Celebrating our VetCat Journeys: Where They Are Going
University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine graduating students are prepared and eager to take on the daily challenges of vet life as day-one-ready practitioners. With graduation approaching on August 24, students are finalizing future plans and preparing to enter the career field—of which many jobs resulted from clinical rotations at veterinary practices during their third and final year.
Clinical rotations offer an opportunity for a veterinary clinic to see how a future veterinarian works and how their interests and professional goals might align with the clinic's goals. Similarly, through their rotations, students discover what they are looking for in a work environment and can seek out employers whose values align with their own.
Clinical year student Evie Garcia accepted a small animal general practice position with Ridgetop Animal Hospital, where she completed her eighth clinical rotation. She shared her thoughts on looking for the right position.
Charting her Course
Evie confidently accepted this offer of employment because she had worked with the Ridgetop team already. Her familiarity with her future coworkers and the clinic setting helped her select a work environment she knew she already enjoyed.
What are your plans after graduation?
EG: I just signed with Ridgetop Animal Hospital (NVA), which is where I did my Block 8 clinical rotation. I interviewed at a number of places and received many competitive offers but none of them felt as good of a fit as Ridgetop. I can’t wait to join the team! I’ll be working as a companion animal GP vet.
How did you know this was the right clinic for you?
EG: At Ridgetop I felt challenged each day to think critically about cases, what diagnostics and treatments I would use, and the “why” behind my recommendations. I was also able to gain much-needed surgical experience and had great mentorship to help me through challenges as they presented themselves. The practice really listened to what my goals were and made sure to check in periodically to ensure I was achieving them.
I ultimately chose Ridgetop because I knew firsthand the type of mentorship I would receive, the team of DVMs was incredibly collaborative and kind, I connected well with the staff, and they gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Navigating the Veterinary Journey
Evie has navigated veterinary school and is now in the last leg of her journey. We asked her to reflect on her path so far and share her personal insights.
What advice would you offer to a first-year veterinary student at Arizona?
EG: Our program is unique, it requires a great deal of self-discipline and an equal amount of collaboration. A team-based curriculum can seem scary at first: you’ve worked your entire academic career focused on yourself and striving to be the best, now you’re going to be asked to work together, to lean on your team for support and to be a leader when your team needs you to be. Build a foundation of trust with your team, be vulnerable, open-minded and kind, and continue to work toward maintaining those values through the challenges that will be thrown your way. If you can do this I promise that you’ll leave vet school with a group of colleagues whom you can call on for guidance and support throughout the rest of your career.