As the class of veterinary class 2017 jet off on their final university hurrah (the epic final year holiday) prior to seeking employment as fully fledged veterinary surgeons, I wanted to offer some words of encouragement to practices with vacancies to fill. So here are my top five reasons for why you should seriously consider hiring a new graduate vet this summer.
1. Energy & Positivity - we all know that getting a puppy alongside an older dog can give the older pet a new lease of life. The same thing is true with people. Do you recall the energy and enthusiasm with which you embarked on your career? Was it not both wonderful and infectious? So, if you find yourself feeling a little jaded and cynical, then perhaps it’s time to get inspired by the next generation.
2. New Ideas & Perspective - Like it or not, CPD training or not, we all get rusty in some areas. Did you ever think when you were a young vet that you hoped not to become like that senior vet who had lost touch with modern practice? If so, then hiring a new graduate who has been exposed to the modern, cutting-edge of training at university and has "seen practice" at multiple hospitals around the country is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse.
3. Generation & Role Bridging Effect - Did you ever notice that as vets and nurses age the relationship becomes more professional and distant? Is that just a time thing? Is it an age/generational gap thing? Or is it an ego thing? I’m not sure, but I have certainly observed the tendency for separate tribes to form in veterinary practices - the receptionists, nurses and vets all have their own cliques. This is not a good thing for team performance. New graduates, free from the shackles of ego and keen to please all, seem to fit between camps and can help to bridge the gap and gel teams together.
4. Someone Has To Be The Dentist - Let's talk about teeth for a second. I hate to labour a point, but when is this profession going to wake up to dentistry and take it seriously? Every practice needs to have a skilled dentist. In most practices, this is unlikely to be the senior partner or vet. Dentistry is notoriously hated by many vets (particularly senior ones) with a profound negative impact on animal welfare and practice profit. But dentistry is a discipline that lends itself to rapid skill acquisition based on the relatively limited range of techniques required, the high case volume and low training/equipment investment to get to a level of proficiency. So give your new graduate a chance to shine and carve out a niche, while acquiring some confidence-boosting clinical results along the way. Your patients, profit (and graduate) will thank you.
5. Pay It Forward - If you are reading this and are a senior vet, then someone did the right thing by you and provided you with guidance and support when you were a young vet. Now, more than ever, our profession needs awesome leaders to step up and do the right thing. And the right thing in this instance means hiring a graduate and taking complete responsibility for making sure that they leave your practice clinically, mentally and financially better than they arrived. (Get this right and their leaving date will be a lot further off than you think.)
So there you have them, five reasons why I think every practice in the UK should be taking a new graduate under their wing and giving the next generation the best start possible this summer.
Stay tuned next week where I’ll list the top five excuses practices give for never wanting to hire new graduates. ;-)
Are you hiring a new graduate vet this year? Are you concerned that even though you have the best of intentions, it's possible they will not get the support and training they need to be happy and stay with your practice for the long term? If so then sign your new graduate up for Dr Dave's VetX Academy. VetX is an online teaching, support and mentoring group that runs alongside your in practice training to deliver the next level of support possible for your new graduate.
Click here for details of syllabus, costs and registration.