Returning to clinical practice after a career break?

The AVA Return to Work Program gives you the flexibility and tools you need to resume your veterinary career.

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About the AVA Return to Work Program

The Return to Work program is the AVA's online self-paced learning program consisting of 5 clinical modules, 4 non-clinical modules and a practical skills guide. The program is recommended for veterinarians who wish to return to clinical practice after a career break or period of leave, or veterinarians in practice and industry who are seeking a refresher. It is also recommended for veterinary students.

Getting back to work and keeping up to date is important for building self-confidence, increasing social connections, recovering from an illness or injury, and for financial reasons. Work is beneficial to mental health and overall well-being. It's a place to develop skills and enjoy a sense of purpose and identity.

Returning to work is not without its challenges. Therefore, this program is designed to help you plan your return and re-enter the workforce with renewed confidence.

Course learning outcomes

You can pick and choose the modules you wish to complete in the program. You are also welcome to complete this self-assessment to view a list of modules and competencies you should consider completing in the clinical Return to Work modules. The non-clinical modules and practical skills guide are suitable for all veterinarians, and the clinical modules are targeted at the small animal veterinarian only.

The modules are designed to help you:

  • Prepare for work by considering the role that work plays in your life - and taking practical steps to better understand employment relationships.
  • Develop the skills to re-join a veterinary team effectively and more easily.
  • Access recruitment information and tools to apply for veterinary jobs.
  • Manage some of the challenges associated with returning to work after a period of absence.
  • Display a good understanding of general diagnostic principles, consultation procedures including vaccinations, and therapy for most diseases diagnosed.
  • Understand the effects of anaesthesia on physiology, stages of anaesthesia and recovery, use of common anaesthetic agents and pain control in animals.
  • Understand various surgical techniques including common daily "routine" surgeries and soft tissue procedures.
  • Understand techniques required for in house pathology testing, sample collection for external testing and interpretation of test results.
  • Understand drug classes and mechanism of action, interactions and side effects.

The practical skills guide, which is a companion to the program, encourages participants to seek supervised, practical training opportunities at a convenient clinic, and incites reflection on professional goals.

Proudly supporting retention and return to the profession