Are you looking for a change due to being overbooked, unsupported and on the pathway to burnout?
Do you enjoy the varied challenge of being a great GP vet but also have an area of interest you’re now ready to focus on more?
Are you a vet who actually enjoys working with clients? – if only you had enough time to spend with them and their pets!
Are you looking for a flexible rota that fits in with your lifestyle giving you enough time outside of work to keep you energised, passionate and excited about your work?
Have you been able to form a healthy relationship with failure where you can view moments when things don’t work out as planned as growth opportunities?
If so, read on to learn about a job and practice that might work well for you.
We’re an eight year old Vets4Pets practice located in Dunfermline who, from the outset, worked to build a practice that is an important part of our community. Though we are part of a larger group, the reality is that every JVP runs their practice completely independently of any other. We get support on the rare occasions we ask for it from the support office – but we are under no obligation to offer any service we don’t believe works for us. The way we have chosen to do things attracts clients that support our vision of sustainability and high quality care and service. If you’re doubtful, come and spend a day with us to find out for yourself how we do things – we’d be delighted to have you visit.
I (the practice owner) took the plunge into ownership because I experienced some fairly horrendous treatment as a new graduate, you probably know the sort of stuff I mean:
- 10 minutes per appointment.
- No allocated break time.
- No time to actually use my brain and do work ups.
- Multiple operations were booked every day leaving no time for lunch.
- No space for emergencies in the diary so they were squeezed into non-existent time.
- Poor client bonding as zero time for any pleasantries.
- Cliques within the team (that left me feeling isolated).
- Abusive clients left unchecked.
Although this was a tough period of my vet life, it also built my resolve to do something different. Something that works for everyone, not just the pets and clients.
I’m not going to lie, it has been a journey with highs and lows, but after eight years of trying, learning and experimenting, we’ve found a formula that works for us, and I wonder if it might work for you too?
Some of the things we do are really obvious and simple, things like:
- We have established some clear and helpful guidelines for how to handle busy days.
- Roughly one third of our appointments are “book-on-the -day” or reserved for emergencies.
- We address unreasonable client behaviour.
- We schedule operations based on time to complete, not on volume – which helps to balance the workload out from day to day.
- We NEVER book a big bonus “dental” at the end of a crammed op list!
- We schedule lunch, breaks and admin time so you get to rest, write notes and complete work on time.
- We listen to feedback and suggestions from the team and implement what works
We have also thought long and hard about how values impact our daily experience at work. (We think they matter a great deal.) As such we’ve worked out what the values that matter most to us are. These are:
Honesty, trustworthiness, being friendly, resilient, standing up for what we believe in, being empathetic, caring and having fun. More on these when we speak!
To summarise, we’re an established practice that takes our responsibilities to our teammates as seriously as we take those to the pets under our care. If you join us, you’ll be joining a team that wants to do good work together, see each other grow both as a vet, but also as a person!
What Do Our People Say About Us?
Sometimes it can be hard to believe what’s written in job adverts, so we asked our team for feedback. Here’s what Rebecca, one of our vets, replied.
“I have worked at Vets4Pets Dunfermline for almost 5 years, since I graduated in 2017. I have always felt supported here and encouraged to follow my interests. One example of this is being encouraged to pursue my post-graduate certificate in small animal surgery and use these skills to perform more complicated surgeries in practice. Additionally, I have always disliked dentals and avoided doing them but recently I have started building up my caseload with lots of support from the senior vet (Dr Forbes Shaw), I have been given access to Brett Beckmann’s dental videos and I am going on a practical canine CPD course this year. I am given more time to perform my dental procedures and we have regular meetings to discuss my progress.
The diary is very well managed and the team are excellent at triaging phone calls. More challenging medical consults, PTS appointments and new clients are always booked for half an hour slots. I allocate my own time to do my admin list and check off medications eg flea/worm Tx. We limit the amount of clients seen per day to ensure we have time to work up cases. If there is an emergency then there is an additional emergency charge and appointments will be moved to accommodate this.
Lunch is protected, if ops run late then it’ll get moved to later in the day. Unless it is an extremely busy day but this is a rare occurrence. In the last 12 months I’ve had to stay late about 5 times. This is because we now shut at 6pm and VetsNow don’t open until 7pm so if a patient needs to be sent there we stay back until 7pm.
If there is an issue with client behaviour we are encouraged to bring it up with the client and will be supported with this. If there is unacceptable behaviour then the client is sacked. If there is a complaint made then I am always supported by Forbes and Lauren and they will help write a suitable response back.
