A celebration dinner for graduates has been hosted by veterinary group Linnaeus, as the cohort progress into new roles across primary care and referral medicine.   

Held in Solihull, the dinner celebrated the achievements of 20 graduates who completed its two-year support programme and are now progressing into the next stage of their careers.   

Linnaeus offers a 12-month Graduate Development Programme (GDP), followed by a 12-month Early Careers Programme (ECP). While the GDP focuses on core skills and training, the ECP provides greater flexibility for graduates to explore their own interests and advanced learning.

Alison Price, Graduate Development Programme Lead at Linnaeus, has also become a member of the VetGDP subcommittee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and will be advising on graduate support. Commenting on the celebration dinner, she said:

“Our graduates have grown into confident and highly competent vets over the last two years. They have achieved so much and we are very proud of them.

“We are really grateful to the primary care teams who have given their time and dedication to mentor our graduates. This has helped them to develop their skills in a supportive environment and will help them achieve their long-term career goals.”

The celebration takes place ahead of a four-day pre-start training camp in September for Linnaeus’s next cohort of graduates. Taking place in Milton Keynes, the event will welcome more than 30 vets. It is designed to introduce graduates to their peers and enable attendees to practise their skills before starting their first veterinary role.

Several sessions at the camp feature external speakers – representing Johnson & Johnson, Wetlab, the Veterinary Defence Society and MSD – who will cover topics ranging from wound closure to professional skills.

They will be joined by Linnaeus’s Field Medical Director Jen Philp discussing veterinary business, and Nigel Belgrove, Clinical Director at Cromwell Vets, teaching surgical skills. A surgery practical will involve suture practice and a simulated spay.

Millie Holdsworth is a graduate veterinary surgeon at Park Vet Group, a Leicester-based primary care practice that is part of Linnaeus. After 12 months in practice, she moved to Park and signed up to the Linnaeus GDP. Millie added:

“I joined Park because I wanted greater career progression as a graduate vet. The support network provided by Linnaeus and the opportunities to grow professionally really attracted me to the position and I've not looked back.

“I have really enjoyed the breadth of organised CPD provided through the GDP. I also loved meeting other new graduate vets and talking through the highs and lows of practice! I've met people I hope to stay in contact with throughout our careers. I’m now working full-time at Park, with the aim of starting a certificate in emergency and critical care.”

Linnaeus offers a range of support to graduates. During the GDP, they work with primary and secondary mentors and take part in structured training including 12 core education days. Graduates also benefit from one-to-one support from the Linnaeus education team, with small cohort groups enabling them to establish close-knit peer networks.

During the ECP, graduate training is adapted to their personal interests and needs. This includes five days’ CPD of choice, which can comprise conferences, external CPD and practice visits. The ECP also offers up to six core education days on more advanced topics and practical learning sessions.

For more information about graduate opportunities at Linnaeus, please visit linnaeusgroup.co.uk/careers/graduates-students-and-apprenticeships.

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