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Why we did this project

The period between leaving veterinary school and becoming a confident, competent veterinary surgeon is often difficult, as both research and anecdotal evidence shows. This has been understood for many years.⊃1;

Each year several new graduates choose (for whatever reason) to leave their practice within the first year and may sometimes leave the profession entirely.2;3 In addition both depression and suicide are alarmingly prevalent in the veterinary profession world-wide, yet the cause of such a high risk compared to other professions is still being debated.4;5

The relatively high number of graduates leaving the profession is a concern not only for the veterinary profession as a whole but also their individual employers who may have invested a great deal of time and money into a new graduate.1

The graduate may find their career plans fractured and subsequently find it difficult to settle into a veterinary practice or career if their first few months present with problems for which they cannot find reasonable answers, whether these are in the form of clinical support within the practice or more generic information and emotional support.

The project partners came together to try to identify the current concerns and needs afflicting new graduates in practice today and to source relevant ‘Open Educational Resources’ to meet these concerns. Our hope is that having ready access to information online will better enable new graduates to make the transition to practice life. Employers will also find the resource useful in assisting them aid their new graduate’s adjustment to life in practice.


1.    Routly, J. E. et al (2002) Support needs of veterinary surgeons during the first few years of practice: perceptions of recent graduates and senior partners Veterinary Record; 150 (6) pp 167-171.
2.    Hill, J. (1993) First years in practice: experience of young graduates Veterinary Record; 132 (21) pp 521-522.
3.    Gilling, M.L. and Parkinson, TJ. (2009) The Transition from Veterinary Student to Practitioner: A 'Make or Break' Period Journal of Veterinary Medical Education Vol. 36.(2)  pp 209-215.
4.    Platt, B. et al (2012) Suicidality in the Veterinary Profession Crisis June 19 
pp 1-10. [Epub ahead of print]
5.    Halliwell, R.E.W. and Hoskin, B.D. (2005) Reducing the suicide rate amongst veterinary surgeons: how the profession can help Veterinary Record 157 (14) pp 397-398.