I'm originally from Italy, so I studied veterinary medicine in Italy, and started as a mixed practice vet, I was doing small animal and some large animal work. I spent the first five years after graduation travelling around the world with my work, and then I decided that I didn't want to travel anymore, so I moved to the UK. I was still doing a little bit of everything; equine work and small animals, and in 2014 I transitioned completely to small animal work as a general practitioner mainly. I discovered then that I really enjoyed doing out-of-hours work.
I attended the BSAVA Congress and there was a Vets Now stand there, so I had a chat with them, and that was where I first heard learned about the Cutting Edge programme. I was keen to do it, but I assumed I didn’t have enough experience because I was a GP vet with only minimal out-of-hours work. I ended up being successful, and so that’s how I joined Vets Now with Cutting Edge, which was fantastic.
The Cutting Edge programme is an amazing opportunity. Basically, it's 10 weeks where you get to learn as much as you can. You have exposure to specialists that you get the chance to speak to 1-1 because it's a very small group. The specialists are so open and give the time to chat with you. We talked about becoming a specialist which had always felt like a faraway dream. They encouraged me to consider working towards an internship or residency, and so after Cutting Edge, I got a job at Vets Now in Southampton. It was tough at the beginning, it was a steep learning curve but there were amazing nurses around me giving support, and it was a really positive experience
I decided to apply for a rotational internship in Glasgow, and I got the job! The internship was incredible, with a super supportive team. My internship ended as the pandemic was beginning, and I really remember how close the team was. Everybody was so supportive. I couldn't travel back home to Italy, but it felt like having a second family during that difficult time, it was a great support network for me. They then offered me the job as an ECC intern, which is a specialist internship, and then after six months, they offered me the residency position. I'm going to finish the residency in December.
You can make a huge difference to your patients in a very short span of time, especially if you take the right decisions. It’s about the skill of making the right decision in a short space of time. I think it's a personality trait thing, you have people that prefer to see things changing over time, so they don't mind maybe not seeing results for a month, but emergency critical care requires you to prefer the fast pace of things. In the best-case scenario, your patient comes in to see you, on the verge of death and then walks out of the door fixed up just a few days afterwards.
There’s also always so much to learn, the more you study and dig into things, the further you can go, and you're never done learning. For me to be satisfied, I need to be growing in my work. That’s a trait that you find in most of the emergency critical care people, they want to go and progress and learn more and that’s what got me into it.
For me, it’s the people. The teams here are full of incredible people.
At the end of the day, as an emergency vet, I could work in a lot of different places. However, the people here are unique. We have our good days where we celebrate together for those great cases where the animal goes home fixed, and everyone is happy. We also have days when things are harder, and it’s during those days that you benefit from the people around you that support and care for you. I’ve always felt support as well in my learning. If mistakes happen, the leaders are there to help, and we know we're going to learn from this experience and move on. These are the things that really make a difference.
I have spoken to other residents and I’m aware that not everyone has such a supportive experience during their residency. My experience has been so enjoyable, I feel really lucky to have people around me that were ready to communicate and help me grow.
I feel I’ve been very lucky with the opportunities I’ve had because they are so amazing. I did an externship in Australia which was all paid for and organised for me, which I know is something that will be available to other residents with us in future. I also went to the United States for another externship. Because our specialists have lots of connections all over the world, there’s a really open mentality, where we are encouraged to be part of this big network. We can go and bring back new knowledge, and, for example, we can experience things outside of Vets Now while still being part of the team there, which helps us continue to develop.
Even just within the UK, I feel lucky because there are many fantastic IVC Evidensia referral hospitals. I had a great experience at SCVS in Ringwood, where I went for cardiology, which was amazing, everybody was so nice and welcoming. You really feel like you're part of a big community, which is really nice.
Being a resident here gives you so many perks because people want you to grow, you feel like you’re being invested in and they want to see you progress. Doing a residency is hard work, but the reward makes it so worth it.
Obviously, I’ve had a very positive experience so I would recommend it 100%! But I would also say not to make the mistake of thinking you don't have enough experience or feel like you’re not good enough. If you have the passion and interest then this is the place for you. The support you get here is amazing. We have very good people, and there's a lot of support.
There are so many different routes and opportunities, and it’s a great place to be continually progressing.
I'm very passionate about the gym! Working out is a space just for myself.
Blaise Veterinary Referral Hospital | Longbridge - Birmingham
We are looking for an experienced Diplomate (ACVECC/ECVECC) to lead our ECC referral service. The hospital is being set up with ECC as a core referral discipline. In addition to ECC referrals direct to the team, your team will also manage the ICU and be supported 24/7 by our dedicated out-of-hours service, in partnership with Vets Now.
Vets Now, Manchester and Glasgow
At Vets Now our Referral Hospitals in Glasgow and Manchester are expanding in 2023 with ECC continuing to be at their foundation. We are looking to recruit ECVECC/ACVECC board-certified (or board-eligible) small animal emergency and critical care clinicians to join our current, expanding team of ECC specialists, residents and interns. As the industry leader in ECC we are looking for committed, enthusiastic individuals who can benefit from our varied caseload, collaborative team ethos and join us to help shape the future of ECC in Europe.
This is a truly unique time to join the team in a growing business, which values your input, to ensure an ECC service that is future proofed and committed to delivering the best care for clients and their pets, in a way that also protects staff wellbeing.
Find out more & apply today
Blaise Veterinary Referral Hospital | Longbridge - Birmingham
As the opening date for our new purpose-built hospital approaches, we are delighted to now be accepting applications from Boarded Diplomates and Residency Trained Clinicians interested in joining our ECC department.
ECC will be at our core within the hospital and adopt a similar model to the Vets Now hospitals in Manchester and Glasgow that are part of our referral division. Our established ECC teams in these sites will work on site with our new team at Blaise to set the service up and provide guidance and support where needed. These introductions through the early days will help to build your relationships and support network across the division to aid with advice or guidance. Our ECC clinicians can be available to chat to you through the recruitment process if that would benefit you.
If you are interested in finding out more about our exciting job opportunities, our talent team will be happy to talk in confidence about the options available to you.
Kris Reilly Talent Partner: email@example.com