Ever wondered what it’s like being part of VetPartners’ family of practices?
Here, Ami Sawran, practice principal at Westpoint Farm Vets in Chelmsford, gives an insight into what it’s like being part of VetPartners.
AS a farm vet, it is almost unusual to say that I have remained in practice a decade after graduating, but I’m pleased to say that I’m still thriving in practice, and in the myriad other opportunities presented to me by virtue of being part of VetPartners.
Despite never really aspiring to run a practice, I have been a practice principal for a few years now at Westpoint Farm Vets in Chelmsford. As someone who has experienced working in very different practice cultures, I am pleased to say that the one I am now in is a healthy one.
VetPartners’ culture helps us to thrive
I don’t think there are many practices that can truthfully state that everything is always in perfect harmony, but when a practice culture is focused on being open to giving and receiving constructive feedback, and has adaptive strategies for handling common issues, balance is achieved and maintained so much more readily.
It’s even better when the organisation as a whole shares those values. I’m very aware that the veterinary profession faces many challenges right now, but I am secure in the knowledge that there isn’t a situation that cannot be handled by my brilliant colleagues, or if the issue is bigger than us, by the wider support network that we find ourselves in.
I’m aware that I have personally put a lot of effort into making my practice a good place to work, from improving vet drive-times, salaries, installing recovery times and experimenting with wellbeing endeavours, but I’m certain that it couldn’t have been achieved without support from all four corners of the company, where there is support for my aspirations for my own career development as well as the practice itself.
I feel fully supported by dedicated teams that are skilled in areas I don’t have (any) strengths in – the People Team are always on hand to help me navigate novel situations, and my life is made so much easier by an approachable and dedicated accounting team that make sure I’m not shirking on paying my bills, and equally that vets don’t have to deal with tricky financial situations.
Supported to do the job we love
I am forever grateful to the dedicated marketing team that take the sting out of trying to communicate clinical messages to a varied client audience. Administrative teams are the real backbone of what we do here, and though it is strange that I’ve never been in the same room as most of them, I count them as friends and hugely value them as colleagues.
There have been times that I believed to be truly fulfilled, I would have to ‘job hop’, to try to quench my thirst for doing many different things; explore media, improve my business sense, travel, research, teach, hone my clinical skills, and fling myself into an academic pursuit. The beauty of working with VetPartners is that I get to do all those things in the space of a week, and I’m fully supported and encouraged to do so. Equally I feel if I wanted to stick with pure clinical first opinion work, that would be supported too.
I think it’s easy to dismiss a corporate structure as one where you remain an anonymous drone, but when I think about the work put in behind the scenes to try to make our workplaces welcoming, fair, diverse, productive and safe, I feel invested in. This was especially evident over the course of the pandemic, where communication and reassurance felt almost constant.
It is also evident in the recent overhaul of policies and reward schemes, which I love – I get a massive kick out of one of my nominees winning a Nettie, our reward benefit. There are so many dedicated people within our company that create and maintain brilliant resources like the learning platform, charity and sustainability projects, and CPD events that help vets pursue their clinical passions – I can only see a literal buffet of opportunity, and while it might take some time and effort to sit, read and digest what is on offer to us, my experience is proof that it’s worth the investment.
We are able to offer exciting career opportunities at our UK practices across all areas of veterinary work, including small animal, equine, farm, intensive production and laboratory practice.
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