From Extern to Vet- My Career Journey at Quakertown Vet Clinic
By: Veronica Pickens, DVM
Small and Large Animal Veterinarian
Embarking on my journey from a wide-eyed extern to a seasoned veterinarian at Quakertown Vet Clinic has been a transformative progression filled with passion, perseverance, and countless unforgettable moments.
Growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania, I was familiar with the name Quakertown Veterinary Clinic, but only after I participated in an eight-week externship during my fourth year of vet school did I began to realize it was the perfect place to grow my career.
The Externship that Inspired My Career Journey
Ontario Veterinary College requires students to complete eight weeks of training at a mixed animal clinic, and Quakertown Vet Clinic was the ideal place to gain this hands-on experience.
Set in a sprawling suburban area, the clinic is within an hour of Philadelphia, but still close to rural farms. Therefore, I was exposed to a great mix of large animal production, equine, backyard farm, and routine small animal work. I enjoyed every minute of my externship. Every day was different, and I could spend the entire day with a new doctor or technician learning something new with each appointment.
I gained so much from my externship experience thanks to the team. The doctors and technicians are devoted to mentoring and training not only the externs, but also new staff and each other. The veterinarians at Quakertown Vet Clinic come from a variety of backgrounds, creating a breath of knowledge and abundance of resources.
How Quakertown Vet Clinic Checked All My Career Boxes
Upon graduation, I knew I wanted to start my career at a facility that promoted teamwork, continued education, and shared my passion for patient care. I found all of that at Quakertown Vet Clinic. Not only was I a new grad, but I was also one of the first doctors to do mixed animal practice. Starting out as a new grad in a newly developed position was intimidating, but I had unwavering support from my colleagues, and I thrived in seeing all species.
It’s important to point out that the support I received wasn’t confined to set hours or days. My colleagues made themselves readily available to discuss cases, answer questions, and provide overall support when I needed it. Just the knowledge of knowing that an experienced clinician would always answer my call enabled me to approach new cases with more confidence. Five years later, I know I can still count on my colleagues to pick up the phone at any hour to help work through a case, just as I would do for them.
Continued Learning with Professional Development Opportunities
I continue to look forward to each day at work, because I never know what I will see; routine canine appointments, a goat c-section, or a chicken with bumble foot. The constant change is exciting for me, but for those who prefer the routine, predictable schedule, Quakertown Vet Clinic offers that as well. As a veterinarian here, you can truly carve out what you would like your career to look like. You can do surgery, dentistry, ultrasonography, or stick to routine appointments if that is what you prefer.
The administration is willing and open to work with your skills, personal schedule, and professional interests to mold your work into your ideal job. It’s rare to find two doctors with the same schedule or practice scope – as Quakertown Vet Clinic is truly a place where your unique needs can be met.
Five years into my career I am thankful for all the learning experiences I've curated a Quakertown Vet Clinic. I can no doubt say that I've had many opportunities here they would not have had anywhere else.
Not only do I get to see my favorite species (goats, pigs, camelids, etc.) but I've also had the opportunity to lecture at a local university, volunteer with multiple rescues and organizations, work with cutting edge technology in the clinical trials department, and so much more.
I look forward to continuing my journey in veterinary medicine with the help of Quakertown Veterinary Clinic.
If you are interested in exploring career opportunities with our team, I encourage you to reach out today.