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“Today, I was shadowed by a veterinary student and she remarked, ‘You seem so confident in the exam rooms talking to clients – did you feel like your fourth year clinical rotations are a big contributor to that?’ And honestly, while rotations were helpful for instilling the medical component – how to diagnose, top differentials, etc., the high quality mentorship I’ve received over the past months since graduating has been paramount to feeling comfortable & more confident as a new doctor.

Although not long out of school myself, solid mentorship has been by far the #1 factor in adjusting to the many changes between being a student and being a doctor. School can teach you medicine, but your mentoring shapes you as a clinician.

Whatever you’re looking for in a clinic, finding a supportive workplace that emphasizes teamwork while helping you reach your own goals as a vet, is so important. Having good mentors has made my life so much less stressful than when I hear of other new grads who have already quit their first jobs due to little or no mentoring & feeling overwhelmed.

We graduate from school as DVMs, but even vets who have been in the field 20 years will tell you how beneficial it is to work in an non-toxic environment that is both collaborative and teaching-oriented. Find a workplace that will truly help you grow as a clinician, with other vets who actually enjoy mentoring.”

Niki Gianni

University of Illinois Class of 2019

“Your first day as a practicing veterinarian is an exciting, yet nerve-wracking experience. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing mentor who helped to smooth my transition into the working world. If you had told me on my first day of practice that I would be doing exploratory laparotomies, leg amputations, and lateral suture repairs my first year out, I would have told you that you were crazy!

If just goes to show that with the right mentorship and support, your only limitations are those that you place on yourself. My mentor helped bring out the confidence I always had within me and gave me the tools I needed to achieve my dreams!”

Dr. Andrea Belcher, DVM

University of Illinois Class of 2018

“Before graduating veterinary school, I sometimes wondered how I would make the transition from vet student to actually applying what I had learned as a practicing doctor. While vet school provided me with the foundation, I truly believe that the strong mentorship I received played the biggest part in molding me into the doctor I am today. Mentorship provided me with the support I needed and helped me find the confidence to push myself to take on more challenging cases and learn new surgical procedures. I never would have thought that less than three years out of school I would have a strong interest in orthopedic surgery and ultrasound! Without my mentor, I do not think I would have reached this point in my career this soon.”
Dr. Kristen VanZant

University of Illinois Class of 2017

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