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From practice to coaching
  1. Carolyne Crowe


As an equine practitioner, Carolyne Crowe found that she was often being sought out for advice and problem solving, so she decided to change career; she took some coaching qualifications and now helps others get the most out of their lives and careers

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AFTER qualifying from the Royal Veterinary College in 2002, I worked in equine practice and specialised in stud medicine. I am an experienced and well-respected vet and have enjoyed being in practice, in the UK and in New Zealand. In 2009, I was awarded a prize for a research paper published in the Equine Veterinary Journal. I am married to an equine surgeon and we have two small children. I returned to work part time after having a year off with both children, part time being a 24-hour week on a full rota. Between us we were on-call six out of seven nights a week and three out of four weekends, and we did this successfully for six years.

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I love being a vet and didn't want to leave the profession, but I did want more flexibility in my life, so I looked at my options – particularly my strengths. Over the years in practice, I had become more people focused, and friends, clients and colleagues frequently turned to me for my opinion, to act as a sounding board and provide a level-headed and considered opinion. I am a very practical, proactive person, I enjoy problem solving and helping people make choices that are right for them. Without realising it I was already coaching and mentoring.

Stepping away from clinical work

After researching and attending an introductory two-day course with the Coaching Academy (the world's largest coaching school) I signed up to do a personal performance coaching diploma. This involved a combination of extensive home study, practical ‘accelerator’ days, CPD days and 50 hours of logged coaching, as well as practical and written examinations. I gained my diploma with distinction in personal performance coaching in March 2013. I'm now extending my studies with the Coaching Academy for my small business coaching diploma and a diploma in neurolinguistic programming (NLP). I am also an accredited trainer on the personality profile system, DISC (dominance, inducement, submission, compliance) assessment.

This year, I continued working as a clinician throughout the stud season and juggled it between my studies, setting up my business, child care, running a holiday cottage and running a home. It's been busy, but incredibly rewarding.

Changing focus from solely being a clinician to being an entrepeneur and setting up my own business has been challenging and exciting. Once again I am learning and developing new skills, growing as a person and fulfilling my potential.

I invested in a course on ‘How to set up your own business’ and was accepted onto the Business South West's Starting a High Growth Business programme, which provided valuable business coaching and advice.

Also, to help me get where I want to be, I've been coached myself, and I have found excellent business and personal mentors, both from the veterinary profession and the coaching and wider business world.

Being a coach and mentor

From the many conversations I've had over the years with friends and colleagues, I identified a need for a positive and forward focused approach and I found this in coaching. Coaching has been making a massive difference to the lives and careers of many professionals, top sportsmen and women for years. You don't see Olympic athletes or top executives without their own coaches; they have coaches not because they are failing or showing a weakness, but because they want to perform at their best, to get the most out of their lives and their careers. And I don't see why as vets we should want or accept anything less. All of us, surely, want to perform our best, get the most out of our life and our career.

Coaching and mentoring can help others manage and overcome the daily pressures of life as a veterinary surgeon. My mission is to have a positive impact on the well-being and fulfillment of vets, to make a difference to their lives personally and professionally, through coaching, mentoring and lecturing.

What does coaching involve?

Would you like to know how to:

▪ Be the calm confident vet you see others being?

▪ Get more out of the time you have by effective delegating and prioritising so you can do the things that you want to do?

▪ Get off the hamster wheel of life and be more in control of where you are going?

▪ Be less stressed and enjoy your life and career more?

▪ Know what you want from your life and how to get it?

▪ Improve your work/life balance and do something for yourself?

My clients are vets who want to get the most out of their life and their career; together we explore what is important to each individual. Often they want something different but are unsure what. Or they know that they don't want to be doing what they are doing, but feel trapped, with an apparent lack of options or choice. Working with a coach enables them to clarify exactly what they do want, gaining options, gaining choice, gaining control. Through this process, a coach offers support, empowering them to make the decisions that are right for them.

Coaching is a completely confidential and non-judgemental process that supports vets as they decide what they want to achieve in their career, relationships, health, finances – in fact in all aspects of their life.

It can make a huge difference to individuals, and can also make a valuable and measurable difference to practice owners who benefit by having more motivated, dedicated, productive and profitable vets.

I'm proud of being a vet and I'm passionate about coaching others, supporting, encouraging and inspiring vets to recognise their potential, recognise what it is that's important to them and to confidently take action and succeed.

▪ More information about Carolyne's coaching activities is available at

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