Changes are afoot at Walkerville and we’re looking for the right veterinarian to fill a new role.
If you’re a vet reading this, welcome! If you’re a client, you might also find this interesting.
As the practice owner, I’m planning to step back from the high level of involvement I’ve had up to now. I’m finding it harder to find the time to keep the practice running at its best. Whether it be equipment purchasing, clinic maintenance, staff training or my own education, something has to give.
This doesn’t mean there will be a drop in standards. I’m lucky to be surrounded by excellent vets who consistently work at a high level and need no supervision. And none of this will happen until our latest addition has found his or her feet.
I’ll also continue to consult on Saturdays and Mondays and perform major surgery on Thursdays. I hope that by doing this I can offer more Saturday appointments. I’ll also take a leading role in inducting new members into our clinic culture.
Walkerville Vet’s Culture
Here are some of the key values we share. You’ll find variations on these at many vets around Adelaide. We aren’t pretending we achieve these perfectly every time, but this is how we would like to see ourselves.
- We don’t get on our high horse. When we give advice, we do it with respect and understanding.
- We tolerate diversity of opinion as long there is no harm to the animal. Healthy dogs on balanced raw diets are fine, for example. Choker chains are not.
- Clinical standards are based on evidence wherever possible, not hearsay or what has always been done. All vets including the newest are welcome to suggest changes.
- If treatment options exist, they are discussed (the website helps greatly here). If clients can’t follow the best option, all we need to do is document that we have discussed the risks and the decision is theirs.
- We work up cases fully wherever possible. Our clients expect us to spend their money wisely, but they also trust us and want us to order the same tests we would do for our own pets. It’s rare that we can’t manage the case the way we want.
- We refer whenever we are out of our depth. We will also offer referral when we can do it, but when a specialist can do it better. The decision is the owner’s to make.
- Equipment levels are aimed at best practice standards within the realistic limits of general practice. For example, dental xray, ultrasound, Tonovet tonometry and TPLO are standard.
- We never, ever engage in sales for sales sake. No staff are pressured to sell anything that they don’t believe in. Sales targets, performance-based pay and reviews of sales history are not part of who we are.
- Pricing is as transparent as humanly possible. We give realistically high cost estimates before any procedure and do our best to avoid unexpected shocks.
- We are intolerant of bad behaviour. Our culture can only thrive if people feel safe. Clients who repeatedly exhibit anger outbursts are asked to seek veterinary services elsewhere. Abusive behaviour does not get a second chance.
- Respect for each other within the clinic matters just as much. We are quick to resolve staff conflict and strive to treat each other with utmost fairness. Staff should always feel that they get to go to work, not have to.
- Client and staff education are paramount. This website contains the clinic standards for a wide variety of procedures and conditions that we see every day. We use it in lieu of handouts as a more thorough and time-effective way to convey the right information.
- Vets engage in monthly one-hour training sessions where we each take a turn to present something we’ve learned. Meetings for all staff are monthly. External CPD is encouraged.
Day One Skills
To prospective vets, don’t feel that you have to be excellent at everything straight away. All we ask is a positive attitude to change. Anything you can’t do will be taught and our values mean we never put a vet in a position where they are out of their depth. If you aren’t comfortable yet doing dental xray for example, you’ll soon wonder how you got by without it.
If you feel nervous seeing chickens, rats or ferrets, with our support you’ll discover how satisfying they are to treat. Most exotic species only get five common ailments, and the rest you can do from first principles. You’ll also see that owners of ‘not-dog-cats’ are intensely grateful that you’ll see them.
You can also bring new skills that we don’t currently have! We are very keen for people to forge their own path and develop their own areas of expertise. We also encourage vets to build their own client relationships and provide continuity of care.
The New Job Vacancy
Walkerville Vet is looking for a new full-time veterinarian to join our team. The position would be ideal for a new or recent graduate, but experienced vets are welcome to apply. We would also consider applications on a part-time basis.
Owing to my roster changes, the position will comprise regular Monday to Friday shifts. Saturday shifts will only be required when other vets are on holiday, and this task is often shared with Claire and Brooke.
New Vet Training Program
One innovation is our approach to training vets. We feel that we have a good record when it comes to the development of newly graduated vets (all three are thriving to this day) but more experienced vets have tended to miss out.
Therefore, Dr Claire Daly, who has excellent people skills and an interest in the area, is taking on responsibility for training and development. This does not mean that I am abdicating responsibility, just delegating it to a member of the team who has the better skills and training.
More information on this program can be supplied on request.
I will continue to provide training by example. My extra time will allow me to work in tandem with a new associate until they feel confident on their own. From then, I will only provide support and advice, never criticism. The future of our industry is reliant on giving vets the best start and then maintaining whatever support they need throughout their career.
Feel free to contact me privately at email@example.com. Claire and Johann are also happy to talk to you about the position. We’re more interested in finding the right fit for our team than filling the vacancy quickly.
For the right person, this is an exciting opportunity to be the best vet you can!