mentorship in veterinary medicine

Mentorship in Veterinary Medicine

Let’s start off by talking about why mentorship matters.

First I want to clarify – although I am specifically discussing mentorship in veterinary medicine, mentorship is important in all professions, both within and outside of healthcare.

Within the healthcare professions, mentors act as role models who can be instrumental in both the professional and personal development of new doctors. Oftentimes, they have had similar experiences and felt the typical new doctor emotions, such as compassion fatigue, burnout, fear, disappointment, guilt, etc. This can make them extremely effective at communicating and relating to their mentees. However, this goes both ways as negative mentors can be particularly harmful, teaching bad medicine or poor ethical choices. Upon graduating and searching for a job, it can be difficult to know which jobs provide solid mentorship and appreciate mentee feedback. Mentorship was my number one priority while I searched for my first job as a veterinarian, which is why I was so excited when I heard about the Early Entry Track program with Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG).

For more information on how I chose my first job as a new graduate veterinarian, click here to read my 5 Things to Look for in a job as a New Grad Vet.

Mentorship with veg:

During my clinical year externship at VEG North Tampa, one of the first doctors I met was Dr. Elizabeth Moses. We had previously connected through social media, and to my relief, we also connected in real life! Liz exemplifies everything I could want in a mentor. She is a skilled veterinarian, a good person who prioritizes her mental and physical health, and she is excellent at giving constructive feedback. These attributes allow me to learn the best as a mentee and I look forward to continuing to learn from her during my training program in Tampa, FL this fall.

Now I know – seeking mentorship can be a daunting task, so I asked Liz a few questions to speak from her experience, both as a mentor and mentee over the past few years. Without further ado, please welcome my mentor and friend, Dr. Liz Moses, to the Traveling Dogtor blog.

First please introduce yourself and provide a little bit of background about how you ended up working with veg:

Hey everyone! My name is Liz – I have been a veterinarian since 2017. I graduated from Atlantic Veterinary College in 2017 after which I moved from Nova Scotia CANADA (OH CANADA) to Virginia for a 1-year emergency medicine/rotating internship. This internship was heavy ER medicine. After this year, I started with the same company at one of their sister locations. I worked there for a year before starting with VEG in June of 2020. Aside from veterinary medicine, bodybuilding is my passion – I live in the gym.

mentorship in veterinary medicine

What is it that you and VEG are looking for in future candidates for both early entry track and as emergency doctors?

A great/positive attitude – we want people who WANT to help people and their pets, all while having fun.

mentorship in veterinary medicine

Dr. Moses’ sweet pup on VEGgie Day at VEG North Tampa

What do you prioritize while mentoring newly graduated vets?

Mentoring students and new graduates are my favourite things to do!! Something that I prioritize is confidence. It is important to be confident in your craft – it does not come easily but it will. Watching a young doctor gain confidence in their medicine and their skills is so beautiful.

What do you feel is most important during the Early Entry Track (EEt) program, both for mentors and mentees?

Change or the willingness to change. On both ends – the mentor and mentees have a lot to offer. You can only grow if you are open to change and willing to learn.

mentorship in veterinary medicine

I would love for you to be able to share a little bit about our unique experience working together, both in hospital and virtually?

Working with Shelby was such a great experience – we connected via Instagram long before meeting in person. It was almost like we already knew each other! While in hospital – we were able to treat some great emergency cases but we were also able to make a connection that will last for a lifetime.

I am very excited to be a mentor – this is such a blessing.

For those that are following my journey and just starting their own, what advice would you give regarding best practices in approaching new potential mentors or building relationships within the veterinary field?

As in anything, it is important to find someone you TRUST and RESPECT. You should be able to trust someone with your personal information (work, home life – or whatever you need to share) and someone you respect enough to take any advice they may provide. Trust is very important in any mentorship as medicine can be life or death – you want to learn best medical practices from someone you can trust. 

I would also add – having someone you can just get along with and be yourself around is important. In veterinary medicine, you can lose yourself trying to be the perfect doctor, and blunting your personality hurts your mental health over time. Mental health matters.

is there Anything else you feel should be shared with this community?

I just want to say, I am a HUGE advocate for forging your own path. YOU CAN DO IT – YOU are the boss of your own future. Be good and work hard – good things will happen.

mentorship in veterinary medicine

remember, you are worth it.

If Dr. Moses has taught me anything, it is that I am worthy. Her confidence in my skills as a new doctor encourages me daily. When I was struggling with my anxiety after moving to Tampa, she reached out and offered her home to me and a shoulder to cry on if I needed it. This is what makes a mentor special. I know she will be there to support me through the ups and downs of both my career and personal life. And I could not be more grateful.

Want to get to know dr. liz moses?

Click here to check her out on Instagram: @liizniicole_. You can also find her working as an emergency vet a few times each week at VEG North Tampa.

What questions do you have about mentorship in veterinary medicine? Let me know in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Mentorship in Veterinary Medicine

  1. Lauren says:

    Hello! I am currently in the process of transitioning to my veterinary journey and really enjoyed reading this post on mentorship. In my current profession, I have had several people as mentors in some capacity or another and it is so important to have them. So often, it seems like asking for help can be daunting, but no one can do it alone. Thanks for sharing!

    • travelingdogtor says:

      Absolutely!! I think you will love veterinary medicine. It truly is an incredible community.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.