Meet the winner of the VetPrac Advanced Clinical Prize, Megan Wright.

Megan recently graduated from Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, and was the recipient of the VetPrac Advanced Clinical Prize valued at $1500, in 2017. The case report she submitted to be considered for the prize was on a toy poodle with Inflammatory Bowel Disease; it demonstrated a thorough, well researched, and logical approach to the clinical management of such a case.

We wanted to get to know Megan a little better, and hear her thoughts about life as a new graduate veterinarian in mixed practice:

You’ve been in practice a few months now. Where are you working?

Since graduating I have started work in a mixed practice in Orange, NSW, where I am very excited to apply all of the skills and knowledge gained in my degree.

How did you find the transition from veterinary student to working as a new graduate vet?

Initially it was very overwhelming! All of a sudden I was the one making the decisions and communicating these decisions and information to clients. Overall, I’ve been lucky to have a very smooth transition to practice with a supportive team of workmates.

As a new graduate what are the things you wish you’d paid more attention to at uni which seem so important now?

I wish I’d paid more attention to different communication styles that vets use when speaking to clients. However many of the finer details you don’t really think about until you are out there in practice yourself.

Was there anything you wanted more of at uni, but simply couldn’t learn because there wasn’t the time?

In general, even with a six-year degree, there is never enough time to feel 100% prepared for every situation, however overall I feel I did gain the skills and knowledge I needed from uni. One area which would have been good to learn more about would be behavioural medicine, as it is a common area clients seek veterinary advice on.

What advice would you give final year vet students preparing for practice?

Spend your final year getting as much hands-on experience as possible, particularly ensuring you can perform a clinical examination on every species and taking any opportunity to practice talking to clients by leading simple consults with the supervision of a vet. Most of all, when choosing your first job, make sure you have a supportive boss who will value your work-life balance as a new graduate. Adjusting to work as a veterinarian can be exhausting at times and it is important that you have time to get away, rest and do the things you enjoy.

As a recipient of the VetPrac Advanced Clinical Prize, which VetPrac workshop do you plan to attend, and why did you choose this workshop?

This is the toughest question of all! There are so many excellent VetPrac workshops – I’m still deciding currently between the VetTalk workshop and the Feline Surgery and Dentistry workshop.

What are your plans for the next 12 months for work and life?

In the early stages of my career I would like to become a skilled mixed practitioner, focusing on building client relationships and providing excellent care for my patients. I will also be continuing to find my feet in my new hometown and keep myself busy with my hobbies outside of work.

Congratulations Megan and welcome to veterinary practice!

Written by Alison Caiafa