Congratulations – you’ll soon be a veterinarian!
Your first job after graduating is an exciting, daunting, exhilarating and challenging time. A positive and encouraging workplace can set you up for a long and rewarding career in this wonderful profession that we share.
Tableland Veterinary Service aspires to be one of Australia’s Great Places to Work. Every day, we aim to provide an employment experience that is fun, uplifting and energising, that fuels our team to achieve great things both at work and in their personal lives.
We have developed a structured, three-year program to assist our new and recent graduates make the important transition from university to the workplace. The program is designed to help you consolidate the theory and practical skills you learnt during your studies, apply them consistently and confidently across an interesting and varied mixed practice caseload, and then follow your own clinical interests to develop more advanced knowledge and skills.
The program also includes important skills to help you thrive, rather than just survive, in clinical practice. These include personal finance, defensive driving, first aid, communication and consult room technique, handling difficult conversations, leadership, and veterinary business management.
Key elements of the program
We believe that all our team should have an active interest in our profession, and the benefit of collegiate support provided by our industry body. All veterinarians at Tableland Veterinary Service are provided with membership of the Australian Veterinary Association, along with one of the AVA’s Special Interest Groups.
It is important to recognise that veterinary mixed practice is an incredibly challenging profession. The breadth of knowledge and skills required to treat such a wide array of species at a high standard is mind boggling. At some point, you must reconcile the fact that you can do anything, but not everything – at least not all at once.
The TVS Graduate Program has been designed with this principle in mind. From a clinical perspective, the goals are two-fold:
- To help you develop a base level of broad, general practice skills that will serve you well across all species on a day-to-day basis in rural mixed practice;
- To encourage you to develop a higher level of expertise in a more narrow field of interest, according to your personal ambitions.
Early in the program, the focus will be on consolidating the skills and knowledge that you obtained during your university studies, and to develop confidence in routine and emergency veterinary care across all species.
As your confidence and experience grows, this focus shifts to helping you develop more advanced skills in the species and/or area of veterinary science that most interest you. For example, this may include cattle reproduction, ruminant nutrition, equine dentistry, small animal soft tissue or orthopaedic surgery, ultrasound, or beef production. The aim is that by year three, you are prepared (if you choose) to sit examinations for Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Science (MANZCVS) during your fourth year of practice.
We offer generous financial support for professional development to help you achieve these objectives, including attendance at one of the AVA’s annual conferences in Year 1, one significant extended CPD course in year 2 that aligns with your professional interests ($10,000 budget), and enrolment in a 12-month leadership program and the opportunity to study towards membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Science in late year 3.
To help you thrive in your professional life, we also provide a range of training opportunities beyond clinical professional development. These include defensive driver training, first aid training, communication and consult room technique, conflict resolution training, leadership training and personal finance education.
Mentoring and support
You will be assigned a clinical mentor in the practice who will work with you to ensure your professional and personal development remains on track. Their role will be to provide advice and pastoral care, to make sure that you have the time and resources to grow into your role, and to provide important feedback to support your development.
You will also be enrolled in a 10-month support program facilitated by Make Headway. This program – called their Share and Care program for graduates – allows you to discuss a range of topics relevant to culturing a productive career as a veterinarian, including resilience, ethical decision making, self-care, emotional intelligence, and preventing burnout.
The Spirit of TVS – our culture and values
Our Spirit is built on a foundation of five guiding principles – our Core Values. These principles are the timeless beliefs that guide our decisions, inform the way we relate to one another and behave. They underpin the way we recruit, review and reward our team, and are reflected on every time we need to make an important decision.
The TVS core values are:
The first year is focused on transitioning into practice and developing well rounded general practice skills. The goal is to have you confident handling routine cases across all species, comfortable managing after hours duties, and thriving in your role.
Highlights of year one include:
- A structured, 90-day induction program to help you settle in to TVS, learn about our culture, purpose and core values, learn the key administrative skills you’ll need to get by like billing and our software system, and get to know your work colleagues.
