On 9 October pupils attended a lunchtime talk by Veterinary Practitioner Elizabeth Willcocks, BVetMed, BSc(Hons), PGCertMang, MRCVS, VBM. Elizabeth studied at Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in London and provided guidance to our pupils on choosing a career as a Veterinarian. She is now a veterinary surgeon and partner at GKG Vets.
She explained there are 3 main roles: General Practitioner, Advanced Practitioner and Specialist. In order to study veterinary medicine, it is important pupils study Maths and Science based A levels and gain work experience in a practice such as kennels, catteries, dairy farms or stables and how exposure to lambing, is extremely beneficial in gaining an understanding of the demands of the profession.
Pupils also learnt that a Veterinarian Degree is very busy, involving long hours and regular examinations. Students focus extensively on the science initially and in the fourth year begin to practice by rotating through different specialities. The next stage is Professional Development Phase (PDP) which helps newly qualified veterinary graduates transition from student to surgeon. Following this is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which is ongoing training and encourages Veterinarians to reflect on their developing skills.
Pupils asked lots of questions and Elizabeth advised on the diverse career paths that Veterinary Surgeons can follow from working in Practices, to Armed Forces, Worldwide Veterinary Services, where the focus is on helping animals in crisis situations, to working in Business and Education. Pupils also discovered that her favourite animal is a cat and one of the most exotic animals she has treated is a 1-metre-long, coral Python.
This was a fantastic opportunity for all those interested in pursuing a veterinary career and gave all those who attended much to think about.