Who is a KICK ASS VET?
A KICK ASS VET is a vet that cares, is motivated to provide the best care possible in any situation, is confident, happy and great at communicating. Of course, a KICK ASS VET is also paid appropriately to reflect this awesomeness!! We are all KICK ASS VETS on the inside, and we can all work together to be KICK ASS VETS on the outside as well! So… YOU are a KICK ASS VET!
What is KICK ASS VETS?
KICK ASS VETS is a service that provides tangible, practical tools to help vets find satisfaction, value and happiness in their career!
Why start KICK ASS VETS?
There is a severe lack of information, resources and support for veterinarians that address hard topics in a blunt, no-nonsense manner. Also, there is a severe inequality between expectations and reality in the veterinary field, that leaves associate vets struggling, both financially and personally.
After talking to, and mentoring many new grads, vet students, interns and colleagues, I have become increasingly frustrated and annoyed at how little compensation and support is provided. As a result of this deficit, I have watched some seriously KICK ASS VETS fall out of love with the profession before they could even get their feet wet!
Figure: The spiral that veterinarians encounter, starting off excited they spiral down through feelings of being overwhelmed, lack of self worth, compassion fatigue, burn out, and eventually quitting. This spiral is ruled by lack of support, lack of feeling valued by employers and clients, being over worked, over and over again.
Veterinary Medicine is a truly amazing profession, with so much opportunity, but sometimes it can be hard to find your place. Also, constantly being undervalued and under appreciated leads to dissatisfaction with the career, and unfortunately this often leads to burn out, compassion fatigue, depression, and sometimes suicide. #notonemorevet
For all of these reasons, I started KICK ASS VETS to help vets find their way in this profession, to not be taken advantage of, to find happiness and satisfaction in this amazing career, and hopefully stay in this career instead of jumping ship to a new career as such a high percentage of us do.
What are the goals of KICK ASS VETS?
Ultimately, I want to EMPOWER vets to take CONTROL of their lives, and their careers. I want vets to love their jobs, stay in the profession, and be happy in their careers. We plan to achieve this by focusing on the following aspects:
INCREASE CONFIDENCE: I want to help vets find their confidence, whether they are new grads, recent grads, people that are ‘getting back into it’ or are just stuck in a rut. This is incredibly important because having confidence, and valuing yourself is the first step in taking control, and having others value you! Once you improve your confidence, you can change and improve other parts of your job!
Figure: The first step of being valued is to have the confidence to see value in ourselves.
PROGRESS THE PROFESSION: I am passionate about veterinary medicine and providing up to date medicine! I hope to help progress the profession as a whole by providing tools that help improve communication, improve vets satisfaction with their career, and increase the longevity of vets in the clinical profession. These will lead to more motivated and passionate vets, which leads to better medicine and service to each animal, and as a result, more animals will be saved! This will also lead to happier vets, and hopefully more vets being saved as well! #notonemorevet
FIGHT THE WAGE WAR: Some clinics and countries pay associate vets well, but a large number of clinics (and countries) do not fairly compensate their employees. I strive to help all vets get the wage they deserve, because clinics will rarely ever give a raise out of the goodness of their hearts.
How will KICK ASS VETS achieve these goals?
BLOGS: KICK ASS VETS will provide tips and information that is easy to understand, easy to apply, and practical to life. KICK ASS VETS will focus on tangible, and easily applicable tools, to start taking control of your life right away!
PODCASTS: information in a convenient podcast form that you can digest in transit, on a run, on your commute, or whenever you want!
CONSULTING: one-on-one help prepping for job interviews, yearly reviews and negotiations, trying to sort out where to work, what career path to take, toxic environment help, etc. This personal, multi-session approach will help when you need a little extra push or direction.
SPEAKING AND PRESENTATIONS: Presentations to clinics, universities and companies on a range of topics. These in-person presentations are informative, entertaining, and great for getting a group of people motivated!
KICK ASS VET OF THE MONTH:By highlighting accomplishments of our fellow vets, we increase recognition and support for each other! We need to create a an environment and community where we can discuss hard topics, and support each other through hard times, and also collectively advocate for ourselves as a profession to improve salaries and working conditions!
Let's Get Personal
Growing up I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. It wasn’t until my mom, without me knowing, lined me up to shadow our vet. I wasn’t really interested, but in order to not be rude I went, and of course I loved it. That job shadow led to a job shadow at the local emergency clinic, which led to a weekend job at the emergency clinic. This led to vet school at the Ontario Veterinary College after an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry.
Once I graduated I knew I wanted to pursue emergency medicine, but in order to get my feet wet I took a job in general practice where I was on call for emergencies 50% of the year. 8 months into my first job I was working my weekends off at the local emergency clinic, and by 10 months I had switched to a full-time emergency job where I was sole charge. I worked additional shifts on my days off at both general practice and emergency clinics to increase my exposure and variety of different types of practices. After another year of practice my husband and I moved from Canada, where I was born and raised, to Australia where I have worked in both Melbourne and Sydney at various emergency and general practice clinics, both as a full-time employee and as a locum.
Throughout my career I have had many interviews, negotiated multiple raises, and interacted with many different types of bosses, managers and colleagues. In total I have worked at 4 different general practice clinics, and 10 different emergency clinics. I have always been a full-time employee while locuming on the side since graduation in 2013, and in March of 2019 I made the move to full-time locum. Most full-time jobs that I have left have been due to moving cities, states or continents, but sometimes it was to create positive change in my life and career. I will still sometimes fill in for clinics where I previously worked, still having a good ongoing working relationship. Throughout this journey, I have had both great and terrible experiences.
Some of the best experiences however, have been mentoring students, new graduates and interns. Throughout discussing both medical and non-medical aspects of the veterinary career, I started to become more and more frustrated with how associate veterinarians, and new graduates are being treated. This led to speaking with the students at the University of Melbourne, which in turn led to other speaking opportunities where I was able to help final year students have more confidence and power going into their career. This has become my passion, and I started KICK ASS VETS in order to help more veterinarians take control of their careers, and love their jobs!
Advocate for yourself, you are the only one that will!
Most Recent Blogs
KICK ASS Boundaries for Locums
Locuming can leave you just as stressed and exhausted as full-time work, if you don't set the right boundaries!
Chances are you will experience Imposter Syndrome in your career, so tackle it head on!
KICK ASS Confidence
Confidence is knowing that you cannot know everything, and new/recent graduates need to know this!