- Regular meetings with your TVS mentor for the first 3 months of your employment, to discuss cases, your clinical skills checklist, professional development and your overall wellbeing.
- 1-day defensive driving course, to help keep you safe on the road.
- 1-day first aid and CPR course, to help you keep your colleagues safe.
- 1-day online workshop on communication skills and consult room technique.
- Enrolment into a 10 month Share and Care discussion group for new graduates, to provide mental health support and emotional intelligence education.
- Regular clinical skills training sessions with senior TVS veterinarians
- Attendance at one of the major AVA Conferences (Bain Fallon, ACV Conference, AVA Conference or ASAVA Conference) to network, catch up with university colleagues, and learn.
General practice clinical skills
The focus of year one is to develop ‘real life’ practical experienced dealing with a broad spectrum of mixed practice cases. You will work through a checklist of clinical skills, and we will pro-actively seek opportunities for you attend cases, preferably alongside a more experienced colleague. This list is not exhaustive, and because of the variability and unpredictability in mixed practice work, you may not cover all areas of clinical skills in the first year. It is intended to give you a guide of the key clinical skills for development.
|Lameness and hoof trimming||Mare scans||Dentistry|
|Manual pregnancy testing||Basic lameness workups||Routine medicine|
|Ultrasound pregnancy testing||Field colic||Orthopaedic work up|
|Ex Lap & DAs||Common equine emergencies||Basic soft tissue surgery|
|Reproduction||Ex-Lap & GDV|
The focus of year two of the program is to develop more advanced clinical skills that match your own professional interests. Daily caseload within the clinic will evolve to better align with these professional interests, and help you to apply and extend the knowledge that you are gaining through your professional development activities.
Highlights of year two include:
- Enrolment into an extended professional development course that aligns with your clinical interests (budget of $10,000)
- Where relevant, achieving important professional accreditations such as PregCheck and BullCheck
- Quarterly one-on-ones to discuss career development
- Regular veterinary team meetings to discuss cases and share professional development learnings
Advanced clinical skills
Examples of some the professional development activities that you may consider during the second year of your graduate program include, but are not limited to:
|PregCheck Accreditation||Equine Dentistry||Abdominal Ultrasound Course|
|BullCheck Accreditation||Equine Reproduction||Soft Tissue Surgery|
|Countdown Downunder||Equine Lameness||Orthopaedic Surgery|
|CVE Ruminant Nutrition Course||Advanced Dermatology|
|CVE Beef Production Course||Animal Behaviour|
Selection of appropriate professional development activities should be done in consultation with your TVS clinical mentor and supervisor, and will depend on the opportunities available through course providers, your own priorities, your professional development activities to date, and the support available through TVS.
In year three, we encourage graduates to develop a broader understanding of veterinary business, leadership and how they can contribute to the growth and advancement of their colleagues and clinic. This is fostered through enrolment in a leadership development program and more involvement in the decision making and implementation of projects within their clinic.
You may also choose to consolidate and obtain formal recognition of the skills and knowledge they developed in year two and three by commencing studying towards membership of the ANZCVS. Study support and mentorship will be provided to give you the best chance of success. The intention is to work towards sitting examinations mid-way through your fourth year in practice.
Highlights of year 3 include:
- Enrolment in the United Vets Group leadership program, focusing on financial literacy, leadership and communication skills, time management and business development
- Studying towards MANZCVS
Beyond Year Three
At the end of year three, in recognition of your commitment to TVS and completion of our graduate development program, you will be eligible for an additional 5 weeks of leave at full pay as a sabbatical, or $10,000 bonus, whichever you would prefer.
Our hope is that you will continue your veterinary journey as part of TVS, but equally we will support and encourage you to seek further opportunities beyond TVS. Many of our senior veterinarians who started with us a new graduates left TVS for a period to gain experience and education elsewhere, before returning to the TVS family.
Regardless of whether your future lies at TVS beyond year three, or continues elsewhere in our profession, it is our hope that your time with us had laid the foundation of a long, productive, and most of all, enjoyable career.