I decided to take advantage of my last summer before clinics start to get some new experience. Before vet school, I worked in a small animal practice, and the summer between first and second year I did research. I decided this summer I would expand my horizons by working at a different clinic. Even though this is another small animal exclusive clinic, I have learned a lot. It has also been a pretty big adjustment working somewhere new! Here are my tips for working somewhere new in vet med:
1. Keep an open mind. It’s called the “practice” of medicine. That means there are many different ways to do something correctly. Just because you’re used to doing something a certain way, or recommending a certain treatment, doesn’t mean that there aren’t other viable options. Learn from your new coworkers how they do things, and don’t assume that your way is the only one.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No one expects you to know how to do everything right away. It’s going to take a while to learn a new computer system and find your new normal. Asking questions shows that you care about doing things correctly. I feel like I have asked a million questions over the past few weeks.
3. Keep a positive attitude. There are going to be days where you feel that you will never get it figured out. That maybe you aren’t good enough to be in this new job. You might feel like you will never get it figured out. Just keep trying, and it does get easier. When I first started I didn’t think I was ever going to learn or be any good at working in this new clinic. But, each day has been a little bit easier than the last as I become more and more confident at this clinic.
I’m really happy that I decided to get out of my comfort zone and work at a new vet clinic this summer. Starting any new job can be scary, but especially more so when it’s in a fast-paced veterinary practice. I have learned different ways to treat patients, and I have developed more resiliency for working in new locations. I would encourage any vet students or people considering going to vet school to get as much varied experience as possible.