Sunday marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science – an annual celebration of women who work and contribute to the major scientific findings that we see every day.
Across the VetPartners family, we have many inspirational women who have chosen careers in veterinary medicine, including Tamsin Gibson, from Abbey Vets in Chaddesden in Derby.
Tamsin is the new graduate representative on our Small Animal Clinical Board and, here, she shares how her love of science set her on the path to her dream career….
EVEN when teachers told her she was setting her sights too high and would never achieve good enough grades for vet school, Tamsin Gibson never wavered in her dream of a veterinary career.
Hard work, determination and a love of science enabled Tamsin to study veterinary medicine at the University of Surrey in Guilford, before achieving a place on VetPartners’ new graduate programme when she accepted her first practice role with Abbey Vets in 2020.
Four years on, Tamsin is thriving in her career and is passionate about her work as a small animal vet.
As we prepare to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Tamsin is an inspiration to girls and women considering a job in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM subjects.
“Growing up, I naturally favoured science subjects and nothing has changed,” she said.
“I enjoy the seeking of information and finding answers to things. It comes from a desire to gain knowledge and share knowledge, and find out what we don’t know as much as what we do know.”
It was that thirst for knowledge that led to her responding to an email from the VetPartners Clinical Board inviting a new graduate to join their species boards.
She is part of a group of like-minded individuals from across our practices with a passion for sharing knowledge with colleagues across the VetPartners family of practices.
“Being part of the Clinical Board has been a fantastic opportunity and a great challenge,” said Tamsin.
“I loved the ethos of the Clinical Board and how it is there to help to advance the profession.
“I help to manage the rabbit and exotics clinical interest groups. We have meetings to discuss CPD projects and see what gaps in knowledge there are among vets in practice and how we can support them. I help to review evidence and we have collated information on anaesthesia and analgesia to improve care for animals and help people to do their job better.
“Although I am a new graduate vet and there are people on the Clinical Board with 30 years more experience than me, I have always felt valued and that my input was useful and welcome.
“Being part of the Clinical Board has helped me to approach cases holistically but also from an evidence-based mindset, and it has also increased my confidence to do my own job.
“It was also an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone as I have participated in the Clinical Board roadshows which sees us travel round the country to meet everyone working at grassroots level. Meeting different people in different roles is so interesting and a great opportunity to share what we do as a Clinical Board.”
Tamsin missed out on vet school first time round as competition was fierce and she did not have as much work experience as other candidates. It was not enough to deter her as she made it to vet school at the second attempt.
That ability to bounce back, adapt and thrive in the face of adversity held her in good stead when she started practice life in 2020 with the UK in lockdown during the Covid pandemic.
Car park consults made it a baptism of fire, while CPD and training through the VetPartners new graduate programme was all delivered on Zoom.
But she believes those unique challenges helped to make her a better vet.
Her love of learning and science led to her recently completing a post-graduate Certificate in Clinical Animal Behaviour.
Tamsin added: “If I had to choose my career path again, I would do veterinary medicine again in a heartbeat. Some days, it is the worst job in the world, but most days it is the best job in the world and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
“I always have to be using my brain. I love puzzle solving and trouble-shooting while using science to help people with their pets.”
For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners PR and Communications Director at email@example.com or 07970 198492