Inaugural Graduate Academy Launch puts new generation of veterinary professionals on path to success

October 23, 2023

This year’s cohort of two hundred new graduates were welcomed with open arms to the IVC Evidensia Graduate Academy, in a new first-of-its-kind event that included inspiring talks, interactive wet labs and even farm-specific workshops.

Taking place at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham, the two-day event brought together small animal, equine, farm and mixed stream graduates for a launch that would set graduates up for success in the next stage of their careers.

Graduates had the opportunity to meet senior leaders at IVC Evidensia, discover what the leading veterinary group could offer in terms of support and guidance during the academy programme, and catch up with their new colleagues in a welcoming atmosphere.

There was a combined 9 hours of CPD included as part of the event, giving graduates a practical foundation in amongst the networking and lecture elements.

The launch was rounded off with a keynote speaker in the form of Chris Turner, a consultant in emergency medicine and the founder of Civility Saves Lives, an organisation who fosters excellence in healthcare. 

Daniella Dos Santos, Director of Professional Culture, hailed the event as a success after receiving so much positive feedback from graduates:

“We’re so privileged to be able to offer new graduates an exciting launch event that allows them to connect with peers, meet their support network and set them up for future success in their veterinary careers.

“I’m so glad that we can welcome so many talented people to our IVC Evidensia family and I wish our new cohort the very best of luck in the programme. I can’t wait to see them develop as skilled veterinary professionals and thrive as IVC Evidensia colleagues.”

Meeting leaders and making connections


Day one of the launch event started off with an introduction by Director of Veterinary Professional Development, Gayle Hallowell, who acted as compere, along with a video welcome by UK CEO, Duncan Phillips.

Sessions that followed included talks from Daniella Dos Santos, Laura Playforth (Group Quality Improvement Director), Sarah Heath (Director of Sustainability and ESG) and David Martin (Group Animal Welfare Advisor).
Mark Tabachnik (UK Head of Equine), Gill Whitehurst (Regional Head of Farm), Andrew Kent (Head of Blaise Referrals Hospital) and Daniella Dos Santos also led a panel on what advice they would give to their younger selves and how to tackle challenges in practice as a graduate vet.

Keynote speaker Chris Turner elaborated on dealing with highly pressurised environments, extrapolating complex situations to find workable solutions and creating an efficient team by utilising a ‘pool of information’. 
This led into an afternoon of wet labs and workshops for the individual graduate streams, allowing attendees to gain practical tuition in areas such as soft tissue surgery, as well as start to build networks by meeting leaders that will help support their early days as fledgling vets.

An amazing learning experience


Day two of the event featured more wet labs and workshops, alongside the farm stream of graduates visiting Brookhouse Farm in Redditch, where they received a guided tour and a preview of what the working relationship will be between farm vet and client.

The Graduate Academy team were pleased to get such positive feedback from the event, which concluded with a final chance to speak to representatives at the exhibition, after a full day of CPD.

One graduate who attended both days, commented:

“It was a great couple of days, well organised and excellent hospitality. I feel I learnt a lot and it was so nice to connect with other graduates.”

Another graduate, who had similarly positive notes, added:

“The event exceeded expectations and I really enjoyed it. I also gained lots of useful knowledge and my surgical technique definitely improved.”

The team were also proud to make the venue as accessible as possible, with one graduate mentioning the Quiet Room as another aspect of the event that improved their experience:

“I had a wonderful experience [in the quiet room] when the main hall and lights were too much”

You can find out more about the IVC Evidensia Graduate Academy here.