"Bringing new life into the world is my favourite part of the job.""Bringing new life into the world is my favourite part of the job."
"Bringing new life into the world is my favourite part of the job."
When I realised my turn to write the article this time fell in July, the topic to write about was obvious as July also happens to be the anniversary of my first year in practice.

In the last year since graduation, my life has changed dramatically. After spending the past 4 years at university in London, I packed my bags and moved to Northumberland to start my career as a Veterinary Surgeon this time last year. Originally from the South West, the move to the other end of the country was daunting and having only visited the area a few times (most of which was spent working in the lambing shed!) I wasn’t really sure what to expect. A year later I can’t believe I am already looking back on my first year in practice and thought I would write a bit about some of the things I have enjoyed as it comes to an end.

As a mixed vet my first year has been split between spending time treating domestic pets and farm animals and I have really enjoyed the variety. On the small animal side, the chance to care for animals of all ages from making sure puppies and kittens in for their first vaccinations are healthy, to making life comfortable for our geriatric patients in their old age is really rewarding. On the farm side, bringing new life into the world is my favourite part of the job. The result of a healthy cow and calf after a caesarean or difficult calving makes getting out of bed in the cold worthwhile and there is no better feeling than knowing you made a difference.

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As a large practice, we are lucky to have a team of vets and nurses with a range of interests and specialities. Our weekly clinical club and regular CPD evenings are great for keeping our knowledge up to date and making sure we are aware of new developments. Being a vet is a journey of constant learning and I have enjoyed continuing to learn on the job and improve my practical skills.

I have loved exploring this beautiful county and living nearer to the coast. Being a mixed vet can involve a lot of driving but also gives you the opportunity to find some lovely spots and really get to know the land. I can’t pretend I haven’t been lost a few times but luckily our reception team are very good at directing us over the phone if needed! On my days off I have explored the forests, moors and many beaches and recently braved the North Sea!

I have been lucky enough to find myself at a practice with a really supportive team. This is vital for a new vet as there is still so much to learn after graduation. They have mentored me through my first year and given me the confidence to go it alone. I am fortunate enough to also count many of my colleagues as my friends. The Alnorthumbria team can often be found meeting up for walks, cycles, or surfing or when we fancy something less active, a games night or meal out.

Being a new graduate vet comes with many challenges and there have definitely been hurdles to overcome in my first year but overall, I have loved my time as a vet so far. This year has confirmed to me that the long path to becoming a Veterinary Surgeon was worth it and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my career has in store.