In 2014 Majorie Ting won the VetPrac IM3 Prize. We decided to get back in touch with new grad Majorie to see what she has been up to since graduating.
Are you working in practice?
I’m working at Greencross Coogee-Maroubra, a small animal clinic just south of
the Sydney CBD.
What’s it like?
It’s been so much fun to finally take the skills and knowledge from uni out into the real world and start treating patients. The clinic mainly serves cats and dogs and occasionally wildlife, which suits me perfectly as that’s where my interests lie. A real variety of problems come through the clinic door every day, so I get a taste of everything from routine vaccinations and minor surgeries to complicated diagnoses and referral.
Have you used the VetPrac Prize yet?
I attended the Practical Skills Bootcamp in Wagga Wagga back in February.
Why did you choose that workshop?
It was actually a very easy choice. Coming out of uni and going into practice is nerve-wracking; you keep wondering “what is going to happen the first time I go into the consult room? Do I actually have the skills to handle real-world cases or am I just going to stand there with my mouth hanging open?” So the idea of a workshop where I could rehearse those day-to-day skills was attractive.
How has it benefited you?
I felt a lot more prepared going into my first job. Not just with the veterinary skills but with more mundane things as well, like having strategies for dealing with upset clients, and being prepared for just how much time and attention goes into discussing costs with clients. There were no secret techniques or silver bullets, they’re skills that most people would eventually acquire over years of experience, but being able to walk in to my first job with those practical skills already under my belt was very comforting. I felt like I could focus on treating patients and less on trying to figure out what I was doing.
How is a VetPrac workshop different to Uni learning or a webinar?
The bootcamp had a much stronger focus on practical skills (it’s in the name!) than a more theory-heavy lecture or webinar. Of course uni included a lot of practical sessions, but they tended to be more focused on reinforcing the theory we were learning than on getting a feel for practical skills. It was also fun to be working side-by-side with a mix of new grads and experienced vets. It gave me the sense of being part of a bigger professional community where continuing education is valued and woven into professional life, not just a buzzword. That’s not something you really have contact with as an undergrad.
What are you planning for yourself in work and life over the next 12months?
I’m planning to stay put in Sydney for now and keep building my career as a smallies vet. I love this city but one big downside is how hard it is to rent a place that will allow you to keep a pet. So that’s another priority for the next year — finally get a cat or dog of my own!
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