DVM&S, FRCVS. Enjoy!
a. What advice would you offer to the younger vets?
Be very proud of your achievements at vet school; do you remember the joy you experienced on getting into vet school and the pride at your graduation as you became a real vet? Carry this pride into your profession; you have much still to learn but find a supportive employer and develop confidence in your abilities. I was received into the profession with kindness and courtesy; young vets should also develop the same qualities towards their new colleagues, whether vets or non-vets, veterinary nurses or technicians. New graduates should also treat themselves kindly, being prepared to work hard but recognising when you are overdoing it.
b. If you could change one thing in your career, what would that be?
Nothing. My career developed in unexpected directions – the veterinary degree offers so many avenues of employment, most of which I was completely unaware of on graduation. After doing a PhD and having a spell in practice, my veterinary career diversified and for over 20 years, I’ve had a ‘portfolio’ career – that is, I have many different roles, some paid and some I do on a pro bono basis. Both still give me much satisfaction.
c. How should young vets approach their early career?
Approach your career with flexibility in mind. Practice is a great place to start and if the life suits you, invest in further knowledge and develop your interests. But never forget that most owners want only a kind-hearted individual who will look after their animal’s basic needs at a reasonable cost. Communication is fundamental to successful team working; if you are feeling overwhelmed, tell someone. If that does not lead to a helping hand, tell someone else. You have joined a wonderful profession and your colleagues will be able to extend a friendly paw.
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Interesting to note that Portfolio Careers are not so new a concept – engaging with different fields of work and having different sources of income will make you more independent, breaks up your daily workload and eventually will increase your employability on a progressively changing labour market.
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