The Graduate Vet’s First Year Journey –
through the eyes of Medivet’s Lauren Emsden
Having initially spent time on the Medivet Extra Mural Studies (EMS) programme and been attracted by the organisation’s warm, welcoming culture, Lauren Emsden decided to embark on the Graduate Development Programme. Here’s a snapshot of Lauren’s experience so far with one of the UK’s leading veterinary groups.
Lauren was drawn to the Medivet programme over other courses available because of two key points: its’ short 12-month duration, and that it offers invaluable one-on-one training with an experienced vet in the first three months. As a graduate learning the ropes, Lauren found this to be extremely reassuring. While Vet School had prepared her in theoretical ways, she felt it had not necessarily given her the tools to prepare her fully for the practical, professional life ahead as a working vet.
A key part of the programme is the ‘buddy’ system, which teams a student with an experienced vet and which has resonated well with Lauren. Her own buddy Leslie Burke, Branch Partner at Medivet Kingsbury, has provided inspirational professional advice as well as friendship during her time with the company. Leslie and Lauren attended the same University, which Lauren feels has helped her buddy empathise with her own situation as she’s been on the exactly same journey.
“Leslie has been really happy to help challenge me with my learning and keep up with current advances in the profession. But what has impressed me most is the chance to witness, first hand, the great relationships Leslie has with her clients,” says Lauren
Lauren gets a lot out of the CPD Days as part of the programme and finds the monthly courses well-structured. She has been attending training days with around a dozen fellow graduates. The group attending the CPD courses remain the same for the entire year, providing additional friendship and support. “The CPD days really help prepare me for issues that would not necessarily be seen first-hand in practice so regardless of case exposure, I do feel more confident in tackling cases in the future,” she says.
What was important to Lauren before joining Medivet was the knowledge that the organisation was run and owned by vets. This continues to give her the confidence that the directors running the business are still very much in touch with the practical side of things. She feels they understand the importance of a work-life balance as a vet, while understanding the bigger picture of how to run a big organisation.
Her initial training period was spent between a local branch and one of Medivet’s state-of-the-art 24-hour hospital to provide a varied experience. Lauren completed her hospital training at the first ‘open all hours’ emergency practice – Medivet 24 Hour Hendon. She has now completed this phase but continues working at the hospital and surrounding practices.
Being based at the popular and busy practice – which was recently voted one of the top three in London – has exposed Lauren to a wide variety of fascinating cases. This has allowed her to deepen her understanding and appreciation of the management side of things and solidify the theory taught to her at University. With such amazing facilities at the practice, such as CT and MRI, she feels privileged to have had such exposure. “I am really lucky to have had begun my professional training at such a busy practice, which has allowed me to build relationships with the experienced and knowledgeable staff who work there,” says Lauren.
Career-wise, Lauren sees her future in small animal practice for a long time to come as it is where her core interests lay. She is also very interested in surgery but first wants to focus on finding her feet as a general practice vet.