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EVA Mentor program
Proudly Sponsored by Zoetis
EVA recognises that transition to the veterinary work place after graduation represents a time of considerable change in life style for Young Members, and that they might need assistance and advice to help them during this transition.
The Young Members Group (YMG) Mentor Program is a confidential arrangement between a mentor and YMG member designed to provide this assistance and advice.
EVA wishes to thank Zoetis for their ongoing support of the EVA Young Member Program, which includes the EVA Mentorship Program.
The mentor will be a veterinary graduate of at least five years' post graduate experience and will have worked in clinical veterinary practice for a number of years. Under ideal circumstances the mentor would have experience in a number of different veterinary career pathways to enable them to provide advice about a broad range of veterinary careers and a comparison with equine practice. Experience with veterinary work in overseas countries would also be an advantage.
The mentor will be willing to devote some of their time to helping YMG members with advice about a range of career related issues that arise. These might relate to clinical cases and their treatment, issues of ethics, work place related problems (pay and conditions or inter personal relationships for example), difficult clients, or career path selection (internships, residencies, research).
The mentor must be willing to refer the YMG member elsewhere if the mentor cannot provide the necessary support or advice.
Mentors could be the employer of the YMG member, or a senior veterinarian within the same practice, or somebody who is not part of the same workplace.
Mentors will volunteer to become participants in this program. Mentors will be expected to have a genuine desire to help YMG members with the transition from university into the equine veterinary work place.
YMG members are free to participate in the program if they want – there is no compulsion to take part or to continue in the program. Those decisions will be entirely up to the individual.
YMG members decide what they want from the relationship with a mentor. They should then contact a number of mentors and discuss their expectations. After these discussions, the mentor and YMG member can agree to participate in the program, or not to form a mentoring relationship.
How does it work?
How many YMG members for a mentor?
This would depend on the individual mentor and the time available. Location might also be an issue if the mentor and YMG members are in different states, or in remote areas.
This will be a matter of negotiation between the parties. Either email, telephone or face to face contacts would be appropriate. Email messages should be answered at the convenience of either party, but within a couple of days at the longest. Telephone calls can be used at any time, but might be reserved for an emergency contact. Frequency and mode of contact would also be up to the individuals to determine.
During discussions it is inevitable that matters of client confidentiality will be an issue when clinical material is presented. Furthermore, there are likely to be matters of veterinary business that will arise when work place issues are discussed. Other issues might also arise where sensitive matters will be aired.
Both mentors and YMG members must be sensitive to the likely confidential nature of their interactions and be careful not to disclose anything that would breach personal, professional or client confidentiality.
When things do not work out as expected
As with all human relationships, some mentor–YMG member interactions will work well, some will be “OK” and others will not work at all to the satisfaction of both parties.
If either person is unhappy or uneasy about the relationship, or continuing the relationship:
1. Discuss the problem between one another, or
2. Discuss the problem with a trusted colleague or family member, or
3. Discuss the problem with an independent person – for example family doctor, another mentor, EVA Executive Member, or
4. Call the AVA Telephone Counselling Service on 1800 337 068.
When mentor–YMG member relationships are not working for whatever reason, it is important that the issues are addressed promptly and a mutually agreeable solution found as soon as possible. To continue a relationship that is not working would be an unwanted distraction on both parties that will not be helpful to either of them.