VSGD LIVE! – a new type of veterinary conference

Provet Cloud participated as an exhibitor at VSGD LIVE! (VETS: STAY, GO, DIVERSIFY LIVE!) which was held on 28th and 29th of April at CodeNode in London. VSGD LIVE! is an event for veterinarians who are wondering about what to do with their veterinary degree. The event was held for the first time and will most likely be back next year. All the delegates I spoke with were very pleased with what VSGD LIVE! had to offer for them.

VSGD LIVE! is an interesting event among the more traditional veterinary conferences held around the UK and other countries in Europe. The woman behind the event, Ebony Escalona, succeeded in her attempt to create a relaxed event for those veterinarians who are looking for career opportunities outside of general practice. The atmosphere was very relaxed and open to different views and ideas.

Vets in distress

A lot of the talks at the event revolved around young veterinarians having doubts about their choice to become a veterinarian. Much of this seemed to stem from the feeling that a veterinarian working outside of general practice can be looked down upon. Many delegates said that they have nothing against general practice and they do enjoy doing it at the moment but they are not keen on doing the same thing for 40 years. “What else can I do with my expensive veterinary degree that I put so much effort into?”, seemed to be burning question. The idea of being forced down the general practice route is apparently causing more and more unhappiness among young veterinarians in the UK.

More experienced veterinarians who already have explored other fields, where they have been able to utilize their veterinary degree, were sharing their stories and encouraging the younger vets to trust themselves and the skills their degree gives them. A veterinary degree provides a good basis for many careers as it covers quite a few different areas of science. I’m quite sure that a lot of people found interesting opportunities from VSGD Live!

Own practice or joint venture partnership

Even if some vets are not that interested in doing general practice for their whole life, others still dream about having their own practice. Starting a new practice can be an intimidating task and a financial risk as a new practice requires a considerable amount of money to get things up and running.

This topic was discussed in a panel discussion titled “Practice makes perfect: Starting a veterinary business” which was sponsored by Provet Cloud. Four people with four different backgrounds shared their stories about having their own practice. Three of the participants had their very own business which they had built from the ground up. All three are doing well currently but the road to success also contained a lot of obstacles on they way and a lot of work. An equine practice owner Chris Tufnell, farm animal practice entrepreneur Sophie Aylett and a referral specialist Mike Rhodes all stressed the importance of having a realistic and detailed business plan. According to them, the business plan is also vital when seeking funding from a bank.

Amy Dyce brought a different perspective to the discussion. Amy started her business with the help of Vets4Pets, a company providing joint venture partnerships for veterinarians that are looking to run their own business with less risks. In this case less risks also means less control and adopting the concept of Vets4Pets.

The discussion was followed by a number of interested young vets and all the sessions at the event were also streamed and available online for those who couldn’t be present at the event. Hopefully many aspiring practice owners got answers to their questions!

About the author

Implementation Coordinator, Provet Cloud