A mentoring programme aimed at supporting the clinical development and wellbeing of new farm vets has been launched by UK veterinary group, VetPartners to help bridge the gap between university and life as a vet in practice.
The new programme will give young farm vets on the VetPartners New Graduate Programme mentoring sessions which will be held face-to-face or on the phone. Young vets will also be signposted to a range of support services provided by VetPartners, including wellbeing advice, learning and development, HR and specific clinical advice through the Clinical Board Special Interest Groups.
Tim Potter [pictured], senior clinical director at Westpoint Farm Vets in Horsham, West Sussex, heads the VetPartners Farm Animal New Graduate Programme, and is responsible for mentoring students himself or arranging for support from other senior vets throughout the group.
Potter said: “People coming out of university experience a massive change in lifestyle. Their support networks are disrupted, they have to make friends in an area they don’t know and they’re in a stressful, demanding job. Farm vets in particular can find themselves isolated as, unlike small animal vets, they’re not always in the practice with their team immediately around them, they are working out of cars in a rural area.
“We want to ensure our farm vets have a wider network they can rely on for advice and support. Over the two years, they attend workshops with their cohort of farm graduates, where they can share experiences, receive feedback and hear from experts in our business.
“Having an external mentor provides a safe space to discuss concerns, challenges, mistakes or successful outcomes, possibly in confidence with people from outside of their practice.”