I enjoy working here mainly because of the strong team we have, the nurses are very experienced and help with so much and the non-clinical team are very knowledgeable and know how to deal with clients well. We also divide the caseload well so if Forbes has a case which needs an operation he knows I will want to do it is transferred over to me.”
OK, let’s talk about the job then! You’ll be joining a small team in Dunfermline, itself a bustling town in Fife, you’ll also be a short train ride from Edinburgh!
As a vet on our team your responsibilities will include the following things:
- Wellness visits and care.
- Dental care.
- Soft tissue surgery – enucleations, limb amputations, enterotomy, gastronomy.
- FAST ultrasound scans. (We can teach you this if you’re not capable yet).
- Radiographing investigations.
- Medical work ups and treatments.
- Client communications/care. (How our practice grows.)
- Team communications/care. (How our culture thrives.)
- Invoicing accurately for your work.
- Writing accurate and timely clinical records.
We are very much proactive and preventative in our approach to patient care which is supported with excellent equipment like:
- iM3 digital dental radiography
- MyLab Omega vet ultrasound
- In house Idexx lasercyte, microscopy
- Blood pressure monitor, pulse ox, capnography.
We are always looking to add more services as we grow and are now expanding the practice to include a completely separate dental and ultrasound/endoscopy room.
The hours are quite social and while we’d ideally want someone for a full time role, we’d also consider something more flexible with a minimum of 20 hours per week. You’ll work one Saturday every four weeks. But there is no on call or after-hours associated with this role.
Ultimately, if you like it here and are a great fit for the culture and team and have an interest in ownership in a profitable business, then there will be the opportunity to join the partnership and become an owner.
You’ll be a vet with a little bit of experience in the role and have gotten through the first couple of years of fear post graduation!
You’ll be someone who understands that people are just as important as pets in this job and either enjoy or have built some solid communication skills that now help you to work effectively with both clients and team.
You’re someone that is considerate of the needs of those around you (not to the exclusion of your needs, but in balance). You’ve acquired enough experience to be confident in much of what is presented each day and even when you have no idea what’s going on with a case, you are experienced enough to fall back on first principles in order to establish a way forward.
You’re probably tired, or even feeling a little burned out, due to the stress caused by not having enough time to work up cases or get lunch each day (or even pee)! This way isn’t sustainable for you and you’re looking for a place where you have the time and space to do the work you were passionate about all those years ago when you set out to be a vet.
You like to work up cases thoroughly when you can, but you are also able to work compassionately to offer a spectrum of care for the occasions when clients can’t commit to gold care. ie – you are able to roll with the vagaries that accompany working with the public.
You’re someone for whom relationships matter a great deal and you invest time and energy in people that matter to you. The anti-client vibe on Facebook puts you off, because though sometimes clients can be challenging, you don’t at heart believe clients are the enemy.
Being a vet is a big part of your life, but it’s not the only part, and you enjoy other activities that nourish you outside of vet life. Maybe you’re into sports, or you’re one of these incredible creators that seem to pepper the vet community! In short, if you could find a role that allowed it, you’d have balance in your life.
Though you are professional, you also like to keep things light and have fun when possible. You understand the magical stress busting benefit of laughter.
Finally, you are someone who loves to grow – learning is something you thrive on and you’d do well in a place where you had a mentor who was equally thrilled about seeing others develop new skills!
Position available now.
Experience & Education
You’ll have a veterinary degree registrable in the UK and hold membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. You are legally allowed to work in the UK.
A minimum 3 years experience in practice with at least one of those in exclusively small animal practice is preferred.
Reward & Remuneration
In return for your skills, medical care and contribution to our culture we are offering the following package:
- Salary is negotiable ranging from £45,000 to £60,000 pro rata dependent on clinical experience and demonstrable skillset:
- Negotiable/flexible hours – longer days and more days off or shorter days and early finishes or later starts – let’s talk.
- CPD budget is currently £1500 although a certificate is something we would always consider.
- RCVS/VDS Fees
- Company pension
- There are 20 days of holiday per annum, plus bank holidays.
For the right person and if you are interested in taking on a leadership role in the future, there is also a genuine partnership opportunity. However, if this is not on your bucket list, then don’t be put off – it’s not a requirement.
In order to submit your application please submit your CV and cover letter, or if you would prefer to have an initial informal chat just call us on 01383 738 796 and we’ll be more than happy to talk things through.