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Veterinary students’ understanding of a career in practice
  1. J. L. Tomlin, BSc, BVetMed, CertSAS, DipECVS, MRCVS1,
  2. D. C. Brodbelt, MA, VetMB, PhD, DVA, DipECVAA, FHEA, MRCVS1 and
  3. S. A. May, MA, VetMB, PhD, DVR, DEO, DipECVS, FHEA, FRCVS1
  1. 1Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: jtomlin{at}rvc.ac.uk

Abstract

Lack of a clear perception of the realities of a career in veterinary medicine could adversely affect young graduates’ satisfaction with the profession and their long-term commitment to it. Veterinary students’ understanding of a career in practice were explored. Traditionalentry first-year and final-year students, as well as entry-level ‘Gateway’ (widening participation) students, were invited to complete a questionnaire exploring their pre-university experiences and their understandings of a career in general practice. Broadly speaking, the undergraduate students taking part in the survey (the majority of whom were entry-level students) had a realistic view of average weekly working hours, out-of-hours duties and the development of their remuneration packages over the course of their careers. The main attractions of the profession were working with animals and the perception of a rewarding job. The main concerns were making mistakes and balancing work and home life. The vast majority of students wanted to pursue a career in general practice, and other career opportunities did not appear to be well understood, particularly by entry-level students.

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